The Chinese character 山
And its meaning component form
- anything that resembles a mountain
The Chinese character 山 was initially drawn to resemble a mountain with three peaks. Can you see?
山 is both a character and a character component
山 can be used as a meaning component in a Chinese character. You’ll find 山 in characters and words related directly or indirectly to mountains, rocks or coastal areas.
These characters all contain 山 and have a direct link with mountains:
The character component 山 can also be found in words that aren’t directly related to mountains.
The meaning component 山 can be found in Chinese characters and words that are related to mountains or rocks, which makes sense. You can also find the meaning component 山 in characters that are less directly related to mountains or rocks, either because their meaning has evolved over time, or because the characters’ meanings used to involve mountains before and no longer does.
Secrecy and immortality are two themes you’ll often find related to mountains. Mountains were believed to keep all the world’s secrets and as they are so old, people also believe they are immortal and peaceful structures.
related to mountains
You can find the character component 山 used in words indirectly related to mountains, such as:
密 mì: secret; confidential
仙 xiān: immortal
幽 yōu: hidden away; serene; peaceful
岁 suì: year; age; classifier
出 chū: to go out
You’ll also find the meaning component 山 for mountain in many other Chinese characters: Browse the full list here.
All 80,000+ Chinese characters share the same character components. Chinese character components are therefore essential for Chinese learners: they are the building blocks of Chinese. Chinese character components help tremendously with understanding a character: they provide information on its meaning or on its pronunciation. In short, knowing character components will help you analyse, learn and remember each Chinese character much better.
Join us on Ninchanese as we teach you everything about the Chinese character components you need to know, little by little.