At the end of our last lesson of 舟, I showed you the a Bronze Script - it is composed of two parts: (foot) on (boat). what did Chinese ancestor would like to present here? Looking at the same picture shown in our last lesson might give us more ideas:
So we have got the meaning of 前 by checking its Bronze Script, How about its form in other period of ancient China, especially its Oracle Scripts? Let us examine its evolution history as usual: (image get from http://www.vividict.com)
|Learn one Chinese Character a day - 前|
Seal Script started to add (刀) to to vividly describe the scene that a fast moving boat with its fore part dividing the water like a knife.
Clerical Scripthas mistaken to while has been simplified to . Whenever we see as a Radical of one Chinese character, it is always related to knife or sharpness. After Clerical Script period, was further simplified to and finalised at Regular Script - 前. Till then, 前 has lost almost all context which its Oracle Script or Bronze Script has.
We are lucky that archaeologist recovered the evolution history for us that we can now better understand our Chinese characters.
That is it, let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 前 inside: