Phiology of Chinese CharactersThis post was edited by zhihu1 at 2018-3-16 13:50
First of all, Chinese characters are not all pictographs. An ancient Chinese scholar named Xu Shen has categorized Chinese characters into pictograms, ideograms, ideogrammic compounds, rebus, phono-smantic compounds, and transformed cognates.
If people who are truly interested in learning genuine Chinese culture and the history or etymology of Chinese characters, they would study from reliable sources instead of reading some articles which intrepret characters arbitarily. Those simply mislead the readers, therefore they are irresponsible. Life is short, and people should spend their precious time to read what are truly valuable.
Many scholars have contributed a lot to the phiology of the Chinese language home and abroad.
For Chinese literates, I would recommend the book named Shuowen Jiezhi.
For foreign readers, I would highly recommend a website hosted by an American sinologist named Richard Sears, aka. Uncle Hanzi (Uncle Chinese Characters.) He has spent 20 years on the research of the etymology of Chinese characters. The website is named "Chineseetymology". Please google it.
The website features:
- Etymology of each character is reliable, as I have double checked some of them.
- The language is in English. It is easy for non-native speakers of Chinese to access.
- It is convenient. You just need to input a Chinese character on the searching box only.
- It is money free, and advertisements free.
I pointed out some mistakes in those articles, but the smug author just turned a deaf ear, and claimed that it is no useful to copy.
If the knowledge is correct, it should be imparted. I don't agree to coin the etymology of Chinese characters groundlessly, to simply tell the fairy tale from the imagination of individuals'. Would you show us some examples according to your comprehension?