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Chinlingo Chinese character: 化 (huà)

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"化" (huà) is a left-right structured character. "亻" on its left (Still remember it? It is called "单人旁" (dān rén pánɡ, single person radical) represents a person, while "七" on its right also represents a person, but a person on his or her head. How are these related to the meaning of "化"?

"化(huà)"字为左右结构,其左边是"亻"(还记得它吗?: 单人旁 dān rén pánɡ ),代表一个人 。右边的"七",也代表一个人,只是,它是由倒立的人演化而来的。这跟"化(huà)"字的意思有什么关系呢?

The ancient form of "化" is composed of a person on his or her feet and a person on his or her head. It looks like a person practicing a backward somersault, which is in fact a change (变化, biàn huà). Thus, "化" meant "change" originally.


The original meaning has still been in use so far. In modern Chinese, "化" is usually used after a noun or adjective to indicate change of a property or state, as shown in "丑化" (chǒu huà, uglify or smear), "美化" (měi huà, beautify), and "绿化" (lǜ huà, afforest).

汉字"化(huà)"的本义一直沿用到现在。在现代汉语中,也常用在名词或形容词后面,表示转变成某种性质或状态,比如:"丑化(chǒu huà)"、"美化(měi huà)"、"绿化(lǜ huà)"等。 

In addition, I can tell you other meanings of "化" other than the original one.


"educate/remold" as in "教化" (jiào huà, educate)

表示教育、改造:教化(jiào huà)

"melt/dissolve" as in "融化" (rónɡ huà, thaw)

表示溶解、烧熔:融化 (rónɡ huà)

"assimilate/ absorb" as in "消化" (xiāo huà, digest)

表示可被吸收:消化(xiāo huà)

"custom /atmosphere" as in "文化" (wén huà, culture)

表示风俗、风气:文化(wén huà)

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