Chinese isn’t that strange…

…not so far anyways.

I haven’t decided to actively learn Chinese; just pick up things as I feel like asking. I sit across from our Chinese copywriter, Rico, so answers have been pretty convenient.

A Chinese symbol will mean different things depending on what it’s next to, but English works that way too. The word “make” by itself means to create. But make out, make up, and makeover, have little to do with creating. (Unless you mean saliva, amends/cosmetics or someone’s appearance.)

By itself, this means “sun” and this means “moon”:


But together, they mean “understand”:


Not that crazy, considering “under” in English means beneath and “stand” can mean what your body is doing, the thing your television is resting on or something you believe in. (Not much to do with “understand.”)

Rico asks that you please not tattoo Chinese characters next to each other unless you know what they mean together. Like in English, “backfire” has nothing to do with someone’s back or with fire.

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