The clothes radical

It’s easy to confuse the “altar radical” with the “clothes radical”. The “clothes radial” distinguishes itself by having on the side two short strokes instead of one. If you examine the character (yī clothes, garment), it should be easy to see why.

龙袍 (lóng páo dragon gown) or 黄袍 (huáng páo yellow gown) is the splendid yellow robe worn by ancient Chinese emperors. 长袍 (chángpáo) is a long gown worn by Chinese gentlemen. For formal occasions, you will often see them wearing a 马褂 (mǎguà a vest or a short jacket) over the long gown. 旗袍 (qípáo cheongsam) is a lady’s body-hugging dress with a high collar and a slit skirt.

Shirts are called 衬衫 (chènshān), and sleeves are called (xiù) or 袖子 (xiùzi). Trousers or pants are called (kù) or 裤子 (kùzi). Similarly, skirts are called (qún) or 裙子 (qúnzi). If you wish to purchase a pair of socks, then ask for 袜子 (wàzi).

(bǔ) means to mend, to make up, to replenish, to nourish, or to enhance and strengthen. How about using “boost” as a mnemonic for this word? 补充 (bǔchōng) is to replenish. As an adjective, it means supplementary. 补课 (bǔkè) is to make up a missed lesson. 修补 (xiūbǔ) is to mend or repair.

充裕 (chōngyù abundant, ample) is interchangeable with 充足 (chōngzú ample, sufficient).

包袱 (bāofu) is a bundle wrapped in cloth. Now that manufactured bags are readily available, few people would bundle things up in a cloth-wrapper to carry around with them. This term is mostly used to refer to a mental or emotional burden.

被褥 (bèirù) refers to bedding. A quilted comforter is called 被子 (bèizǐ). A blanket is called 毯子 (tǎnzi).

(bèi) is also used in conjunction with transitive verbs to indicate the passive voice in a sentence. We have seen a few examples of such sentences in my 7/6/11 blog post.

褴褛 (lánlǚ) means shabby.

Nàge qǐgài yī shān lánlǚ.
That beggar looks shabby.

I think, after a hard day’s work or studying, you will appreciate the carefree sentiment expressed in this most delightful song, “晚霞满渔船” (Wǎnxiá Mǎn Yúchuán A Boatful of Evening Glow).

The lyrics were written by, 严友梅 (Yán Yǒuméi), a well-known writer who contributed much to children’s literature in Taiwan. Among her works is a Chinese translation of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. In this recording by 刘文正 (Liú Wénzhèng), the (ā ah, oh) sound comes across nicely in the singer’s male voice. For a female voice, you may find the original (wū ooh) sound,as in John Lennen’s “Woman”, more pleasing.

轻风 (qīngfēng) a light breeze
(chuī) blow
(piāo) to flow or to flutter
衣衫 (yī shān), or 衣服 (yīfu), or 衣裳 (yīshang), clothes, garment
临流 (lín liú) facing the current
垂钓 (chuídiào) angling
夕阳 (xīyáng) evening sun (we learned this word on 1/28/12)
天边 (tiānbiān) at the boundary of the sky, i.e. on the horizon.
彩云 (cǎi yún) colorful clouds
绚烂 (xuànlàn) splendid
四野 (sìyě) surrounding open country, (sì) referring to all four directions.
炊烟 (chuīyān) smoke from cooking
(qǐ) to rise, to get up or to start
(mù) to herd
(guī) to return
走过 (zǒu guò) walking past
杨柳 (yángliǔ) willow
(àn) riverbank or seashore
You know that (lè) means being happy. 陶然 (táorán) is a literary expression describing a state of being carefree.
晚霞 (wǎnxiá) evening glow
(mǎn) full
渔船 (yúchuán) fishing boat

As a tribute to the memory of 严友梅 (Yán Yǒuméi), whom I had the honor of meeting once in my childhood, here is my singable English translation of her beautiful verses:

Gentle breezes flutter my loose hems.
I sink the line and watch the sun descend.
Chimney smoke soars to meet the tinted sky;
A homeward calf leaves the willowed riverside.
Ooh …
Ooh ….
Glad and free, I sing and tow away
The glow of sunset, my catch of the day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: