N – S


New (xīn 新)

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新 is pronounced in the first tone.


New Year (xīn 新 niάn 年)

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Nine = 9 = 九 jiǔ

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Now = 现 在 xiàn zi

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Number = 数 shù 字 zì

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数 shù means to Count

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字 zì means Word.

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Thus 数字 means Counting Word or Number.


One day 一 日 yī rì

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一 = one and is pronounced yī in the first tone.

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日 = day and is pronounced rì in the fourth tone.

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One-fifth 五 分 之 一 wǔ fēn zhī yī

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五 = five. 五 is pronounced wǔ in the third tone.

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分 = part or divide. 分 is pronounced fēn in the first tone.

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之 = zhī means of and is pronounced in the first tone.

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一 = yī means one and is pronounced in the first tone.

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The four words 五 分 之 一 means one part out of five or one-fifth.


One-Hundred Seventeen = 117 = 一 百 十 七

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100 = One-hundred
一yī

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百baǐ

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17 = Seventeen
十shí

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七 qī

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Page (yè 页)

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Page 1 or first page is translated as 第 一 页。

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The word 第 dì is a prefix for ordinal numbers such as first, second, third, fourth etc. 一 means one. 页 means page.


People (reń 人)

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人 is pronounced reń in the second tone. 人 resembles a line drawing of a man with his legs apart. 人means man, person, human being. If the word 们is added after a noun such as 人it makes that noun plural. Thus 人们 means people.


Population 人 口 rέn kǒu

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人 rέn means man

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口 kǒu means mouth

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Printing (印 刷 yìn shūa)

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印 yìn means to print, engrave, seal, stamp, chop. It is pronounced in the fourth tone.
刷 shūa means to brush, clean, daub, paste. It is pronounced in the first tone.
When the word 第 dì is placed before the number 一, the two words 第一 means First.


Rabbit (tù 兔)

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兔 is pronounced in the fourth tone like the word two.


Rain = 雨 yǔ

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The character 雨 looks very much like rain drops seen through a window, don’t you think?


Royalty = 皇 huáng 族 zú
皇 族 means Imperial Clan

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皇 huáng means emperor or imperial

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族 zú means clan

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Say = 说 shuō

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also means speak or talk


Scales = 鳞 liń 片 piaǹ

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鳞liń = scale of a fish. Note the radical 鱼 yú which means fish on the left side of 鳞.

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片piaǹ = flat, thin piece.

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Second 第 二 dì èr

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Chinese word for number two is 二 èr

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When the word 第 dì

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is placed before the number 一, the two words 第 二 means Second.


Second paragraph = 第 dì 二er̀ 段 duaǹ

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第 dì 二er̀ = Second

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段 duaǹ = paragraph

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Seven = 七 qī

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Since the number 17 (seventeen) consists of ten plus seven, the Chinese translates it as 十 七.
Since the number 117 (one hundred and seventeen) consists of one一 hundred 百and ten 十 and seven 七, the Chinese translates it as 一 百 十 七.


Silk (sī 丝)

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丝 is pronounced sī in the first tone. 丝 resembles coils of fine thread. 丝 means silk.


Six feet = 六尺 liù chǐ 

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Stream = 小 xiǎo 河 hé

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小xiǎo means small, little, minor

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河 hé means river. Note the three Dots radical to the left of 河

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Swim = 游 yóu

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(Note the three dots to the left of 游. A character with the `three dots’ radical usually indicate that the word has something to do with water.)

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