Monday, October 26, 2015

A Character a Day 人



Video script:
Good morning my friend. In this video, we are going to talk about this character . It means human, person.  First, let's see how to write it.
The oldest writing of this character looks like this. I think it looks like a person is bending down his body, and working in the field.
The modern writing looks like a person is striding ahead towards this direction. What do you think?
also works as a building block to construct more characters. Let's see this character, .  There are two , standing side by side.  Or we can say one person is following another one. This character means follow.
Now I am adding another person into this group, and we get this character , which means crowd. The idea behind the designing of new character based on existing character is pretty straight here.
can be used by itself. But more often it is combined with other characters to form words. Such as, 男人; , male, 男人 male person, that is man;  Another example,女人, , female; 女人 female person, that is woman; 
大人 , big, 大人big person, that is adult.  But in certain context, such as in the historical play, you may hear the word大人, which is a title of respect toward superiors, such as, lordship.

We just talked about the big person, 大人, what about the small person Yes,  that will be 小人, little, small; 小人,  little person. 
Since 大人, big person, means adult, does 小人, small person, means child?  That may be correct. Its meaning really depends on the context.  If this word is used to refer to another person, its meaning is negative. It means a base person, a vile character. This meaning is still widely used nowadays. While in some historical play, a person may use this word to refer to himself humbly.
That's all for today. Thanks for watching. I will see you soon. :)