Saturday, August 27, 2005

Chinese Character of the Day

Xīng. This character can be directly translated as star, bit, or particle. It's another character that has literal meanings as well as figurative ones. It is made up of 日(rì) on the top meaning sun and 生(shēng) on the bottom meaning to give birth to, living, or life. I suppose all suns begin as stars, so it makes some sense. If nothing else, it's a good way to remember how to write it. 星 (xīng) is often found alongside other characters that, together, form words. Let's check some of 'em out.

星期 - xīngqī means week
星期一 - xīngqīyī means Monday
星期二 - xīngqī'èr means Tuesday and so on...
星系 - xīngxì means galaxy
卫星 - wèixīng means satellite
影星 - yǐngxīng means movie star
星座 - xīngzuò means constellation or zodiac sign
外星人 - wàixīngrén means alien (space kind, not illegal kind)
星象家 - xīngxiàngjiā means astrologist
克星 - kèxīng means unlucky star or nemesis

I think that's enough to keep ya'll occupied for a while. It's interesting that this character can be used in the same way as it's used in English as another term for a well known singer or actor. As usual, look this character up in your dictionary or consult for more info. The aforementioned website is especially useful for finding uses of a character where it's not located in the front of the word. Let me know if there's anything that's unclear or if I made any mistakes. Take it easy, everyone.


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