Today’s word, ma 马, means HORSE。

ma 马 is pronounced in the third tone. It starts low, drops lower and then rises to a higher tone.

ma 马 is also a common Chinese surname.

ma 马 lu 路 means road or street or avenue.

In the old days, people walked on narrow alleyways between houses. But horses and carriages traveled on major roads which were wide and straight. These large roads became known as ma 马 (horse) lu 路 (roads) or avenues.

lu 路 is pronounced in the fourth tone, short and abrupt like saying the word NO.

Homework: Type 马 twenty times while saying 马 repeatedly. [audio:|titles=horse x 3]

Now type 路 twenty times while saying 路 repeatedly. [audio:|titles=lu x 3]

Type 马 路 twenty times while saying 马路 repeatedly. [audio:|titles=ma lu x 3]


一  字  一  日

ZI   字

Zi 字  is pronounced in the fourth tone.

Two separate meanings:

  1. character, word

examples:  yi 一 zi字    = one word

zi 字dian 典 = dictionary

zi means word and dian means standard or canon

  1. name

example: qian 签 zi 字    = sign one’s name

qian is pronounced `chien’ in the first tone .  The letter q in Chinese words sounds like ch.  The word means to sign.  In this instance, means name.


yi zi yi ri

一 字 一 日

Since the title of my website is Chinese Character A Day, we will begin by translating that title into Chinese and start with

YI   一

The word Yi 一  is the most commonly used word in Chinese.  It is pronounced like the letter E but in the first tone: a high, level tone with the E held constantly. [audio:|titles=yi]

Yi  一  has many meanings: one, alone, single, whole, each, all, throughout.