Elephant Evolution of pictograms Chinese characters represent words of the language using several strategies. A few characters, including some of the most commonly used, were originally pictogramswhich depicted the objects denoted, or ideogramsin which meaning was expressed iconically.
Chinese Writing Learn writing with China Highlights The written Chinese language is one of the oldest active languages today, dating from the Shang Dynasty, more than 3, years ago, and is used by approximately 1. Chinese characters in the written language can be very intricate, ornate and beautiful; therefore it is really no surprise that writing the characters is considered an art form, known as Chinese calligraphy.
The Art of Chinese Written Characters The literal definition of the word calligraphy is simply "good writing", but in the sense of Chinese calligraphy, the meaning goes deeper than simply writing the characters, or even striving to make the characters look beautiful. It is considered to be an art form requiring mental disciple, which involves both the body and soul.
Chinese written characters have a unique ability to express spiritual feelings and other emotions as well as character and integrity, and can even convey the temperament of the one doing the writing.
Tools Used for the Art of Chinese Calligraphy Since Chinese calligraphy is an art, there are special tools required that have been used from ancient times to the present.
The ink stick is the writing instrument and is solid ink made from oil smoke or pinewood soot.
The ink stone contains the ink, which is obtained by using water and grinding the stick on the stone. The brush is made of bamboo and animal hair from deer, sheep, rabbits or wolves, depending on the weight of the stroke needed.
A special absorbent paper called xuan paper is used. Although some might consider writing with a brush an ancient practice, recent studies showed that twenty million Chinese were still using the brush and ink stick.
Formation of Chinese Characters There are five general styles that are traditionally used in Chinese calligraphy, which are zhuan shu, kai shu, xing shu, li shu, and cao shu. Each of these have their own special characteristics, and are derived from different origins dating back to different dynasties.
Seal characters are very popular with calligraphy artists for their elegant style and are divided up into both small seal and big seal characters. Small seal characters are more simple and standard than big seal. Big seal characters have their foundation in oracle bone inscriptions and date back to the Zhou Dynasty - BC.
Kai Shu is known for its squareness, and horizontally and vertically standardized structure. Its simplicity makes it a neat and orderly way of writing, which is possibly why it is also very popular with calligraphers.
However, if xing shu is written carefully and deliberately it looks very much like kai shu. Cursive hand is very simple, irregular and sketchy, yet highly artistic.
Although it has a neat look, it is a more complex type of writing with its different variations. Li shu became the writing which eventually transitioned into formal script.
Once again the Eastern Han Dynasty is credited with this style of writing.When you first study how to write in Chinese, you'll be confronted with a foreign pronunciation system, a foreign tonal system and a very foreign writing system. As an English speaker, you can normally have a good shot at pronouncing and reading words in other European languages, thanks to .
Mar 17, · Geoff Wade at the National University of Singapore in his paper titled 'The Polity of Yelang and the origins of the name 'China' conclude that Sanskrit 'cina' comes from 'zina', the ancient Chinese word people of Yelang used to refer to themselves.
Learn writing with China Highlights The written Chinese language is one of the oldest active languages today, dating from the Shang Dynasty, more than 3, years ago, and is used by approximately billion people today.
Our Chinese Dictionary is Alive! Welcome to the first and only living Chinese dictionary that is growing every day with its Chinese learners.
You have the opportunity to contribute ways that you remember Chinese characters and photos of your Chinese writing as you learn from other students of Chinese.
Written Chinese is not based on an alphabet or syllabary, so Chinese dictionaries, as well as dictionaries that define Chinese characters in other languages, cannot easily be alphabetized or otherwise lexically ordered, as English dictionaries are.
Chinese writing, basically logographic writing system, one of the world’s great writing systems. Like Semitic writing in the West, Chinese script was fundamental to the writing systems in the East. Until relatively recently, Chinese writing was more widely in use than alphabetic writing systems.