A – G


Air =  空 气  kōng qì 

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Alligator = 鳄 鱼 è yú

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Note the radical 鱼 on the left side of  鳄 indicating that the word 鳄has something to do with fish. In ancient China, alligators were considered to be a type of fish.


Animal = 动物 dòng wù

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动 dòng means move, act, alter

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物 wù means thing, matter

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Together, the two words 动物 means MOVING THING OR ANIMAL.


Beautiful = 美 丽 měi lì

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Belly = 肚子 dù zǐ

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Also means stomach or tripe.


Book (Shū 书)

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书 is pronounced Shū in the first tone. It means book, letter, document or to write.


Carp = 鲤 lǐ 鱼 yú

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Note the left half of 鲤 is the radical 鱼 yú which means fish.

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Children = 小孩  xiǎo hái

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小 xiǎo  means small, little, tiny.

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孩hái  means child 

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China(zhōng 中 gúo 国)

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中 is pronounced Zhōng (Joan) in the first tone. 中 means middle or center.
国 is pronounced Gúo in the second tone. 国means country or kingdom.
中国 means middle kingdom or central kingdom


Chinese New Year (zhōng 中 gúo 国 xīn 新 niάn 年)

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Clam = 蛤 gé

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Claw= 爪 zhuǎ

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Note the shape of the word 爪。 It resembles a Claw.


Clothes = 衣服 yī fú

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Communist Party (Gòng 共 Chăn 产 Dăng 党)

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共 is pronounced Gòng in the fourth tone. It means share, common, general, together.
产 is pronounced Chăn in the third tone. It means to produce, yield, give birth to.
党 is pronounced Dăng in the third tone. It means political party, gang, faction. clique, follower.


Compass (指 南 针 zhǐ nάn zhēn)

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指 zhǐ is pronounced jer in the third tone because zh sounds like the letter j.

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指 means to point or to direct.
南 nάn means south and is pronounced in the second tone.

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针 zhēn means needle and is pronounced in the first tone.

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指南针

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means south-pointing-needle or compass. In Chinese maps, South is at the top of the page and North is at the bottom. The needle points south in Chinese compasses, not north.


Country (Guó 国 jiā 家)

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国 is pronounced guó in the second tone. It means country, state or nation.
家 is pronounced jiā in the first tone. It means family, home or household.
The two words 国 家 mean country, state or nation. This reinforces the Chinese belief that a nation is one big family.


Cow = 牛 niú

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Deer = 鹿 lù

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Demon = 魔 mó 鬼 guǐ

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魔 mó 鬼 guǐ means Demon or Devil
魔 mó

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鬼 guǐ

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鬼 also means Ghost.


Died or death 死 sǐ pronounced in the third tone.

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Dragons (lóng 龙)

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龙 is pronounced lóng in the second tone. 龙 means dragon


Dragon Robe = 龙袍 lonǵ paó 

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Dragon  =龙  lonǵ 

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Robe      = 袍 paó 

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Dragon throne =龙位lóng wèi 

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Dragon =龙lóng 

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Throne = 位wèi  also means seat or place. 

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Dynasty (Chάo 朝 dài 代)

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朝 is pronounced chάo in the second tone. 朝 means dynasty or court.
代 is pronounced dài in the fourth tone. It means historical period, generation, or `to take the place of.’.
The two words 朝代 means dynasty.


Eagle = 鹰 yīng

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Note the word 鹰 has the radical鸟 niǎo at its bottom. 鸟 means Bird.


Ears = 耳 eř 朵 duo

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Earth Dragon =土 龙 tǔ lóng .  

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土 means earth or soil.


Eighty-one = 81= 八bā 十shí 一 yī

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八bā

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十shí

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一 yī

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= eight tens and one


Emperor = 皇帝 huáng dì 

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Emperor’s throne = 帝位dì wèi 

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帝dì = Emperor 

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位 wèi = throne , seat or place 

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England (英 国 yīng gúo)

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Country of England.
The Chinese word 英 yīng is pronounced in the first tone. 英 means outstanding talent. 英 was chosen as the Chinese character for England because of its pronunciation yīng in the first tone.
英国 means ‘country of England’. 国 gúo is pronounced in the second tone and means country.


English language (英 国 话 yīng gúo hùa)

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or (英 语 yīng yǔ)

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or (英 文 yīng wέn)

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英国 话 means ‘speech of England’. 话 hùa is pronounced in the fourth tone and means remark, sentence, language or speech.
英语 also means English language. 语 yǔ is pronounced in the third tone and means language, tongue, words.
Note that 话 and 语 have the same radical on their left side. This radical denotes that the word has something to do with language.
英文 also means English writing or English language.


English man (英 国人yīng gúo rέn)

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英国 人 means `man of England’. 人 means man and is pronounced in the second tone.


Eyes = 眼 yǎn 睛 jīng

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眼睛 yǎn jīng means EYE or EYES Note the radical 目 mù to the left of the two characters 眼睛. 目 also means EYE.
眼 yǎn

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睛 jīng

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Father (父 亲 fù qīn)

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or (爸 爸 bà bà )

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父 fù is pronounced in the fourth tone and means father.
亲 qīn is pronounced in the first tone and means related by blood.
爸 爸 bà bà is pronounced in the fourth tone and means papa or father.


Female = 女nǚ.

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Also means woman or girl.


First 第 一 dì yī

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Chinese word for number one is 一 yī

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When the word 第 dì

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is placed before the number 一, the two words 第一 means First.


Fish = 鱼 yú

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(look for 鱼in Chinese restaurant menus)


Five Claws = 五 wǔ 爪 zhuǎ 

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five  = 5 = 五 wǔ 

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claws      = 爪 zhuǎ

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Fly = 飞 fēi

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Foot = 足 zú 

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or 脚jiǎo

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Both words 足 and 脚 mean foot. Please note that 脚 has the radical 月on its left side.  月 radical often indicates that the word has something to do with body parts.


Gate = 门 mén

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also means door or entrance.


Giant = 巨 大 jù dà  

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means gigantic, enormous, huge or tremendous


Gun-powder (炸 药 zhà yào)

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炸 zhà means to explode, bomb, blow up or blast. Zh is pronounced like the letter j and zhà is pronounced jar

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in the fourth tone. Note the radical 火 hǔo

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(which means fire) on the left side of 炸, hinting that this word has something to do with flames.
药 yào means chemicals or medicines. In ancient China, many chemicals were used as medicines. In fact, gun-powder was accidentally discovered during the Tang Dynasty 1200 years ago. Some monks were searching for the elixir of immortality when they discovered that heating a mixture of potassium nitrate, sulphur and honey produced amazing effects.
Smoke and flames erupted and the whole house burned down. The monks called the mixture 火 药 hǔo yào

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(fire chemical).
Increasing the proportion of potassium nitrate in the mixture made the 火 药 much more explosive and dangerous. That was how gun-powder or 炸 药 (exploding chemical) was discovered.

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