I posted early this academic year that I went to a Mandarin class at Sixth Form just for a taster. I did not want to take up another language beginner level at this moment in time; but honestly this wasn't the first time I have looked into Chinese. A lot of people say they wish they were fluent in Chinese just because. As I always say, my speaking has always been the weakest aspect whenever I start to learn a language - you should hear how bad I am at English the language I am 'fluent' in haha. The taster session focused mainly focused on pronunciation and intonation which I liked and I can also say I took something useful from that class (I can now pronounce the Chinese version to Exo - Wolf better by looking at the romanization) but I really wanted to learn more symbols; especially since I was looking at the characters a little bit before - mainly because of Korean.
I really like learning the origin of words that is why I was considering Latin or esperanto (modern day Latin as I call it as it is like a mix of many European languages and many European languages are formed because of Latin!) So with Korean learning the meaning behind symbols are useful to find the links int things and to understand why I am saying what I am saying - where did it come from? As Korean or Hangul rather was made, by King Sejong the great, for the people of lower status to understand Chinese it obviously has Chinese influence. That is why is is called 'Poor Man's Chinese'.
"The Korean script was developed by King Sejong for his people. Back then, the Chinese script was used by scholars to write Korean and people of lower status couldn’t read it. That’s why the King made Han-geul reeeeaaaally easy to read, so any idiot could learn it." 
Whilst watching Korean shows like 'Running Man' or the drama 'Jang Ok Jeong lives by love' which was set in the Joseon dynasty I would see some Chinese symbols pop up, get curious about it, look it up and remember it the next time I see it. Characters like 大, 天, 人, 王, 月, 無, 中, 金 and some more. And then my dad gave me this one day:
Learning these symbols are just really aiding my Korean learning I think but I enjoying it too; for example, I always knew 달빛 meant Moonlight (I have a friend and her Korean name is DalBit / 달빛) so when she mentioned how there is an Exo song about her (referring to 월광 (Wol-Gwang) which means moonlight also) it really irked me! Why was there another word to 'Moonlight' which was quite different to the one I knew? I instantly thought that it had to be Chinese. I knew that 월 meant month. The moon has a monthly cycle (like humans and werewolves haha). I knew that in Chinese month and moon share the same symbol '月'. I had a flashback to a Running Man episode when Gwangsoo said his name meant light '光' Gwang. So there is the Moon+Light that made moonlight. Hey, I am not claiming to be a genius but to realise that with my minimum knowledge in Chinese was quite handy (both symbols were in the top 100 basic Chinese symbol list I use).
I use my Spanish knowledge if I am ever reading something in French and it helps if I come across something in Italian or Portuguese. English and my limited French helps if my German friend sends me something in German. We are all tightly woven, more than we think. Languages are really similar. The other day I thought about 'specially' special and the suffix '-ly' is kind of the same in Korean 특별히- 특별 being 'special' and adding the '히' has the same effect as the '-ly' and makes it mean specially. It is a direct by translation and things like this amaze me. What a nerd!Doing things this like this also makes me realise only logical things e.g. 'pomme de terre' in French translates as 'apple of the Earth' which made me think 'wait, do apples not come from the Earth?' Obviously the come from apple trees.
I am still left with a few questions - 일본 in Korean means 'Japan'. If 일 translates to Sun does that mean like in Chinese 日本 (land of the rising Sun / Sun Origin) means Japan too? What does the 본 mean? Is it the 'origin' part? 수 means water. Is that why a WATER-melon is 수박 and there is water involved with 수영?
It is just for fun! Therefore I will only 'enriquecerme' (enrich myself) in learning symbols in Summer and regain my Year 9 level of French whilst striving forward with Spanish and Korean; but am I getting a bit a head of myself with all these languages?
|The significance of the days of the week in Chinese - Korean |
(Moon, Fire, Water, Wood, Gold, Earth, Sun)
|The meanings of the trigrams from the taegukgi and randomness|
|The elements / blocks from the Taegukgi|
Taiji Yin&Yang symbol
- Red is heat and light
-Blue is coldness and darkness
White background / flag = Peace, purity and cleanliness
|The pronunciation guide I received at the Mandarin taster session|
|The symbols I recognise, please excuse my horrible|
Remember I am not a pro, just a learner