The Sound of Xiao

The second tile bears the word 笑

XIAO pronounced in the fourth tone.  The letter X is pronounced as SH in Chinese.  Thus Xiao is pronounced like Shiao.

Please note that 笑 consists of top and bottom halves.  The top half is the symbol 竹  ZHU

pronounced in the second tone.  The letters Zh in Chinese is pronounced like the letter J.  Thus Zhu sounds like Jew.

The word竹 zhu means bamboo.  Like the three dots (water radical) on the left half of the character 活 we studied in our previous lesson, 竹 is also a radical.  When you see 竹 at the top of a Chinese character, that word often (but not always) has something to do with bamboo.

Thus the words竽,  竿,笆,笈,笙,筐 all have something to do with bamboo or reeds.

Please try to remember the shape and number of strokes in these radicals wherever possible.  Chinese words are arranged in a dictionary according to the number夏 of strokes under their respective radicals.  To look up the word 活, you search for the three dots’ radical for water.  Under the three dots’ radical section, you count the number of strokes in the right half of the word舌, then look for the word 活。Words are arranged in the ascending order according to the number of strokes used in writing them.  Thus  活 comes after 江 (river) but before 涯 (waterfront) in a Chinese dictionary.

To return to the word 笑

XIAO, the bottom half of the word is

TIAN which means sky or heaven.

笑 means to laugh, to smile, to grin, to giggle.  When you look at the word, it resembles a happy face with laughing eyes and upturned lips.

笑 话

xiao hua  means joke.   笑  means laughing.  话 means conversation.

笑 声

xiao sheng means sound of laughter.  声  means sound.

笑 容

xiao rong means laughing face.  容 means face or countenance

笑 一 笑

xiao yi xiao means `give a smile’.  一 means one.

For your homework,  please type the character 笑 twenty times.

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