中国华文教育网
汉字 Chinese Characters
2009年09月03日 09:58

  汉字

  汉字是世界上最古老的文字之一,也是世界上使用人数最多的文字。汉字的数量很多,总数约6万个,其中常用字约6,000个。

  汉字有悠久的历史。目前发现的最古老的汉字,是距今3,400多年前的甲骨文,它们已是很成熟的文字。据科学家推算,汉字的历史有5,000年左右。

  汉字起源于记事图画。从古到今,汉字的形体发生了很大的变化,经历了甲骨文、金文、小篆(zhuan)、隶(li)书、楷(kai)书等字体的演变。现行汉字的通行字体是楷书。

  汉字的造字方法,主要有以下四种:

  象形﹕是指画出事物形状的造字法。如:“月”、“羊”。

  指事:在象形字上加指事符号,或完全用符号组成字的造字法。如:“刃”,在刀锋上加一点儿,指出刀刃所在。

  会意:把两个或两个以上的符号组合起来,表示一个新的意义的造字法。如:“休”,一个人靠在树旁,表示休息的意思。

  形声:用形旁和声旁组成新字的造字法。形旁,是表示字的意义和属性的偏旁。声旁,是表示字音的偏旁。如:“湖”字,水是形旁,胡是声旁。大多数汉字都是形声字。

  历史上,汉字曾被朝鲜、日本、越南等国家长期借用,促进了国际交流。在当代,中国人以多种方式解决了汉字进入计算器、为信息处理服务的问题。历史证明,汉字具有旺盛的生命力。

  The Chinese characters constitute one of mankind's oldest systems of writing, and have the most users in the world. There are many Chinese characters, totaling about 60,000, with about 6,000 basic ones.

  Chinese characters have a long history. The oldest Chinese characters discovered till now are jiaguwen (ancient Chinese characters carved on tortoise shells or animal bones), dating back 3,400 years, which were already mature characters. As scientists estimate, Chinese characters have a history of about 5,000 years.

  Chinese characters originate from pictures for keeping records. From ancient to modern times, the form and structure of Chinese characters has changed a lot, evolving from jiaguwen, jinwen (ancient language used in inscriptions on ancient bronze objects), xiaozhuana (small seal character), lishub (official script), and kaishuc (regular script). The current script of Chinese characters is kaishu (regular script).

  There are mainly four word-formation methods as follows:

  Pictography refers to the method to draw the form of a thing, such as 月, 羊.

  Self-explanatory characters are made up by adding self-explanatory symbols on pictographs, or totally made up of symbols, such as 刃, which is made up by adding a point on the cutting edge of a knife, pointing out the position of the blade.

  Associative compounds are combination of two or more symbols to represent a new character of a new meaning. For instance, 休is a person leaning against a tree, meaning "rest".

  Pictophonetic method is a word-formation method combining one element of a character indicating meaning and the other, sound, into a new word. Form element indicates the word's meaning and characteristic. Phonetic element indicates the pronunciation of the word. For example, 湖(lake) is composed of three dots indicating water and 胡, indicating the sound.

  In history, Chinese characters were borrowed by Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, thereby promoting international communication. In modern times, Chinese people have by many means solved the problem of inputting Chinese characters into computers to serve information processing. It has been borne out that Chinese characters are of vigorous vitality.

【来源:中国华文教育网】