Pictographs and Ideographs in Chinese language

Some pictographs

Chinese language has Chinese characters despite of alphabets and each character has not only a sound but also a unique meaning. Although, some huge dictionaries include about 50,000 characters but a person normally needs 2 – 3,000 characters to read a newspaper. If someone is educated from University, he/she would know about 6 – 8,000 Chinese characters.

[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /]Pictographs:

Chinese language is the oldest living language. The earliest characters found to be the simple pictorial representations and therefore are known as “pictographs” such as 火 [huǒ] fire , 山 [shān] mountain, and 日 [rì] sun. You can observe the similarity between the pictographs of Chinese characters and the original shapes of the materials or things.

To remember these Chinese transliterations consider these statements;

Fire is called as huǒ in Chinese and whenever you see the fire you say “Ho! There is fire.”

Mountain is called as shān in Chinese and sometimes climbing on a mountain is a matter of excitation (or excitashān)

Sun is called asand there are Sunrays.


If the Chinese characters represent the concepts or meanings then they are referred to as ideographs such as, 一 [yī] one, 二 [èr] two, 上 [shàng] above, and 下 [xià] below.

Source: BBC


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