Saturday, 21 November 2015

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 亿 | 億

Now we are fully prepared for the next Chinese character which means "100 million". Following the logic path of creating "十", “百”, “千” and "万", How will be the next milestone of a person after having offspring?

Let us look at the evolution history of "100 million" ( image get from ) -
Learn one Chinese Character a day - 亿
I guess at age of Oracle Script, there is no need for counting numbers at base of "100 million", thus there is no founding of it in Oracle Script.
When it came to Bronze Script , recall what we have learnt in our previous lessons, it was "言" on top and "口" on bottom, which means "keeps talking and talking". Is not this a typical behaviour of a elderly person? They would like to share with you all their good or bad memories, tears or joys in their lives.
When it came to Seal Script , I guess Chinese ancestors note that "百" contains the meaning of talks a lot as well, so they decided to add more Radicals to  to differentiate it from "百".  is composed of  and ( is in term composed of  and ). It emphasized the meaning of "a person keeps speaking from their hearts".

Or maybe we can view it from a different angle to reach the same idea. Kongzi ( ), the creator of Confucianism ( ), once said that at age of 70, a person () should be able to follow [ what () speaks from ] his heart () freely without transgressing. It can also be concluded that refers to an elderly age.

So Bronze Script or Seal Script used the Chinese character creation principle "Logical aggregates" to mean elderly age of a person. And this meaning is then borrowed to mean "100 million".

Clerical Script and Regular Script simplified it a bit to become "". At age of Regular Script, a simplified version of "亿" appeared, as "乙" has the same pronunciation as "意" (意 is right part of 億). People started to borrow "乙" to replace "意" while writing "100 million".

Traditional Chinese uses "", while Simplified Chinese uses "亿".

Please take note that 人 (亻)is a commonly used Chinese Radical. Same as "心".
Whenever you see a 亻in a Chinese character, that 亻always refers to a person.

Below is a explanation of Chinese Radical from
A Chinese radical (Chinese部首pinyinbùshǒu; literally: "section header") is a graphical component of a Chinese character under which the character is traditionally listed in a Chinese dictionary. This component is often a semantic indicator (that is, an indicator of the meaning of the character), though in some cases the original semantic connection has become obscure owing to changes in character meaning over time. In other cases the radical may be a phonetic component or even an artificially extracted portion of the character.
Now we have finished almost all Chinese numbers. Using almost here is because that we have numbers now in trillions. One Chinese character was borrowed to mean "Trillion" recently. But we can leave that alone for now.

Some example numbers:

123,456,789,123 - 一千二百三十四亿五千六百七十八万九千一百二十三。

Let us enjoy a Chinese Calligraphy with "億 | 亿" inside to end today's learning:
钟声传三千界内, 佛法扬万亿国中

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