Chinese Characters



Main meanings:

①one thousand; many.

HSK - 2




Elements  ----  One 一 person 人. Phonetic series 千.

One of the simplest pictograms with many theories about its etymology. I think Liu Zhiji’s the most interesting. He says that as in Old China people used their fingers for counting, making emphasis in one (finger), five (a hand), ten (two hands), etc, one 一 whole body 人 is a good way of represent many, thousand. Later two 二 whole bodies were used for two thousand, three 三for three thousand, etc. It forms part of some simplified characters.

Main Words:

千万 qiānwàn ten million; (tens of) millions; by all means; absolutely

万千 wànqiān multifarious; myriad.

Discussion and sources

Many authors have proposed different theories trying to explain this character. Zheng Huisheng says it is a big number; Liao Wenhao ten people; Liang Dexiu the thousands of hairs in the thigh.

Liang Dexiu y Zhao Chunshu (梁德秀- 赵春茹). 300 essential characters for the student - Dictionary with graphic explanation of Chinese characters (小学生必备300 字 - 汉字图释字典). Encyclopedia Publishing House. Beijing. 2014. 

Liao Wenhao (廖文豪).The tree of Chinese Characters. (汉字树). Beijing United Pusblishing. Beijing. 2014.

Liu Zhiji, Zhang Deshao and Zang Kehe. The World of Chinese characters. Shanghai Educational Publishing House. Shanghai. 2001.

Zheng Huisheng (郑慧生). Analyzing the structure of Chinese characters (汉字结构解析). Henan University Press. Zhengzhou. 2011. 

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