Chinese word for change

Qiūtiān li xǔduō shùyè biànchéng huángsè huòzhě hóngsè.
In autumn many leaves turn yellow or red.

Leaves in Autumn  秋天里的树叶 (qiūtiān li de shùyè)

Leaves in Autumn
秋天里的树叶 (qiūtiān li de shùyè)

(biàn) or 变成 (biànchéng) means to change, to become or to transform. This word also serves as a noun. You can use it to refer to a change in the weather, in an object, in a person or in a state of affairs. However, don’t use this word when talking about small change, or changing into different currency or clothing. Those situations call for some other words.

Tā zuìjìn biàn de bǐjiào chénmò.
Lately he has become more reticent.

The word for “easy”, (yì), also means a change or an exchange. In the sense of “change”, this word appears mostly in classical Chinese.

Yes, 变色 (biànsè) means to change in color or to have become discolored. You probably have not guessed that it also means to become angry when it is used in reference to a person. Here we are talking about 脸色 (liǎnsè), a person’s facial expression. Similarly, 变脸 (biànlián) means to suddenly turn hostile.

When the Chinese mention a change in the sky, or 变天 (biàntiān), they are usually talking about a change in the weather for the worse. When there is a change of heart , it is also for the worse – 变心 (biànxīn) means to stop being faithful and to love someone else.

Tā de nǚpéngyou biàn le xīn.
His girl friend does not love him anymore.

As magicians appear to be able to transform things from one form to another, they are said to be able to 变魔術 (biàn móshù perform magic tricks).

变通 (biàntōng) is to be flexible or accommodating.

变形 (biànxíng) means being deformed or having changed shape, while 变质 (biànzhì) means to have changed or deteriorated in quality.

变化 (biànhuà) is a change, while 转变 (zhuǎnbiàn) refers to a transformation or a change in a fundamental way. As a verb 转变 (zhuǎnbiàn) means to transform or to convert.

Wǒ kàn bù chū yǒu shénme biànhuà.
I don’t see any difference (changes).

改变 (gǎibiàn) and 变更 (biàngēng) both mean to change, to modify or to alter. 变更 (biàngēng) can also be used as a noun. In that sense, it is synonymous with 变动 (biàndòng a change or alteration).

Wǒ bùhuì gǎibiàn wǒde yìjiàn.
I will not change my opinion.

变故 (biàngù) is an unforeseen event or misfortune.

占卦 (zhānguà) is to divine by using the Chinese system of Eight Diagrams. 变卦 (biànguà) is a change in the divinatory diagram. In everyday speech it refers to someone’s changing his/her mind or going back on his/her word.

变态 (biàntài) is a change in state, or a metamorphosis. It is often used as an adjective to describe something that is abnormal, as in 变态心理 (biàntài xīnlǐ aberrant personality).

不变 (bùbiàn) means constant or unchanging. It sounds the same as 不便 (bùbiàn), which means inconvenient or inappropriate. 不变的真理 (bùbiàn de zhēnlǐ) is an unchanging truth.

善变 (shàn biàn) refers to a person’s likes and dislikes being prone to change.

Nǚrén de xīn shàn biàn.
Women’s hearts are capricious.

Given that 政治 (zhèngzhì) means politics, take a guess at what 政变 (zhèngbiàn) means.

What color represents friendship?

Let’s get into a good mood for studying Chinese by listening to a delightful fast-paced song, titled “Rose, Rose, I Love You”, in both Chinese and English.

This Chinese version was sung by Liu Wenzheng. The lyrics are shown in traditional Chinese characters. Click here to see the lyrics in simplified Chinese. Don’t worry about all the new Chinese vocabulary in this song. We are mainly interested in the word 玫瑰 (méigui roses).

The English version was first recorded by Frankie Laine. The verses do not correspond to the original Chinese lyrics, but rather depict one facet of the life of a GI stationed in Asia around WWII.

Most everyone knows that red roses, or 红玫瑰 (hóng méigui), represent love, while yellow roses, or 黃玫瑰 (huáng méigui), represent friendship.

Huáng méigui dàibiǎo yǒuqíng.
Yellow roses represent friendship.

Dàn lǜsè yě xiàngzhēng yǒuqíng.
Light green also symbolizes friendship.

A word of caution: Beware that the Chinese term, 黃色 (huángsè) also refers to decadent, obscene stuff, such as in 黃色小說 (huángsè xiǎoshuō x-rated fiction).

(hóng red) and 绿 (lǜ green) are a popular colors for dying silk and other fabric. What radical is shared by these two words? The radical on the left side of these words is (mì fine silk). The characters in the following list also contain this radical, albeit in its simplified form. As you can see, all of these words have something to do with silk, threads or fabric.

(sī) is silk, a fine thread, or a trace.
(xì) means fine, thin, slender, or delicate. These are general properties of a thread.
线 (xiàn) is a thread, a string or a line.
(shā) is a yarn.
(zhǐ) is paper.
(gěi) means to give. Beautiful silk would make a nice present.
(jié) means a knot, or to tie together.
(biān) means to wave or to knit.
(zhī) also means to wave or to knit.
(zǐ) is the purple color. Here, the (mì fine silk) radical is placed at the bottom rather on the left side.

Silk comes from the silkworm. It’s fascinating to watch a silkworm wrap itself up in a cocoon of silk.

Cán huì tǔ sī.
A silkworm will extrude silk.

丝巾 (sī jīn) is a silk scarf. The famous Silk Road is called 丝路 (sī lù).

仔细 (zǐxì) means to be careful and paying attention to details.

直线 (zhixiàn) is a straight line. 曲线 (qūxiàn) is a curve.

白纱 (bái shā white ) is the white material from which a Western bride’s veil is made, while 纱布 (shābù) usually refers to the gauze used for first aid.

报纸 (bàozhǐ) are newspapers. (kàn) means to look, to see, or to appear to be. Nevertheless, 看报纸 (kàn bàozhǐ) means to read the newspapers, rather than just looking at them.

结合 (jiéhé) means to combine or unite.

编织 (biānzhī) is the art of weaving or knitting.

How would you say the following sentence in Chinese?
“He gave a purple silk scarf to me.”
A scarf is considered a longish item. Do you remember what unit is used with such an item? If not, please review the post that’s dated June 22, 2011.

Love is blue?

The following sentences use the passive voice. Please compare them with the corresponding sentences in the active voice that I posted here last week.

Diànnǎo bèi tā nònghuà le.
The computer was damaged by him.

Tā bèi nà gōngsī gùyòng le.
She was hired by that company.

Wǒ bèi tā xià le yī tiào.
I was startled by him.

Sentence structures form the framework of language. The simple sentence pattern of “Noun + Verb” can be likened to the frame of a small one-story dwelling. To complete the house, you will still need to install the siding and the roof. Each word you learn is another brick, panel or shingle added to the house. And don’t forget the amenities inside the little house. In other words, it’s important to build up your vocabulary to be able to carry an interesting conversation.

Today we will look at some of the Chinese words that represent the colors, 颜色 (yánsè). (hóng) is the red color, regarded by the Chinese as an auspicious and festive color. (bāo) means to wrap, and you know that 包子 (bāozi) is a bun stuffed with filling. Well, 红包 (hóng bāo) is a red envelope containing money that’s presented as a gift on a happy occasion, such as a birthday, a wedding, or New Year. This same form of gifting is also used in bribing government officials, company managers, and so on. So much so that the term 送红包 (sòng hóng bāo giving a red envelope) is now synonymous with bribing.

The word for “green” is 绿 (lǜ). (qīng) is a blue-green hue often used to characterize green grass or the sky. It is also used when referring to a young person or a young crop. I don’t know how it came about, but the expression 戴绿帽子 (dài lǜ màozǐ wearing a green hat) means to be cheated on by one’s wife.

Obviously, 红绿灯 (hóng lǜ dēng red and green lights), refers to the traffic light.

If you ever see the term, 红男绿女 (hóng nán lǜ nǚ), it has nothing to do with Halloween costumes. It just means “dudes and gals”.

美国国旗的颜色是: 红, 白, 和蓝.
Měiguó guóqí de yánsè shì: hóng, bái, hé lán.
The colors of the American flag is red, white and blue.

(hēi) is the black color. It is associated with 夜晚(yèwǎn nights) and 黑暗 (hēiàn darkness). On the other hand, (bái white) represents 白天 (báitiān daylight), 光亮 (guāngliàng brightness) and 光明 (guāngmíng open-heartedness). Please note that in the West, black is the color of mourning, but in the Chinese communities, people in mourning wear plain and unadorned white clothing.

The lyrics of “Love is Blue” (originally a French song) associates a gamut of feelings with some familiar colors. One might say:

Lánsè dàibiǎo yōuyù.
Blue represents depression.

Huīsè dàibiǎo fáwèi.
Grey represents cheerlessness.

Hóngsè dàibiǎo àiqíng.
Red represents love.

Lǜsè dàibiǎo jídù.
Green represents jealousy (or envy).

Hēisè dàibiǎo juéwàng.
Black represents despair.

What color represents friendship?

______ dàibiǎo yǒuqíng.
________ represents friendship.

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