Monday, 16 November 2015

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 万 | 萬

Same for the lesson on "千", please think again about the question “How would you create the Chinese character to mean ten thousand after knowing original meanings of 十, 百 and 千?”

Before answering the question, let us see 万 | 萬 evolution history first: ( image get from

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 万 | 萬

Looking at Oracle Script of traditional version 萬, does it not look like a baby stretches out its hands to ask for something? Bronze Script added a handto mean to hold the baby.
Baby held in arm

It is now quite obvious that Chinese ancestors considered the next milestone of a person is "to have offspring". So  and   were used to mean next number after "千" as "Ten Thousand".
Evolved and been simplified further from Seal Script  to Clerical Script , it is very close to what we used now for traditional version of "Ten Thousand" - .

As for simplified version 万, it suddenly appeared in Clerical Script. Chinese Linguists guess that it was related to Buddhism symbol 卐.

万  (Simplified Version) | 萬 (Traditional Version) means "Ten Thousand".

Some example numbers:

123456 - 一十二万三千四百五十六。

Now it is time to enjoy a Chinese Calligraphy with "万 | 萬" inside.
In Chinese numbering system, there is one more character "亿" after "万", and "亿" means "one hundred million". Again, if it were you, how would you create a character to mean "one hundred million"?

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