Mountain + mountain, 山+山

During the first hours of Chinese, we learn the character 山, mountain; it is simple. The pictogram is reminiscent of a mountain, as you can see in the picture below.

shan chinese mountain

For 出 chū which is composed of two characters mountain 山+ 山, there are two possibilities to remember. If we know that one of the first meanings is “to go out,” we will remember that one of the early spellings seemed to show a foot coming out of a hole:

chu go out chinese exit

出 means go out, appear.

Another technique: the monks retired to the mountains. And getting out of the mountain is called 出山. A monk (a mountain) meets another monk (so two monks are reunited, two mountains).
出山 has several meanings: leaving the mountain for a hermit, leaving his retreat, taking up a prominent position.

See other articles on the Chinese language here

26 June 2020

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