Let’s welcome spring by learning the Chinese word radical – Walk

春 (chūn) Spring

春 (chūn) Spring

A lazy cloud parks up there in clear blue sky, and birds are chirruping all around. Come tomorrow, it will be officially spring. Let’s open our arms to welcome 春天 (chūntiān springtime).

迎接 (yíngjiē) is to meet or greet. 迎春 (yíng chūn) is an abbreviation for 迎接春天 (yíngjiē chūntiān). It is also the name for the winter jasmine, as well as the name of one of the female characters in 红楼梦 (hónglóumèng Dream of the Red Mansion).

(yíng greet, welcome) takes on the reduced form of the word radical for (zǒu to walk), i.e. . You see, when one greets enthusiastically, one will tend to move forward to embrace the person, the news or the event. As resembles the character (zhī), this radical is named 走之旁 (zǒu zhī páng), or 走之底 (zǒu zhī dǐ). (páng) means on the side, referring to the radical’s placement on the left side. (dǐ) means at the bottom, referring to the tail of this radical that extends underneath the remainder of the character.

We know that 欢喜 (huānxǐ) means to be happy or delighted. Therefore, 欢迎 (huānyíng) means to happily greet or welcome someone or something. 不受欢迎 (bùshòuhuānyíng) means unwelcome.

Tā shì quánguó zuì shòuhuānyíng de lánqiú míngxīng.
He is the most popular basketball star in the nation.

挑战 (tiǎozhàn) means to challenge or a challenge. 迎接挑战 (yíngjiē tiǎozhàn), or 迎战 (yíngzhàn), is to face a challenge.

迎面 (yíngmiàn) means coming in one’s face, or head-on. Therefore, 迎风 (yíngfēng) means facing the wind.

轻风迎面吹来, 非常舒服.
Qīngfēng yíngmiàn chuī lái, fēicháng shūfu.
Soft wind blows in my face; it feels so good.

迎合 (yínghé) means to cater to someone else’s wishes or taste. 逢迎 (féngyíng) is to fawn on or to curry favor with the rich and/or powerful.

(zhuī) is to chase, run after, or pursue. It is also the abbreviation for 追求 (zhuīqiú), which means to seek, to pursue or to court. 理想 (lǐxiǎng) is an ideal. 理想的 (lǐxiǎng de) is the adjective that means ideal or perfect. 追求理想 (zhuīqiú lǐxiǎng) is to pursue one’s ideals. On the other hand, 追求理想的配偶 (zhuīqiú lǐxiǎng de pèiǒu) means to court one’s ideal mate.

Kànlai Hēnglì zài zhuī lì shā.
Looks like Henry is courting Lisa.

(dá) as a verb means to reach a place, to attain a goal, or to successfully comminicate a message. For example, 传达消息 (chuándá xiāoxi) is to pass on a piece of information or news.

退 (tuì) is to step back, to retreat or to withdraw or cancel. So, 退租 (tuì zū) is to cancel a rental, such as a tenant terminating the renting of an apartment.

(yuǎn) means distant, far away or remote. The opposite is (jìn), or near.

(yāo), or 邀请 (yāoqǐng), is to invite or to solicit. Usually, if you say 邀请 (yāoqǐng) or (qǐng), you are expected to be the host and foot the bill. If you don’t intend to pay for the other party, then just say (yāo).

Wǒ xiǎng yāo nǐmen yītóng qù kàn diànyǐng.
I’d like to ask you to go together with me to watch a movie.

Following are a few words that contain the full-blown radical.

(fù) means to go to or attend an event. 赴约 (fù yuē) is to go to a date or appointment. 失约 (shīyuē) is to fail to keep an appointment or date.

(qǐ) means to rise, get up, stand up, set up, or start up. For example, 起床 (qǐchuáng) is to get out of bed.

(qù) means interest or fun. 有趣 (yǒuqù) means interesting or amusing. 志趣 (zhìqù) is one’s aspiration or inclination.

(gǎn) is to drive away, to catch up with or to dash for something.

Gǎnkuài lái!
Hurry and come!
(Or, in a commanding tone, “Get here this minute!”)

Now that you are getting a rush learning about the “walk” radical, hurry and look up other words that contain either form of the walk radical and that might be useful to add to your vocabulary.

The joy of spring

Besides (fú good fortune), (chūn springtime) is another Chinese character that is often displayed upside down because (dào inverted) and (dào arrive) sound exactly the same. The inverted (chūn) represents the arrival of springtime, hence a sense of renewal and happiness.

春季 (chūnjì) is the spring season.
春天 (chūntiān) is springtime.
春节 (Chūnjié) is the Spring Festival, to which the Chinese Lunar New Year is often referred.
春假 (chūnjià) is the spring vactaion.
春光 (chūnguāng) refers to the beautiful sights in springtime.
春风 (chūnfēng) are the balmy breezes in the spring.
You can use 满面春风 (mǎnmiànchūnfēng) or 春风满面 (chūnfēngmǎnmiàn) to.describe a person who is feeling very happy, satisfied and triumphant.

It’s possible to embrace the joy of spring in your heart all year long. If you like, you could download and print out the image showing the crocuses, and make a bookmark, 书签 (shūqiān), out of it. I made mine by laminating the image and using a paper-cutter to cut around it. I then rounded the corners, punched a hole at the top and looped a purple ribbon through the hole. To add interest to the bookmark, you could write the following words on the back before the lamination process.

春天的喜悅 (chūntiān de xǐyuè), the joy of spring.

If classical Chinese is your thing, then:

春之悅 (chūn zhī yuè), the joy of spring.

Let’s sing a traditional Japanese children’s song to welcome the arrival of spring. You can listen to a remix of the tune via this link.

Chūntiān lái le!
Spring is coming!

Chūntiān lái le!
Spring is coming!

Chūntiān zài nǎli?
Where does spring reside?

Chūn zài gāoshān,
Spring’s on the mountains,

Chūn zài xiānglǐ,
Spring’s in the village,

Chūn zài tiányuán lǐ!
Spring’s on the countryside!

This cute little song features no less than three types of sentences: a simple declarative sentence (repeated), a question, and a compound sentence. It is through simple songs, that we can best learn a language. Think of the nursery rhymes you sang as a kid. You never forget them because those simple verses are easy to internalize. In the book “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes“, you will find many songs that help you effectively learn Chinese words, expressions and sentence structures.

If you would like to tackle something more challenging, then try this story at Dave Flynn’s site.

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