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Chinlingo Chinese character: 女

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"" (nǚ) means "woman; female" basically. In the Oracle Bone Script, "女" looks like a woman sitting in seiza. In ancient China, men were responsible for the heavy farming work, while women remained at home to do housework, usually sitting on their heels. Thus, the image of a woman sitting on her heels has evolved into the pictographic character "女" and still used today.

"女(nǚ)",本义是女性、女人。在甲骨文中, "女"的字型就好似一个跪坐在地上的女子。在古代中国 "男耕女织"劳动体系中。男子从事重型体力的耕作,女子负责在室内操持家务,并常以跪坐的姿势劳作。因此,女子席地跪坐的形象演化成汉字"女"沿用至今。

Although the shape of "女" has not changed a lot in the Chinese character evolution, the functions of "女" have been extended further. As a general name of the female, it can form together with other characters a number of words and phrases related to the female. 

在汉字的发展进程中,"女"的字形虽没有很大的变化,但是它的功能得到进一步的拓展。它作为女性的总称,粘合其它汉字能生成许多与女性有关的词语。

For example,

女人 (nǚ rén): adult female (over 18 years old);

女孩 (nǚ hái): girl (not more than 18 years old)

女生 (nǚ shēnɡ): female student (generally under the age of 25)

女儿 (nǚ ér): daughter

女老师 (nǚ lǎo shī): female teacher

比如,

女人(nǚ rén):成年女子(18岁以上);

女孩(nǚ hái):未成年的或刚成年的女性(18岁或未满18岁);

女生(nǚ shēnɡ):在校女性学生(一般为25岁以下);

女儿(nǚ ér ):父母的女性孩子;

女老师(nǚ lǎo shī ):女性老师。

"女" can also be used as a radical to form many characters related to the female.

"女"还可以作为偏旁,具有较强的造字能力,其构成的汉字一般与女子有关。

For example,

"妈" (mā): mom, mum

"好" (hǎo): "女" on the left implies "mother", while "子" on the right means "children". A woman would not be considered competent and "好" (good or perfect) unless she gives birth to children to continue the family line. Thus, in modern Chinese, "好" is used as an adjective meaning "good, nice, with merits".

比如,

"妈(mā )":母亲;

"好(hǎo)":左边的"女"表示母亲,"子(zǐ)"表示孩子。女育有孩子,给家族留下了后代才能称职,才能得到"好(hǎo)or perfect"的评价。因此,在现代汉语中"好(hǎo)"引申为形容词用,表示"优点多、美好的"。

In Chinese, the Women's Day is called "妇女节" (fù nǚ jié). "妇" consists of the radical "女" on the left and "彐" on the right which means "broom" and implies "do housework". In China, housework is usually done by married women in a family. Thus, "妇女" (fù nǚ) is defined as "married woman", which has aroused dissatisfaction among the unmarried women. Especially, those girl students who are in their adolescence refuse to be called "妇女". However, they are unwilling to be deprived of the holiday as a female. Therefore, "女生节" (nǚ shēnɡ jié) or "Girls' Day" has come into being, which is celebrated on Mar. 7, the day before the "Women's Day".

中文选用 "妇女(fù nǚ)"这两个汉字来定义the women's day. 其中,汉字"妇(fù)"也是由"女"作为偏旁构成。右边的 "彐"指意"扫帚",代表清扫家务。家务事通常都由家中的已婚妇女承担。因此,词语 " 妇女(fù nǚ)"被定义为"已婚女子、妻子"。也正是因为这个定义引发未婚女子的不满。特别是许多还在求学阶段,处于青春花季女生不愿称自己为"妇女(fù nǚ)",但另一方面,她们又不想放弃属于女性的节日特权。于是,就诞生了"女生节(nǚ shēnɡ jié)+翻译",日子定在妇女节前一天,3月7日。

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2016-06-21

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