Memory Centre: 人 (rén) and 大 (dà)

We know how difficult it is to remember all those characters, so we thought we’d start a regular series on helping out with that. And you’re in luck, because this is the very first of its kind!

Welcome to the Memory Centre!

In this series, we’ll help you remember those pesky Chinese characters (and other difficult areas of Chinese!) by any means necessary. Let’s get started, shall we?

Etymology of the characters 人 (rén, person) and 大 (dà, big)
Meet Reggie. Meet Dave.

Chinese started out as a pictographic language. This means the words were represented by picture symbols. As you can see, Reggie (人, rén) is the symbol for person, with his legs in mid-stride. Meanwhile, Dave (大, dà,) a considerably larger man (a man’s man if you will,) is the symbol for big. You can see him there, arms spread, as if to say, “I’m so big, I need extra space, so keep your distance, Reggie.” He also appears to be mid-stride. Or maybe it’s a hot day, who knows.

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