March in Chinese

水仙花 (shuǐxiàn huā) Daffodils

水仙花 (shuǐxiàn huā) Daffodils


If you know that (yuè) stands for “month”, and you can count to 12 in Chinese, then you know how to say the names of the twelve months in Chinese. March is the third month of a year. Therefore, it is called 三月 (sānyuè). Last year about this time we learned a song called 三月里的小雨 (Sānyuè Li De Xiǎoyǔ Light Rain in March). If you would like to review that lesson, here is a quick link.

In English, to march means to walk forward or to advance with determination. The corresponding Chinese word is (xíng), which happens to have a number of other meanings as well.

行军 (xíngjūn) refers to the marching of troops.

行人 (xíngrén) are pedestrians. 人行道 (rénxíngdào) is a walkway for people, i.e. a sidewalk or pavement. A one-way road is called 单行线 (dānxíngxiàn).

自行车 (zìxíngchē) and 脚踏车 (jiǎotàchē) both refer to a bicycle.

旅行 (lǚxíng) is a journey or travel. You can also use this word as a verb. 旅行社 (lǚxíng shè) is a travel agency. You might contact them to arrange a plane ticket or to inquire about joining a 旅行团 (lǚxíng tuán tourist group).

我们打算参加旅行团到日本去玩.
Wǒmén dǎsuàn cānjiā lǚxíng tuán dào rìběn qù wán.
We plan to join a travel group to tour Japan.

送行 (sòngxíng) is to see someone off. 行程 (xíngchéng) is an itinerary or the distance of travel.

行李 (xínglǐ) means luggage or baggage. This is not to be confused with 行礼 (xínglǐ to salute), in which (xíng) means “to do”. Following are a few other examples of using the word in this sense.

实行 (shíxíng) means to carry out or to execute a plan or a policy. 行为 (xíngwéi) means behavior or conduct.

进行 (jìnxíng) means to march on or to be in progress. It also means to get on a task.

警方正在进行调查.
Jǐngfāng zhèngzài jìnxíng diàochá.
The police are conducting an investigation.

Many people say “ (xíng)!” instead of “ (hǎo)!” for “All right.” Or “Okay.” Correspondingly, if they say ” 不行 (bùxíng)”, that means they are refusing your request (no go).

行不通 (xíngbùtōng) means going nowhere.

这样做是行不通的.
Zhèyàng zuò shì xíngbùtōng de.
This won’t do. (This won’t work.)

(xíng) also means being competent or capable.

他在音乐方面很行.
Tā zài yīnyuè fāngmiàn hěn xíng.
He is good at music.

When pronounced as (háng), this word means a row, or the seniority among siblings. It also means a trade or line of business. Please review the discussion posted on 12/7/11.

内行 (nèiháng) means being adept at a task or knowledgeable about a subject matter.

If your friends are chagrined that their offspring refuses to study to become a doctor or a lawyer, but instead chooses literature or art, you could comfort them with this Chinese saying:

三百六十行, 行行出状元.
Sān bǎi liù shí háng, háng háng chū zhuàngyuan.
One could achieve greatness in any one of the 360 (i.e. very many) trades.

状元 (zhuàngyuan) is one who earned the top grade in the highest imperial examination in old China. This term refers to the very best in any field. Who knows? Your friends’ son or daughter just might make it big as a writer or an artist.

Learn Chinese word radical – Horse

You already know that (mā) (ma) contain the “horse” radical. There are quite a few other characters that also do.

Last week we saw how a crow was cheated out of a piece of meat by a sly fox. (piàn) is to deceive or cheat someone. 哄骗 (hǒngpiàn) and 欺骗 (qīpiàn) also mean to to deceive or dupe someone. 哄骗 (hǒngpiàn) leans on the side of coaxing or humoring someone, while 欺骗 (qīpiàn) is not well-intended. 蒙骗 (mēngpiàn) is to hoodwink or to deceive. 骗子 (piànzi) is a swindler or trickster.

你别骗我.
Nǐ bié piàn wǒ.
Don’t’ lie to me. (Don’t try to fool me.)

那个推销员是个骗子.
Nàge tuīxiāo yuán shì gè piànzi.
That salesperson is a crook.

我被他骗走了一百块钱.
Wǒ bèi tā piàn zǒu le yī bǎi kuài qián.
I was cheated out of a $100 by him.

Understandably a number of words pertaining to riding or driving assume the horse radical.

(chí) is to gallop or speed forward.

(jià) is to harness a horse, drive a car, sail a boat or fly a plane. (shǐ) has the same meaning. These two words usually go together – 驾驶 (jiàshǐ).

驱驶 (qūshǐ) also means to drive, but usually in the sense of pushing someone to do something.

(yù), or 驾驭 (jiàyù), is to drive a carriage. 驾驭 (jiàyù) also means to control.

(qí) is to ride an animal, such as a horse, or to ride a bicycle.

我想骑脚踏车横跨美国.
Wǒ xiǎng qí jiǎotàchē héngkuà Měiguó.
I’d like to ride my bike across the United States.

(zhù) is to make a stop or to be stationed at a place. So, 驻美代表 (zhù Měi dàibiǎo) means a delegate stationed in the USA.

(tuó) is to carry on the back, usually said of an animal of burden.

(zǎo) are fleas. With a flea on a horse, (sāo) means disturbed, upset or coquettish.

(bó) means to refute or to contradict as a horse might refuse to obey orders. It is often used in 反驳 (fǎnbó to retort, or a retort).

(mà) is to scold or to condemn. Poor horse, with two mouths shouting at it.

他骂我粗心.
Tā mà wǒ cūxīn.
He scolds me for being careless.

骆驼 (luòtuo) is a camel. (luó) is a mule. (lǘ) is a donkey. I just realized there is a fun song for each of these animals in “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes“.

I fail to see how an ant is related to a horse, but here you have it, 蚂蚁 (mǎyǐ ants). 热锅上的蚂蚁 (règuōshàngdèmǎyǐ) translates to “ants on a hot pan”. This expression describes a state of intense anxiety.

他急得像热锅上的蚂蚁.
He is anxious and jittery like ants on a hot pan.
Tā jí de xiàng règuōshàngdèmǎyǐ.

Learn Chinese word radical – Foot

(zú) is the Chinese word for feet. It also means sufficient or ample. Today we will only talk about this character in relation to the feet and the actions that are usually performed using the feet.

Soccer and football are bothe called 足球 (zúqiú) in Chinese. To avoid ambiguity, you could refer to football as 美国足球 (Měiguó zúqiú) or 橄榄球 (gǎnlǎnqiú football or rugby).

你喜欢看足球赛吗?
Nǐ xǐhuān kàn zúqiú sài ma?
Do you like to watch soccer games?

(zhǐ) are the toes. As this character sounds exactly the same as (zhǐ fingers, to point to), it’s best to refer to your toes as 脚趾 (jiǎozhǐ), and your fingers as 手指 (shǒuzhǐ).

脚跟 (jiǎogēn) is the heel. As a verb, (gēn) means to follow. Many people use (gēn) as the conjunctive “and” instead of (hé).

他跟我一样高.
Tā gēn wǒ yīyàng gāo.
He is the same height as I am.

(pǎo) is to run or to escape. You’ve had plenty of practice pronouncing this word while reading/singing the “Two Tigers” song discussed in Chapter 1 of “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes“.

(pā) is to lie prone.

他趴在地上.
Tā pā zài dì shàng.
He lay prone on the ground.

(bié) is to have sprained one’s ankle, and 蹩脚 (biéjiǎo) is used for describing inferior work or a shoddy product.

(tà) means to step on, or to tread on. The bicyle, being a vehicle powered by on’e feet treading on the pedals, is called 脚踏车 (jiǎotàchē).

(tī) means to kick. So, 踢踏舞 (tītàwǔ) is tap dance.

(tiào) is to jump, leap, bounce or skip.

跳水 (tiàoshuǐ) is to spring for a dive, as from a diving board, or 跳板 (tiàobǎn).

跳伞 (tiàosǎn) is parachute jumping.

跳房子 (tiàofángzi) is the children’s game of hopscotch.

If your kid is smart, he or she might be able to skip a grade in school, or 跳级 (tiàojiǎo).

跳棋 (tiàoqí) is Chinese checkers. The action of playing chess or checkers is called 下棋 (xiàqí).

你喜欢下跳棋吗?
Nǐ xǐhuān xià tiàoqí ma?
Do you like to play Chinese checkers?

跳脚 (tiàojiǎo) means to stamp one’s foot, as in anger or frustration.

跳票 (tiàopiào) is to have a check bounced.

他开给我的支票跳票了.
Tā kāi gěi wǒ de zhīpiào tiàopiào le.
The check he wrote to me bounced.

(zhuō) is to grasp, catch or capture. It features both the hand radical and the foot radical and is used in a similar way as (zhuā to snatch) but puts the emphasis on the catching rather than the grabbing.

警察捉到一个小偷.
Jǐngchá zhuō dào yī gè xiǎotōu.
The police caught a thief.

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