Friday, 16 February 2018

年 | nián

In Mandarin Chinese, (Pinyin: nián 🔊) is a generic term for a “year” as well as other related things such as “age”, “period of life”, “period of history”, “harvest” and “New Year”. Some compound words of include

According to Wiktionary,

In the oracle bone script and early bronze inscriptions, it was originally , an ideogrammic compound and phono-semantic compound: semantic (“wheat; grain”) + phonetic (“person”) — a person carrying wheat on his back — harvest.
(I am pretty sure it was rice, not wheat.)
In bronze inscriptions after the Western Zhou period, a stroke was often added to to give , which still acted as a phonetic component, and this form was inherited by later scripts. The current form is simplified from .
More photos related to harvest, New Year and sea glass @ Shutterstock.

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