chinese character欠 qiàn – lack, owe
① lack, owe
② short of, lacking.
③ lean forwad
STROKES – 4
RADICAL – 欠
Elements —- Pictogram of a person with the mouth open. Phonetic series 欠.
The upper part evolved from the pictogram of an open mouth. A person人with an open mouth is yawning, or trying to compensate for the lack of air.
欠缺 qiànquē – lack/ be deficient of (lack + lack)
哈欠 hāqiàn – yawn (exhale + yawn)
欠债 qiànzhài – owe a debt (owe + debt)
Though in its origin this character, even being related to a person, has a not so clear relation with the character for person 人, now, the evolution of language made it similar. In the upper part of the person a «cubist» representation of an open mouth has been added.
This is a person yawning, or perhaps a person with the mouth open who feels a lack of air. Later it was used for other situations in which there is a lack of something, as to lack something, to be defient in something, to owe money, etc.
More posts on Chinese characters
Caractères chinois - le livre Ce livre est consacré à révéler à l'étudiant occidental le "mystère" des caractères chinois, rendre leur apprentissage simple, fournir les clés pour entrevoir le sens et la prononciation des caractères inconnus. Pour ce faire, nous allons...
A sample of the first three pages of the English translation of my book on Chinese characters 人 rén – person, human being • adult • each. This is a pictogram of a person standing, with legs separated. Person > kind of person > every > other. It is one of the...
The magic of Chinese characters The written word, the Chinese characters, have had from their very origin, a magical meaning for the Chinese. There is no doubt that for them a character is not only a symbol of the concept it claims to represent but the object itself....
Chinese idioms One of the most difficult aspects of Chinese is to learn is the so-called idioms or chengyu (成语). In general, they refer to short sentences composed of four characters that allude to some historical fact or literary anecdote from ancient times. Its...
The character chai 拆- dismantle One of the most frequent characters in the urban scenery of the China of the development and the transformation is chai 拆- dismantle. Any walk through the old neighborhoods of most Chinese cities continually led to being confronted...
The Peach, fruit of immortality In my "Manual of Writing Chinese Characters" (1) I hold an opinion contrary to that of most scholars of Chinese characters, and that is that the formation of the so-called picto-phonetic characters responds not only to the composition...