The Hangeul alphabet (한글)

Korean consonants

The double consonants marked with * are pronounced fortis.

Korean vowels take care of yourself = 잘 지내세요.
(literally please spend your time well)
쫓다chot da,1. to chase, to run after 2. to drive away, to repel
독수리dok soo ri, eagle
유성yoo sung, shooting star
일식il sik, solar eclipse
은하수woon ha soo, Milky Way, galaxy
행성heng sung, planet
태양te yang, sun
해he, 1. year 2. sun
땅dang, land, earth, soil
지구ji goo, the globe, the earth
행복 heng bok, happiness, bliss
송아지 song a ji, calf
소 so, 1. cow, cattle, bull, ox 2. small, little
낳다 nat da, to give birth to, to bear, to produce
버팔로 buh pal loh, buffalo
늑대 nook de, wolf
까마귀 ka ma gwi, crow, raven
나비 na bi, butterfly
멧돼지 met dwe ji, wild boar
돼지 dwe ji, pig
뱀 bem, snake
사슴 sa soom, deer
암탉 am tak, hen
호랑이 ho rang i, tiger
무리 moo ri, group, herd
토끼 to ki, rabbit
용 yong, 1. dragon 2. for (the use of)
벌 bul, 1. bee, wasp 2. punishment, penalty 3. set, pair
사자 sa ja, lion
코끼리 ko ki ri, elephant
고양이 go yang i, cat
둥지 doong ji, a nest
독수리 dok soo ri, eagle
거북이 guh boo gi, turtle, tortoise
수사슴 soo sa soom, stag, male deer
물고기 mool go gi, fish (species not food)
비둘기 bi dool gi, pigeon, dove
매 me, 1. every, each 2. hawk
양 yang, 1. sheep, lamb 2. amount, quantity 3. positive
곰 gom, bear (animal)
새 se, 1. bird 2. new
서다 suh da, 1. to stand 2. to stop

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Daoist Chinese Characters

The following are selected important Daoist Chinese characters and their definitions.

In Chinese, there are different styles to write a character. This is because the characters developed from Pre-Qin dynasty to today, went though many stages of development.
  • Zhuan Shu (Seal Style)

    • Jia Gu Wen - written on animal bones and tortoise shells
    • Jin Wen - written on bronze wares
    • Zhou Wen
    • Da Zhuan (Big Seal)
    • Xiao Zhuan (Small Seal)
  • Li Shu (Official Style)
  • Kai Shu (Standard Style)

    • Simplified Chinese (China)
    • Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and other countries)
  • Cao Shu (Cursive Style)
  • Xing Shu
The earliest discovered Chinese characters were found written on pre-Qin dynasty tortoise shells and animal bones (Jia Gu Wen) and this led to writing on old bronze wares (Jin Wen). Also popular during this era was Zhou Wen, Da Zhuan (Big Seal), and Xiao Zhuan (Small Seal). All these categories of calligraphy became collectively known as Zhuan Shu (Seal Style). The more popular and standardized Zhuan Shu is Xiao Zhuan, which came about because the first emperor of Qin dynasty tried to gather all the scripts at that time and this led to its creation. Zhuan Shu was difficult to write, so a version was made to make it more efficient which becamed known as Li Shu (Official Style). From Li Shu, calligraphers created a fast cursive style call Cao Shu. Li Shu also spawned the Kai Shu (Standard Style), which is the standard version you see in most Chinese newspapers today. Inbetween Cao Shu and Kai Shu is the Xing Shu, which is inbetween cursive and regular Kai Shu block structure.

The China government in the 1950's simplified the Chinese characters into a version called Simplified Chinese, and the original one then became know as Traditional Chinese (used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and elsewhere). Note that the Chinese characters in brackets used on this site are the Simplified Chinese Kai Shu version.

Since Lao Zi was in the Zhou dynasty (which is pre-Qin dynasty: See Chinese History), the Chinese style that the Dao De Jing was written in was a variant of the Zhuan Shu.

Kai Shu


"Dao" - Way

"Dao" (way or path) is the main concept from Daoism. Below is the Kai Shu calligraphy style of the character Tao.
dao de jing chinese characters 
Tao and First Line of Tao Te Ching

 Zhuan Shu
 zhuan shu dao chinese character
"Dao" - Way

The same "Dao" written in Zhuan Shu calligraphy style (note the variation of Zhuan Shu writing style for character Tao).
dao de jing

Tao and First Line of Tao Te Ching

Kai Shu
dao chinese character
"Dao" - Way

te chinese character
"De" - Virtue

 chinese chinese character
"Jing" - Scripture

 The Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching] is broken up into two books, Tao (Way: Ch 1-37) and Te (Virtue: Ch 38-81). Below is Chapter 38 (first chapter of "Te") in Kai Shu (Regular Script) style.

dao de ching chapter 38
 Chapter 38 of Tao Te Ching in Kai Shu style

 Zhuan Shu
 zhuan shu dao chinese character
"Dao" - Way

zhuan shu de chinese character
"De" - Virtue

zhuan shu jing chinese character
"Jing" - Scripture

 The Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching] is the primary scripture of Daoism. Below is Chapter 1 as it was originally written in Zhuan Shu (Seal Script) style.

dao de jing chapter 1
Chapter 1 of Tao Te Ching in Zhuan Shu style

Kai Shu
lao chinese character
"Lao" - Old

tzu chinese character
"Zi" - Child

Zhuan Shu
 zhuan shu lao chinese character
"Lao" - Old

zhuan shu zi chinese character
"Zi" - Child 

 Lao Zi [Lao Tzu] (sometimes translated as "honorable elder", from "Zi Lao") is the author of the Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]. He is also known as Li Er [Li Erh]. He is on the right in the painting below (along with Buddha and Confucius.)
vinegar tasters
 Three Vinegar Tasters Painting

Kai Shu
li chinese character
"Li" - Plum tree

er chinese character
"Er" - Ear

 Zhuan Shu

 zhuan shu li chinese character
"Li" - Plum tree

zhuan shu er chinese character
"Er" - Ear

Li Er is the birth name of Lao Zi.
lao zi
 Lao Zi Riding Ox


 Li Er is the birth name of Lao Zi.
lao zi
 Lao Zi Riding Yak

Kai Shu

wu chinese character

"Wu" - Without (Effortless) 
 wei chinese character
"Wei" - Action 
 Zhuan Shu
 zhuan shu wu chinese character
"Wu" - Without (Effortless)
 zhuan shu wei chinese character
"Wei" - Action

  Wu-Wei is one of the main concepts from Daoism
wu wei chinese characters

Kai Shu

yin chinese character

"Yin" - Feminine or negative principle 
 yang chinese character
"Yang" - Masculine or positive principle 
 Zhuan Shu
 zhuan shu yin chinese character
"Yin" - Feminine

zhuan shu yang chinese character
"Yang" - Masculine

 Yin and Yang are the negative and positive principles of the universe.
yin yang chinese characters
 Yin Yang Calligraphy

Thank you

Daoist Cosmology

All cause and effect is due to the Dao, the Way. The Way can be explained as the reason or cause of everything which followed.

Before Dao there was: Wu-wu (Not Nothing).
With Dao there was: Wu Ji (No Limit).
From Wu Ji, evolved Hun Tun (Chaos).
In Hun Tun, Tai Ji (Great Pole) became the first fixed point in space and time.
From Tai Ji came the Tai Yi (Great Change)
Tai Yi went through two stages...

  1. Tai Chu (Great First)

    • has Xing (Form)
  2. Tai Shi (Great Beginning)

    • has Qi (Breath)

Xing and Qi combined to create...
  • Tai Su (Great Primordial)

    • has Zhi (Substance)

The first substances has Yin and Yang. All things terrestrial and celestial fall into one of five groups, the Wu Xing (Five Elements). The five elements are...
  1. Wood
  2. Fire
  3. Earth
  4. Metal
  5. Water
The five elements are usually in a state of flux. They can be arranged in a number of sequences, but the two usually encountered are the productive sequence and the destructive sequence.

  • Productive sequence

    • Wood burns, creating...
    • Fire leaves ashes, creating...
    • Earth contains ore, creating...
    • Metal melts, creating...
    • Water nourishes plant life, creating (back to Wood)...
  • Destructive sequence

    • Wood draws strength from, destroying...
    • Earth pollutes, destroying...
    • Water puts out, destroying...
    • Fire melts, destroying...
    • Metal chops down, destroying (back to Wood)...
The five elements are also used to symbolize different things...
  • Wood

    • Direction: East
    • Season: Spring
    • Color: Green
  • Fire

    • Direction: South
    • Season: Summer
    • Color: Red
  • Earth

    • Direction: Center
    • Season: None
    • Color: Yellow
  • Metal

    • Direction: West
    • Season: Autumn
    • Color: White
  • Water

    • Direction: North
    • Season: Winter
    • Color: Black

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