#12 – Emperor’s Symbol

English Excerpt:

Page 3

We now think that the dragon idea may have been inspired by the giant Yangzi alligator, or earth dragon which lives in the lower Yangzi River and can grow to a length of nearly 2 meters 6 feet. The alligator is sensitive to changes in air pressure and appears to know when rain is coming.

EMPEROR’S SYMBOL

Chinese children were told that when the Yellow Emperor died, he became a dragon and flew into Heaven. From then on, the yellow dragon with five claws on each foot became a symbol of imperial power. The Emperor’s throne was called the Dragon Throne and his robe the Dragon Robe. Only the Emperor was allowed to wear clothes embroidered with a yellow dragon. In ancient times, any person who dared to wear such robes without permission was suspected of treason and might even be executed.


Chinese Translation:

We (我 们 wǒmén) now (现 在 xiàn zài) think that the dragon (龙 lóng) idea may have been inspired by the giant (巨 大 jù dà) Yangzi (杨 子 Yáng Zǐ) alligator (鳄 鱼 è yú), or 土 龙 tǔ lóng (earth dragon) which lives in the lower Yangzi River (杨子江 Yáng Zǐ Jiāng) and can grow to a length of nearly 2 meters (二 米 èr mǐ) 6 feet (六尺 liù chǐ).  The alligator (鳄 鱼 è yú) is sensitive to changes in air (空 气 kōng qì) pressure and appears to know when rain (雨yǔ) is coming.

EMPEROR’S (皇帝 HUÁNG DÌ) SYMBOL

Chinese (中国zhōng guó) children (小孩 xiǎo hái) were told that when the Yellow Emperor (黄帝huáng dì) died (死 sǐ), he (他 tā) became a dragon (龙 lóng) and flew (飞 fēi) into Heaven (天国tiān guó).  From then on, the yellow (黄huáng) dragon 龙 with five (五 wǔ) claws (爪zhuǎ) on each foot (足 zú) became a symbol of imperial power.  The Emperor’s throne (帝位dì wèi) was called the Dragon Throne (龙位lóng wèi) and his robe (袍 páo) the Dragon Robe (龙袍 lonǵ paó).  Only the Emperor 皇帝 was allowed to wear (穿 chuān) clothes (衣服 yī fú) embroidered with a yellow 黄 dragon 龙.  In ancient times, any person (人rén) who dared to wear (穿chuān) such robes 袍 without permission was suspected of treason and might even be executed.


Vocabulary

1. Now =  现 在 xiàn zi


2. Giant = 巨 大 jù dà  

means gigantic, enormous, huge or tremendous


3. Alligator = 鳄 鱼 è yú .
https://chinesecharacteraday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/E-Yu.mp3 
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.


4. Earth Dragon =土 龙 tǔ lóng .  

土 means earth or soil.


5. Yangzi River = 杨子江 Yáng Zǐ Jiāng


6. Yangzi River is also called 长 江 cháng jiāng .

The word 长 cháng means long

and 江 jiāng means river.

Note the three dots radical to the left of the word 江 indicating that 江 has something to do with water.

Yang Zi Jiang is the longest river in Asia, measuring 6300 kilometers.  It is the third longest river in the world, following the Amazon in South America and the Nile in Africa.


7. 2 meters = 二 米 èr mǐ


8. 6 feet = 六尺 liù chǐ 


9. Air =  空 气  kōng qì 


10. Emperor = 皇帝 huáng dì 


11. Children = 小孩  xiǎo hái

小 xiǎo  means small, little, tiny.

孩hái  means child 


12. Yellow Emperor = 黄帝huáng dì 

The word  黄 huáng means the color yellow.

It is pronounced in the same tone as 皇 which means Imperial or royal.


13. Yellow  Dragon = 黄龙 huáng lóng 

Yellow = 黄huáng 

Dragon  = 龙 lóng 


14.  Heaven = 天 国 tiān guó = Kingdom in the Sky 

天 tiān means sky, heaven, overhead or day

国 guó means country or kingdom.


15. Five Claws = 五 wǔ 爪 zhuǎ 

five  = 5 = 五 wǔ 

claws      = 爪 zhuǎ


16. Foot = 足 zú 

or 脚jiǎo

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.


17. Emperor’s throne = 帝位dì wèi 

帝dì = Emperor 

位 wèi = throne , seat or place 


18.  Dragon throne =龙位lóng wèi 

Dragon =龙lóng 

Throne = 位wèi  also means seat or place. 


19. Dragon Robe = 龙袍 lonǵ paó 

Dragon  =龙  lonǵ 

Robe      = 袍 paó 


20. Wear = 穿 chuān 


21. Clothes = 衣服 yī fú