Tag: characterplay


05

Apr 2010

Chinese Character Creations for Modern Times

You’ll have to be following Chinese internet memes to get all of these, but there are some clever ones:

Created Characters - Chinese Internet Memes
Source

The character creations are fusings of various characters. They are:

> Row 1, left: 亚克西

> Row 1, right: 贵国

> Row 2, left: 代表

> Row 2, right: 屁民

> Row 3, left: 党中央

> Row 3, right: 五毛

I won’t comment on the meanings of these internet memes because I’m not very familiar with all of them, and anyway, this is an apolitical blog. 🙂


Previous character creations on Sinosplice: Character Creations, Chinese Characters for Christmas


22

Dec 2007

Chinese Characters for Christmas

“Christmas” in Chinese is, of course, 圣诞节, but in the spirit of my previous Character Creations, I’ve created two new single characters that mean “Christmas.”

Sinosplice Christmas Characters

Character Notes: some radicals in the creations above were chosen for semantic reasons, but many elements were chosen for purely visual purposes. In some cases I purposely shunned a more obvious option (such as for “tree” or for “star”) because they didn’t have the visual effect I wanted. In the case of , it not only looks more like a traditional star-shape than , but it has Biblical meaning as well.


Other Christmas fun on Sinosplice:

Chinese Christmas Song Album [direct download] – Ding Ding Dong: Hakka Jingle Bells [direct download] – Christmas Classics in Cantonese
All Christmas posts

Have a very merry Christmas, everyone!


04

Mar 2007

Four Character Puzzle

In Chongqing my wife’s cousin gave her a Buddhist pendant as a gift. On one side was a form which consisted of four Chinese characters blended together. Can you see them?

4 Character Riddle

The four characters together actually form a (Buddhist?) saying. For the answer, see below. (more…)


21

Jan 2007

ICBC’s Creative Character Writing

I’ve written about this before. I like creative ways of writing of Chinese characters. Here’s a simple one by 工商银行 (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China):

融汇贯通

The characters read 融汇贯通, a kind of financial service the bank offers. The red part in 融 is the bank’s logo. The red part in 汇 looks similar to the bank’s logo, but actually more closely resembles half of an old-style Chinese coin, with the square hole in the middle. (The character 汇 refers to “currency.”)


02

Dec 2006

Lin Danda

Commenter Marco e-mailed me this great visual Chinese joke (translation and explanation follows):

Lin Danda

Translation of the joke (and you do need the visual above to understand it):

> A primary school teacher was returning test papers. She called out again and again, “Lin Danda! Lin Danda!” But none of the children came forward to collect the test paper.

> Finally, the teacher asked, “is there anyone that hasn’t gotten a test paper back? Please come to the front.”

> One little boy unhappily approached the teacher at the front of the classroom. He said to her, “Teacher, my name isn’t Lin Danda. I’m Chu Zhongtian.”

Sorry, if you can’t read the Chinese characters, there’s nothing to get. For those that want the explanation, read on.

(more…)


02

Sep 2006

One Finger Zen IT

I found this Japanese Hitachi ad in a local Japanese magazine. I really like seeing Chinese characters played with in creative ways. This is just one example.

One Finger Zen IT

The characters in the ad are 一指禅, which I have written about before.


22

Feb 2006

Character Creations

An older post by ChinoChano brought my attention to an amusing page on Chinese-Tools.com called New Chinese Characters. The characters are created by foreigners using existing character components (some knowledge of Chinese required). Some of them are pretty funny. Anyway, the page inspired me to create a few new characters of my own:

Sinosplice Character Creations #1

Key:

1. 口 (mouth) + 蒜 (garlic)
2. 口 (mouth) + 死 (death)
3. four 口 (mouths) + 女 (woman), arrangement based on 器
4. 肉 (meat) on top of 凹 (which means “concave” but represents the taco shell here). (Variant form adds the 鱼 (fish) radical.)
5. 贝 (cowrie, used in characters to mean “money,” as in 财, 购) over 众 (used as a pictographic representation of downlines)
6. 山 (mountain, but broken)

I suspect I will do more of these in the future. It’s kinda fun.


09

Jun 2005

Inscrutable Characters

Last week Tian at Hanzi Smatter had a really cool post on the “Book From The Sky,” an art exhibit consisting of a book printed from hand-carved wood blocks. What makes the book so special is that the thousands of characters in the book were all created by the artist, Xu Bing, using existing character elements — a sort of “faux Chinese.”

xubing_tianshu01

xubing_tianshu02

This sort of reminds me of a game I used to play with my tutor back when I first started studying Chinese at UF. I would “make up” a Chinese character based on existing elements I knew and write it out, and my tutor would tell me what character it was. The idea was to “stump” my tutor by coming up with a nonexistent character. The simpler the character, the more glory. It was very hard for me to stump my tutor as a first year Chinese student (although I had had two years’ study of Japanese). I was amazed at how many characters I could “invent” that already existed. Xu Bing has done it thousands of times and made it into a book. None of his characters appear to be very simple, however.

Visually, the characters remind me of the characters of China’s Western Xia civilization (西夏文字). They, too, look like Chinese characters, but are, on average, much more complex.

Here’s a corny picture of me posing with some 西夏文字:

Xia Characters

The name of the script in English is apparently Tangut.

I tried to find a good book on Tangut script in Yinchuan, but I couldn’t find one. I did learn in the museum, though, that the Tangut script was created by a king of the short-lived civilization. They were also extremely complex — possibly needlessly so. For example, why does the character meaning “one” need to be 5 strokes (in Chinese it’s simply “一”)? You may say, “sure, it’s 5 strokes for ‘one,’ but the script makes up for that in other ways.” But no, I don’t think it does. According to the information at the museum, all the Tangut characters were at least as complex as their Mandarin equivalents, most being more complex.

Not all civilizations value simplicity and efficient orthography, I guess. And not all civilizations survive. (By this logic, the Koreans will be our overlords one day.)


24

Mar 2005

转字游戏

我喜欢玩儿汉字。这是我自己想出的一个游戏。

zhuanziyouxi

(下面有答案。)
(more…)



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