Memory Centre: 日 (rì) and 月 (yuè)

I’m sure you’ve seen these two before:

日 (rì) and 月 (yuè) part 1

Chinese, as we’ve mentioned before, was a pictographic language, once upon a time. So when writing was just getting popular, they just drew what they saw. A sun (and the dot in the middle is either a sunspot, or it’s because somebody stared at it for too long, and now their eyesight is ruined,) and a crescent moon with what looks like some clouds obscuring the view slightly.

Then, probably due to two things—people wanted to be more efficient, and people were lazy—the pictographs became more simplified, and less comprehensible, just like a doctor’s handwriting:

日 (rì) and 月 (yuè) part 2

The sun now looks like a … let’s go with circumpunct and keep this clean, shall we? And the moon looks like a thumb.

Finally, we are left with the modern forms today, 日 (rì) and 月 (yuè):

日 (rì) and 月 (yuè) part 3

Now that you’ve seen the life history of these two characters, are you able to remember them? Easier, right?

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