Saturday, July 6, 2013

A message to my little brother

Hey Bro*

I was sitting in a coffee shop this morning, and realised how often I think about you while I'm learning Chinese.  Here, let me show you …

Take a look at this (poorly-taken) image from the book** that I'm reading at the moment for learning to read ...

I won't bore you with the details, but the method I use basically breaks complex characters into components - then you create an image that uses all those components, which is easy to remember.
  • So you can see that #2279 has two halves - the left half means little brother (uhm, that's YOU!) and the right half (those two lines) means sword/sabre/knife. And you can see on the very right of the page, that overall character means shave. So the methods requires me to create an image of those words … so obviously the image I have in my mind is of YOU shaving with a sword!  (Glad you got rid of that beard!)
  • Similarly #2280 involves YOU and a road - I picture us standing outside [the home where we grew up], on opposite sides of the ROAD (辶 means, in general, 'road'), and you're HANDING OVER something to me. Doesn't matter what you're giving me - it's the process of handing something over. And that's the image.
  • In #2281 I'm stuck in a TREE (that's the 木 character on the left), and YOU are climbing up a LADDER to help me down.

The 'little brother' component is quite common, and you can see it is connected with such different words - but ultimately all those images involve you. So thanks for 'joining me' while I study Chinese. I look forward to your next visit out to Hong Kong.


* Yes I sometimes call him 'Bro'. Don't judge me :-)
** This is from Heisig Book2. You can read my whole collection of Heisig articles here.

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