Sunday, 16 April 2017

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 闻 | 聞

As we have prepared ourselves with 耳, and 门 | 門, today we examine our new character - 闻 | 聞. What meaning of it would you guess? After you have seen below picture, you could understand almost everything 闻 | 聞 is to represent, almost indeed.

闻 | 聞
So it is obvious that 闻 | 聞 was created with the meaning of heard by ears behind a door, which is used to mean listen carefully, as verb

And 闻 | 聞 has been extended to mean news or messages heard as noun.

And now 闻 | 聞 is also used to mean smell. It is a bit hard to explain why, since it has nothing to do with nose. What I can guess is that in ancient China, smell pronounces same as 闻 | 聞 and it was then borrowed to represent the meaning of smell as well.

We can double confirm our reasoning with evolution history of 闻 | 聞 below: (image taken from
evolution history of 闻 | 聞
Its Oracle Script is a drawing of a person () trying to listen clearly with an emphasise of his ear ().

That is all for 闻 | 聞, let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 闻 | 聞 inside:


Our next character will be 闷 | 悶, can you try to guess its meaning?

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