Character Etymology: 我,你,他

While it is true that Hànzì is pictographic and phoenemic, its structure holds pieces of Chinese Philosophy. How radicals were used in context and how its other components reveal their view on life, the environment, manner of living, and more.

Let us take three common characters as an example: 我, 你, and 他。

Wǒ means I.

Cover this character in half, lengthwise. Other than half a character, but this constitutes another character, which is 戈, which is a dagger-like weapon. Now, cover the other side. You know have a mirror image of the same character.doe

What does this imply?

Someone holding a 戈, with a mirror image facing it.

Usually, when someone holds a weapon, there is a battle. Question is, where is the battle?

The battle is within yourself.


Nǐ is you. Its radical is 亻, which is 人 (rén), a person in radical form. Its other part is 尔 (ěr), a formal term for you, and referring to someone with whom you respect and consider as equals, which is each other.

He. Tā also comes in other forms such as 她  (she), or 它 (it). For this entry, we will focus on 他。

Again, the radical is 亻。Its other half is 也. I will admit that I am not sure with this entry, as common use for yě means “also”. The explanation was that 也 resembles a horn. When combined, this means a person is blowing a horn, calling something.


Carefully twist your words.

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