speak chinese like a native

Graphical way to remember planet names (from Stargazing Ploy lesson)

Posted by rich March 5, 2008 in the Group General Discussion .

Although in the lesson Stargazing Ploy Jenny gives a list of how to remember the planets of our solar system(星系xīngxì), I always found the Chinese names a lot easier to learn than English names (but maybe not as easy as the names of months! ha ha), and in 2003 when I needed to teach a class of senior engineers English, I learned the planet names in 10 minutes, as I found the fact they either use elements or the same mythology gods as the English ones (in which the names are obvious to their meaning), it was a cinch.

Here are pictures and ways to easily remember the planets. Remember 星xīng means star(actually 星星xīngxing) but in a planet name it is abbreviation for 星球xīngqiú(celestial body) or 行星(planet).

水星 shuǐxīng: Mercury, the water planent

Interestingly, the word for the "mercury" is 汞 gǒng and that has the water radical below 工gōng the phonetic.

金星 jīnxīng: Venus, the gold planet

Of course because it is the color of gold.

地球 dìqiú: Earth, the land sphere

Apparently from human perspective Earth wasn't given the planet/star 星 character, but is a sphere

火星 huǒxīng: Mars, fire planet

Red as fire, Mars it the god of war, red is the color of war

木星 mùxīng: Jupiter, the wood planet

This looks very much like wood, the color and has grain lines

土星 tǔxīng: Saturn, the dirt planet

Guess it kind of looks like dirt. Many probably wonder why it isn't called the ring planet, yet we can remember that it is frozen dust that forms those rings? Also, Saturn was the Roman diety of agricuture and harvest, so of course that has to do with dirt/the ground.

天王星 tiānwángxīng: Uranus, the sky king planet

Uranus in Greet mythology is the king of the sky

海王星 hǎiwángxīng: Neptune, sea king planet

Of course Neptune was the roman god of the sea

冥王星 míngwángxīng: Pluto, the netherworld(Hades) king

And Pluto in Roman mythology (Hades in Greek) was the king of the netherworld
(Pluto is now classified as a 矮行星ǎixíngxīng a drawf planet)

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