Monday, 29 January 2018

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 燕

Our character today 燕 is another pictograph Chinese character related to bird. Its Oracle script is  and one of its Seal script is . Could you guess which kind of bird it is?

It is a bird which can be commonly seen in China and lives closely together with people. Looking at its tail, Chinese ancestors did emphasise its special characteristics comparing to other birds: the bird with a forked tail!

Now you should tell which bird it is - swallow, as shown in below Chinese painting:
Let us examine its evolution history to see how it changes along the time. (Image taken from:
evolution history of 燕
We can see that it was simplified a lot during Clerical script era: , which is quite close to what we write today. If we look closely again at its modern form - 燕, it is still kind of preserving some sort of the characteristics of a bird.

Now let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 燕 inside:


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