On the Chinese characters ‘山’ and ‘水’: 说“山”“水”

Dekuan HUANG (Translator), Liping BAI (Translator)

    Research output: Journal PublicationsArticle (Translation)


    The character “山” (mountain) is a pictograph; in oracle-bone script, it looks like three mountains. The number three in Chinese means multitude; so, three mountains represent a chain of mountains. Later, three mountains were simplified into three vertical strokes: this is how the Chinese character “山” came into being. “山”字是一个象形字,甲骨文中的“山”字就像三座山峰的样子。汉语中“三”这个数字往往表示数量多,所以用三座“山峰”代表层层的山峦。为了简便,后来三座“山峰”被简化成三竖,这就是现代汉字“山”的来历。
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)26-29
    Number of pages4
    JournalThe World of Chinese = 汉语世界
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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