Ancient Chinese is easier than you think: Fish


Fish are our earliest ancestors. If they haven’t evolved to walk on land, mankind wouldn’t have existed!

In ancient times, people who lived along the coast were usually fishermen and sold fish for a living. There were fishermen who transformed their boats into their personal homes for themselves and their family.

The Chinese language is one of the oldest languages in the world and has evolved throughout the ages. The Chinese character that represents ‘’ was no exception.

Let’s see how the character we use nowadays () came to be!

It began with a simple pictogram that depicts a fish with 4 fins pointing upwards

Then is a simplified version of the first pictogram where two fins, the head and scales were removed.

The pictogram slowly disappeared and were replaced with strokes and dots to make it easier to write universally.  

The traditional character for ‘’ sees two simple strokes to represent the head, a 4-square to represent the scales and 4-dots to represent both the tail and water.

Last but not least, the simplified Chinese character for ‘’ removed the ‘dots’ and replaced it with a simple horizontal line.

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