Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Chinese Character of the Day Is....

Bù. By itself, it could be translated as either a noun meaning step (both the kind you take when you walk or the step 1: insert card into ATM, step 2: enter PIN, etc. kind), stage, or situation, or a verb meaning to walk. Of course, translating individual Chinese charaters into English is not the best way to go about learning them and kind of a waste of time, as most of them are rarely used on their own. So, let's see what kinds of trouble 步 (bù) gets into when you put him together with some of his friends.

步行 - bùxíng means to walk.
漫步 - mànbù means to stroll.
地步 - dìbù means plight, condition, or extent.
让步 - ràngbù means to concede or concession
进步 - jìnbù means to progress or progressive

OK, you get the idea. I think it's a pretty interesting character, because, just like in English, it's used both literally and figuratively, and the figurative usage is pretty much the same in both English and Chinese.

If you're curious as to any other uses of this fine character, just look it up in your handy English-Chinese dictionary or go to and see what you can find. It's a very useful site. Oh, and if you're one of the billion-plus people in the world who know Chinese better than I do and have any suggestions or notice something I screwed up, let me know. Later.


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