Friday, May 27, 2011

Foreign - 洋

So here’s an interesting Chinese lesson: 洋 means “foreign”. When new inventions were starting to come into China, they’d use this character when they originally named them. I’ll show you a few examples and you can see what they named certain things when they first came to China. (Note: Now, the names are different.)


洋火 – Matches (literally, “foreign fire”)

洋车 – Bicycle (literally, “foreign vehicle”) Note: this also means “rickshaw”

洋房 – European-style housing (literally, “foreign house”)


Chinese is so practical in many ways, eh?

Until next time,
Jeremy, Jenny, Levi, & Liam

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