H – M


Han Dynasty (Hàn 汉 chάo 朝)

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汉 is pronounced Hάn in the fourth tone. 汉 means Chinese nationality, Chinese language, man or hero.
朝 is pronounced chάo in the second tone. 朝 means dynasty or court.
The two words汉 朝 mean Han Dynasty which lasted for 426 years from 206 BC to 220 AD. From then on, the word 汉 became synonymous with anything to do with China.


He 他 tā is pronounced in the first tone.

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She 她 tā sounds the same as 他. However, she 她 has the radical 女 on its left. 女 means female.

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Head = 头 toú

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Also means hair, hair-style, top, end, chief, leading, first


Heaven = 天 国 tiān guó = Kingdom in the Sky 

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天 tiān means sky, heaven, overhead or day

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国 guó means country or kingdom.

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History (lì 历 shǐ 史)

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历 is pronounced lì in the fourth tone. 历 means all that came previously. It also means calendar.
史 is pronounced shǐ in the third tone. 史 means history.
历 史 means history or previous records.


Horses (mǎ 马)

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马 is pronounced mă in the third tone. 马 means horse. 马 is also a common Chinese surname. Many Chinese Muslims have the surname 马. My husband’s surname is 马, although he is not a Muslim.


Hundred = 百baǐ .
Also means numerous, or all kinds of.

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I (wŏ 我)

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我 is pronounced wŏ in the third tone. 我 means I or me.
When the word meń 们 is added after a pronoun such as 我, that pronoun becomes plural. Thus 我们 means we。
The word 们 is pronounced in the second tone. 我们is pronounced


It = 它 tā

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(Please note that the three pronouns he 他, she她 and it它 are all pronounced tā. However, they are written differently. Many Chinese people, including myself, often mistakenly say he instead of she or it because the three words are all pronounced tā in Chinese.


Jade (yù 玉)

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玉 is pronounced yù in the fourth tone. 玉 means jade. 玉 also means pure or beautiful.


Jump = 跳 tiào

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also means leap, spring or bounce. Note the radical to the left of 跳. 足 zú means foot and words with this radical usually indicate physical activity.

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Largest = 最 zuì大 dà

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最 zuì means most or utmost: indicating the superlative degree.

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大 dà means big, large, great

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Life = 命ming̀.
Also means fate, destiny, on order or command.

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长chanǵ 时shí

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间 jian̄

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= 久 = long time
长chanǵ 命 ming̀ = long life

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Long = 长chanǵ.
Also means length.

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Long time = 久jiǔ

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Magic = 魔 mó 法fǎ

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魔 mó means magic, mystic, spirit, devil, demon

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法 fǎ means law, method, way

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Male = 男 nań .

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Note the word 男 consists of two halves, upper and lower. The upper half is 田tiań which means field or farmland.

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The lower half is 力 lì which means strength, power or ability.

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Thus a man represents power and strength in the rice fields of China.


Mountain = 山 shān

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(Doesn’t 山 look like a mountain?)


Mountain Top or Summit = 山 顶 shān dǐng

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My (wo 我 de 的)

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我 is pronounced wŏ in the third tone. 我 means I but when the character 的 is added after a pronoun such as 我, that pronoun becomes possessive. Thus 我 的 means my. And 我们的 means our.

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