Sunday, 26 February 2017

风 | fēng

In Mandarin Chinese, (Pinyin: fēng 🔊) means “wind”.

is a simplified version of the traditional character . Uncle Hanzi derives this latter character from phonetic (fán) “sail” and semantic “insect” or “snake”. (The meaning of has little to do with a sail, but there is a similarly-looking which is also pronounced as fán and means “a sail” or “a sailboat”.) (chóng) means “insect”. According to Wiktionary, “Ancient Chinese thought insects appear with wind”. So far so good, but then it goes, “Insects refer to any kind of animal, such as tigers”. Maybe not too straightforward way to memorise it for a modern learner. Forget the insects: you still can think of as depicting a sail, a flag, or, as Tamara has suggested, a curtain moving with the wind.

A combination of with results in 风水 (fēng shuǐ) which is a name of a famous Chinese philosophical system, Feng shui.

More photos of wind and sea glass @ Shutterstock.

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