Thursday, March 21, 2013

Counting to THR三三

Following on from the recent post I did on The 'correct' (sic) way to count in Chinese, it reminded me of a sign I saw when visiting Singapore on business a couple of weeks ago.  I think it was a restaurant, and the name of the place was:  FIV五

I liked that :-)  It was an interesting way of merging the English alphabet with Chinese characters, and I started wondering how much I could extend this ...

In terms of single digit numbers, this is what I came up with ...


Sadly, 1 & 2 can't be done nicely, and even 0, 4 & 7 are pushing it a bit!

For bigger numbers ...


(I'm quite proud of the last one, but the way. Be sure to leave comments below to tell me how much it impressed you too :-)

Will this make the quality of your life better?   No.
Will it help you learn Chinese better?   I doubt it.
Is it interesting?   I think so.
Should you leave a comment below?   Absolutely!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The 'correct' (sic) way to count in Chinese

I'm sure you've all seen cartoons of people in prison or on dessert islands, counting the number of days that they have been there. Here is a Punch cartoon, showing the usual way this is done ... each of the first four counts gets a vertical line, and the fifth one is represented by crossing through those four.

I was told a couple of years ago about an equivalent method that Chinese people use, also counting to five, but instead it uses the Chinese character 正 (zhèng - which means 'correct' or 'proper').

You can see the stroke order for this character here:

Or if you prefer the animated version:

So yes, that's how (at least some of) the Chinese do it.  You can use it to count the number of days in a row you practise flashcards, how many times you phoned your mom this month, or anything else You want to count ...