Mandarin is the single most spoken language in the world today with around 1.3 billion people who consider it their first language. The written origins of the language have been traced back to 1250 BC in the late Shang dynasty. Along with Tamil, Chinese is one of the oldest surviving languages in the world.
Unlike today’s modern languages based on alphabets and syllabaries. What makes mandarin unique is that Mandarin and Japanese kanji are logograms, it is a written character that represents a word or phrase, just like the Egyptian hieroglyphs. For those looking for a meaningful Chinese tattoo, look no further, here are 9 of the most amazing Chinese words unlike the typical dragon, phoenix, strong, and etc symbols. What is the most beautiful word in the Chinese language? Here are 9 of them.
↑ 忍字心上一把刀, 不忍刀下刺心窝。
The Chinese word (also Japanese Kanji) for patience is 忍, it consist of 2 other Chinese characters, they are 刀 (Knife) and 心 (heart). The idea is that one must always be patience, if we fail to do so, we shall be punished by our anger. This can be seen where the knife 刀 will fall and pierce our heart 心, subsequently wounding ourselves. Confucius once said, before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
心 is a very simple Chinese word. Life is simple, if we choose to see things in a positive way, life will always be positive. Confucius once said, “Life’s really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
↑ 飯後一根煙, 快樂似神仙。 明知火燒西土, 為何还要抽煙?
Written in the Traditional Chinese – 煙 consist of 3 character, 火 (Fire), 西 (West), and 土 (Land). Based on the Chinese Legend 西游记 (Journey to the West), when 西 and 土 combined, it means Heaven or Afterlife. On the other hand, when all 3 combined, it reads as Smoke or Smoking. Why in the world would someone smokes knowing that the action of smoking means to burn heaven? Ideal for an anti-smoking advertisement.
危機 is composed of two words. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity. It was beautifully misquoted by President JFK in one of his speeches, unfortunately, it doesn’t mean Opportunity in Crisis, it simply means ‘In Time of Danger’. None the less, there is now a word for it in English – Crisitunity, as coined by Homer from the cartoon Simpsons. Undeniably, the ‘Opportunity in Crisis’ meaning is much more romantic.
↑ 愛字里， 一顆心。 没有心， 如何愛?
愛 (Love in Traditional Chinese / Japanese kanji) has another Chinese character within it, that is 心 (Heart). Therefore how can a person loves when he or she loves without a heart?
↑ 心脏鼓动即是胎儿在母腹听的第一声, 葬礼鼓拍仿佛妈妈的心跳声, 也将是死者听的最后一声。
In Japanese Kanji (Chinese words used in the Japanese language) the word 鼓童 (Kodō) conveys two meanings – “heartbeat” the primal source of all rhythm and, read in a different way, the word can mean “children of the drum”.
The belief is that the first sound every humans heard is the beating of their mother’s heart, therefore in traditional Asian funeral possession, there will be drums playing from the start of the possession until it reaches the final resting place, in hope that the last ‘heartbeat’ sound generated by the drum’s vibration vibrates through the deceased for the last time – the rhythm of life.
↑ 九龍北部的八條山脈亦即為龍脈, 再加上皇帝自己, 便是九條龍脈。
9th Dragon, also known as Kowloon in Cantonese. The name Kowloon is made up of two Cantonese words (a Chinese dialect), ‘Kow’ meaning nine and ‘loon’ meaning dragon. Legend has it that a boy emperor who once lived here noticed there were eight hills so he called them the ‘Eight Dragons’. An adviser quickly pointed out that the emperor was wrong and the place should be known as ‘Nine Dragons’, for these are 9 dragons since the emperor himself is considered to be a dragon. In life, be the 9th dragon.