Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Character of the Day

Yān. No matter where you go, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In China, however, where there’s smoke, there are plenty of uses for this character. By itself, it means smoke or cigarette and will be the subject of today’s first original episode of COTD since going on hiatus in mid-October. It’s comprised of huǒ () on the left and yīn () on the right. Huǒ means fire, and yīn means reason or cause. Clearly, yān isn’t the most logical character, but that’s alright. Not many are, really. It still makes it pretty easy to remember how to write and recognize. Anyway, let’s take a look on how it’s used in combination with other characters.

烟草 – yāncǎo means tobacco
烟囱 – yāncōng means chimney or stovepipe
烟蒂 – yāndì means cigarette butt
烟斗 – yāndǒu means pipe
烟灰 – yānhuī means ashes
烟灰缸 – yānhuīgāng means ashtray
烟火 – yānhuǒ means smoke and fire or fireworks
吸烟 – xīyān means to smoke (cigarettes)
戒烟 – jièyān means to quit smoking (cigarettes)
香烟 – xiāngyān means cigarette
抽烟 – chōuyān means to smoke (cigarettes)

So, there they are. As you can see, this character is often associated with smoking cigarettes. This is useful, as there’s a lot of that going on in China. So, that’s it for today. Oh yeah, if you read this and have any suggestions regarding what I should include here or whatever, let me know. I want to change the setup of this thing, but I’m not sure how I’m going to go about it yet. Ok, that’s it. Bye.


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