ok, ok, that’s not really true.
The translation of Chinese is not a word for word translation, if you try to do this, it would be true that Chinese is NOT translatable.
Learning Chinese seems to be more about the pairing of similar ideas rather than the translation of words. And just like in life, when you combine ideas the result is never the sum of the parts. Words in english, retain their meaning, no matter the proximate word. For instance, woman, always means woman, it is word that symbolizes an actual woman and no matter the sentence it is in, the word always denotes a woman.
In Chinese when the character for Woman when placed in front of the character for Boy, this becomes the idea of “good”. A woman was considered valuable when she could provide a male heir. So the translation of good is not a letter- word driven thing, but a cultural idea expressed through characters.
If you wish to say Madame it would seem likely that the character for Woman would be involved, but this is not the case. Madame is made from two characters, first Man followed by person. So that Madame, or an adult woman, is defined in ancient times as a person who belongs to a man, or a mans person.
Chinese requires thousands of fewer words than english to be fluent, it does not have past or future tense, verb conjugations or even a He or She. As I learn Chinese it reveals itself to be much more like writing/interpreting poetry than it is about spelling and grammer.
We previously featured this link 6 min Chineasy lesson on you tube, Click here. in a entry on Taichi Ideas. Here also is her website link. Chineasy website. Her method of teaching is very quick and effective and memorable!
I am including my character notes as I progress in my learning, I am grouping them in ways that make sense to me in terms of the strokes used to create the characters. I am also including a small indication of the memory tools uses. These notes are the result of about 3 hours of watching and practicing with Chineasy you tube videos. I hope you will join me on this adventure in learning!