Thursday, 27 April 2017

生 | shēng

In Mandarin Chinese, (Pinyin: shēng 🔊) is a word with many meanings. It could be a verb meaning “to live”, “to grow”, “to give birth” or “to light”, as in 生火 (shēnghuǒ, “to light a fire”); a noun meaning “life”, “living thing” or “student”; an adjective “fresh”, “innate”, “live”, “natural”, “raw”, “unfamiliar”, “uncultivated”, “unripe”; or an adverb “very”. Combining “to go out” with , we get 出生 (chūshēng 🔊), “to be born” or “birth”. A combination of and “day” is a word for birthday: 生日 (shēngrì 🔊).

may look like (wáng) with an extra stroke, but the origin of this character is very different: (“bud”) + “earth” = “a sprout coming out of the ground”, i.e. birth, growth etc.

More photos related to buds, shoots, sprouts and sea glass @ Shutterstock.

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