speak chinese like a native

Character Breakdown 2 Hope to Help with Help and Hope

Posted by rich April 27, 2007 in the Group General Discussion .


Okay, this is my second character breakdown. 

I'm not really sure how I should be posting these, as in one aspect it would be good if they were all in a single post thread and you can watch them all that way (otherwise you have to watch my posts or catch it in the ALL POSTS section).  But on the other hand, doing that would mean I couldn't give each breakdown a cool title and use the cool editor (which brings to front, why can't we use this editor in all message replies??)

Well, as I said before in the Police 警察 character breakdown (http://chinesepod.com/connections/viewpost/Rich/connect/CharacterBreakdown1), I have tons of characters in my notes that I write every day realizing that as much as I love thinking in radicals, they are a pain to remember.

So today I hope to help you more with that.  And what better way than with two characters I ALWAYS seem to be hopeless at getting right: Help & Hope 帮助 & 希望.

Don't know about you, but I personally can't get it straight which one starts with the three horizontals that are strung together with a vertical to make (fēng abundance), or which one has (wáng king). 

Or do you not remember which one has (jīn piece of cloth) in-closed in string of thread(yì) as the bottom radical, and which one just has ?  And then there is the (yuè month/moon) and the (qiě for time being); (lì strength) and the (yì regulate), and oh, don't forget the modified (wáng to flee/die).  Is there any hope to get help and make sense of this madness (pun intended).

I pick these characters because they are so similar, but why two words?  Seems like they come up together more often than not: 我希望帮助你  (wǒ xīwàng bāngzhù nǐ. I hope to help you) and I always get all of their radicals mixed up. 


Let's do a complete character breakdown first:

(xī, hope):
(yáo line)
(yì, put in order)
(jīn, cloth) 

(look/full moon, wàng):
(wáng, flee/die)
(yuè, month/moon)
(wáng, king) 

(bāng, help):
(bāng, nation)
(fēng, abundance)
(derived from  yì, city - but we often call it the right ear)
(jīn, cloth) 

(zhù, aid):
(qiě, for the time being)
(lì, strength)

Now let's do a character build-up:

+ =
yì + yì = yáo
put in order + put in order = line

+ =
yáo  + jīn = bù
line + cloth = hope
+ + =
wáng + yuè + wáng  = wàng
flee/die + month/moon + king = look/full moon
+ = 希望
xī + wàng = xīwàng
hope + look/full moon = hope

fēng + yì = bāng
abundant + city = nation
+ =
bāng + jīn + bāng
nation + cloth = help/gang
+ =
qiě + lì = zhù
for the time being + strength = aid
+ = 帮助
bāng + zhù = bāngzhù
help/gang + aid = help

Before a story to help us remember, a few comments:

a) I know how radicals work, that usually one or more is more just for phonetical purpose and its meaning has little if anything to do with the overall character’s meaning.  However, my purpose here is to actually see a story as you write the character (like I did with Police 警察) and put those unrelated meanings into it.  You can find the phonetical similarities (or lack-there-of yourself)

b) It is interesting to note that (xī) which pinyin starts with X also starts with , and (bāng) which pinyin starts with B has a in the top part also (but on the right).  Both of these characters have the in the bottom, but our friend's character has anotherabove the , so this is a why to remember which one has theover the ...double X!  ¿Comprende?


The King Who Hoped for Help

There was a king who wanted to put in order() his kingdom that as in chaos.  The only way at that time to send for help was to take lines of tread() and make a cloth() in which to make his announcement.  He decided this was his hope() to reach his friends in time.

You see, his enemies were approaching and if he didn’t get help soon, he would have to flee or die() before the next full moon().  And that moon was becoming full fast.  As the king() watch the moon(), he wrote his letter with very little hope(希望) in his heart.

But fortunately for him, the word spread quicker than fire and there were abundant() cities() willing to be his allies.  They all started making uniforms out of the same color of cloth() and formed into one huge gang(). 

These people were willing, for this time being() anyway, to use all of their strength() in every way possible to aid() the king.  Needless to say, with their help(帮助), the king and all the countrymen had victory.  It goes without saying that we should always have hope that help will arrive (希望帮助).


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