""

Translation:Zero

November 16, 2017

229 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zinthak

Curious, a 15 stroke character to represent essentially ''nothing'' lol.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AloeSoothe

“零”[ling 2] appeared long time ago in ancient Chinese.
It is a two-layer structure character that composed of the variant of“雨” [yu 3] (rain) and“令” [ling 4] (command/lead) meaning the drizzles before a storm. It happens when the dark clouds come, they only deliver a little raindrop. Soon the nimbus moves away capriciously, and the expected downpour doesn’t happen at all.

That “not at all” seems to touch the rim of “zero”. Yet indeed, at first “零” didn’t mean "nothing", but“bits and pieces/odds and ends/trivial/not much” instead.

“零头”[ling 2, tou 2] (bits + residual= the extra part of a figure besides an integer that ends with one or more zeros)

Eg: The “零头” of “5007.49” is “7.49”, with the integer being 5000.

The “零头” of “1234” could be “234” or “34”. So, the integer you see is 1000 or 1200, depends on how you perceive the figures.

When you go shopping and bargaining at a Chinese retailer, try making a counteroffer “美女/帅哥!Let’s remove the 零头” and persuade the shopkeeper to reduce the price from 125 yuan to 100 yuan.

Another example: “一百零八”[yi 4 (change tone from 1 to 4 as followed by a tone 1/2/3 character), bai 3, ling 2, ba 1] (a hundred and eight -- 108) meaning besides 100, there is a bit more (eight more). As here, 8 is the “零头” and 100 is the integer.

As the Arabic numerals were introduced, people matched“零”with “0”. And from then on, “零”has the meaning of zero.

Two Chinese characters could represent zero.

“零” is one of them, and “〇” is the other. In the Chinese number system, they have different usages.

“零” is for numerals in general/measurement.

Eg: “九百零九”[jiu 2(change tone from 3 to 2 as followed by a tone 3 character), bai 3, ling 2, jiu 3] (nine hundred and ninety-nine -- 909)

PS: For legal documents and bank cheques, people use“零” as it has more strokes and is harder to be falsified.

“〇” is specific for page number or year/serial numbers.

Eg: “二〇一八年” [er 4, ling 2, yi 1, ba 1, nian 2] (Year 2018)

PS: “〇” is a Daoism character. Its variant forms “中”[zhong 1] (central/middle) with a vertical“一” [yi 1] (one). “中” means “允执厥中” [yun 3, zhi 2, jue 2, Zhong 1] (integrity/honestly, keeping promises/observing rules, those, justice/fairness), which is an idea of governance. That’s another meaning of “中”in“中国”[zhong 1, guo 2] (China/central empire) besides “center/ middle”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

Thank you so much. I learn so much from a little history and understanding the depth of meaning, and how the meaning became associated with the character. Wonderful specifics. Very much appreciated.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/allieK4Christ

Look it up and make sure it's true


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fivefootterror

I think I just learned more from your comment than from my cumulative Duolingo studies.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnusuyaMai

How much big is this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaheshKangude

Chinese need simply such characters further


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aviva328416

you= blah blah blah


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/llermo6

Thank you sir to teach us a lot more of these lessons


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vixelle

tysm that was super helpful!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

It doesn't surprise me, as in Asian philosophies, "emptiness" is a complex concept.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eric810050

An interesting aside, the Hebrew word for "emptiness" is the same word for "vanity". So in the English translation of the Christian Bible, when Solomon goes on and on about "vanity" (vanity of vanities), he could have been saying "emptiness of emptiness"...which seems to put an Asian type philosophy onto the whole deal. Also, ideas in mathematics of the infinitesimal (so small, that it might as well be zero) are very complex and seem to be the same as what AloeSoothe describes as the evolution of this Chinese character for zero.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarriottPlayer

It's especially curious when all numbers 1 thru 10 are four or so strokes at most. But from my past studies, I can't say "0" is ever used all that often.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LazyEinstein

I have seen it in words such as 零钱 (língqián) change and 零食 (língshí) snack.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew-Lin

Because 零 originally means "trivial" as in the examples you have given. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/allieK4Christ
  1. Try really hard 2. Pray to GOD

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

What is it you want to learn?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Change as a money. So literally "trivial money", and snack = "trivial food". Is there a link between "zero" and "trivial"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElMeuNom

Zero is a very small number, so I guess that's where the connection is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caleb829123

Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very tiny, as there is nothing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kohinoor5

Hello my self gunjan from India 7 clAss


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kohinoor5

He is my brother beside me they are saying 0 to this digit


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlanShezar

Correct. It means "zero" when counting numbers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Citronnier1

13 strokes actually. You probably counted some curvy stroke as more than one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MBH3691

I counted 13 as well


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guierrmo2

Exactly my thoughts! I put a lot of thought into memorizing the structure and then to find out on the next screen it means nothing...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OTraverso

They are using the "0" digit too... :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manuel_Lujan

Fortunatelly, it has an alternative symbol: 〇.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gray_Roze

Is that the only Han character with a circle?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GryTea

If you count those no longer used in modern Chinese, no. Also, a lot of characters' old looks have circles, but the characters have evolved into ones without a circle.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gray_Roze

Interesting, thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GryTea

You're welcome :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdwardDov

modern cosmological thinking says there is no such thing as nothing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephAldenMoore

I think it looks like a smiling face


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xx1212

"Zero" is a historically recent concept. That is why it has a more complex character.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Huh "recent"... In Europe maybe (relatively), not in Asia. They did use the concept in the first century before our era.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngelHerna12

You misunderstood. The concept of zero is newer and the most recent learned/invented/recognized number for any culture. Mayans in the Americas discovered the zero without influence from others around the world for whom zero already existed. The Greeks and Romans learned zero and almost everything else from Egyptians before them. Chinese learned it before the western civilizations, independently. All at different times, yes, but the zero was always a late addition considering the people would always have all the other numbers for a long time before coming up with zero. Nothing always existed, but a number for nothing is a newer concept.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

Very nicely worded. Thank you for contributing clarity and detailed info in a caring way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaiHanzo

I think indians and muslims were the ones to bring the modern concept of zero to a wider scale


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raconteur

The europeans learnt it from the arabs, not egyptians. the arabs learnt it from the indians, who probably invented it. arabs still call it the hindu numerals, and the westerners still call the numbers of the decimal system, hindu arabic numerals, crediting both the indians and the arabs for this new thing. zero isn't a new concept, but using it mathematically to create the decimal system and counting in tens has a very straight forward history.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CinnamonTe1

There has been a lot of migration from Africa to Europe and Mesopotamia and Persia to India (Asia). Those individuals and populations that migrated brought their existing culture and knowledge into new places.

Are you certain that modern Indians didn't migrate with a numeral system learned elsewhere?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Aryan_migrations


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cascadianski

i like how they don't teach you anything except how to make sounds in this course, then pop quiz you on what those sounds mean.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverBens6

Hover over the character and it will give you the translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

You can't hover on most of these exercises. There is no translation. You can only hover when they get to sentences towards the end of the lesson.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scoreperfect

Good to know, thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philipp964998

How do you hover on mobile?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanneordarc

You press down on it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChocolateMew2

Is this from traditional Chinese, or simplified?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soyunpenguino

Both traditional and simplified Chinese write zero the same way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElMeuNom

This course teaches simplified (at least, it has so far), but as someone already mentioned, this character is the same in both.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SomeoneElse359

Looks like traditional but idk


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soph1931

Don't answer quesions you don't know the answer to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caleb829123

Unless you want my dog Soph to have nightmares about inception


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kapos

What about 〇?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanneordarc

It’s the same as the difference between 0 and ‘zero’, just between the digit and the word. (I assume that’s what you’re asking about)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K.525

Wrong! Chinese does have Arabic 0. The character 零 is for general use. 〇 is for year and page number. e.g. 二〇一三年 means Year 2013.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Yes, but they also write: 〇 一 二 三 四

So, they are numbers (figures), but they can also be words at the same time? I don't know if they have a clear border, as we have, between the word and the figure (eight/8)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jordanchfung311

No, I don't agree!

Chinese usually write 零,一,二,三,四 or 零,壹,貳,參,肆


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/muizzsiddique

Are the latter characters actually 0-4?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hedwig321297

Does anybody know where I could learn how to write the different strokes in a character? If I understand correct it matters which stroke comes first and the amount of strokes in them. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.Ace.

Not sure if I can link to other sites, but there's a useful one I use called "mdbg" that I use. Bit annoying to figure out at first, but first search the pinyin (if you also add the tone number it helps limit the results), then hover over the arrows for your character, click the first button to break down all the characters, hover over it again and you'll see a button with a paint brush and it will animate writing the strokes in order.

If you play around further with the options, you can also have them break down the components/radicals in the character if you want to go more in depth (only helpful some of the time since the meaning is sometimes irrelevant if it's the phonetic component)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/weirdnerdykid123

you might want to try some apps on your phome or ipad( if you have one)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

My local library has some Chinese calligraphy books that show this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scoreperfect

Hold it - when did they teach 零 means "Zero" ? Note to Duo Lingo: Teach then test - not the other way around! haha. They do this all the time. You need to first "get it wrong" to be taught it. Oh, sure, that makes sense...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverBens6

Umm... actually you can just hover over the character in the sentence to get the translation. Hope that helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

except that is no sound so you can't connect the sound with the character AND the meaning all together. frustrating.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scoreperfect

Will try that next time, thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elguerreroavila

Litterally, it goes 一二三四五六七八九十。。。 But zero is 零, i mean, so simple numbers begin with a so complex number! \(◎o◎)/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizettepandas5

Chinese isn't very hard


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buhdahto

'Nought' (not naught) is the more commonly-used term for 'zero' in the United Kingdom. All Brits understand 'zero,' but use 'nought.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndersBorje

What about nil and oh?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikeyjkk

They are used as well, less formal though. More common to hear than read.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZahraJahro

i dont get why there is two type of writing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

Do you mean the Simplified and Traditional script? If so, they are just two ways that the Chinese language has evolved over the years. There are many more scripts for Chinese that were used even earlier than the Traditional but only scholars, historians and calligraphy painters tend to use them. The traditional script has been used for a long time. When the Communist Party came into power they wanted to make it easier for people to read and write Chinese so they simplified some of the characters. Therefore there are now people alive who use one or the other or both.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanneordarc

Like Karuna said, there are historical reasons for it. However, this course and most other Mandarin courses teach simplified characters only.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverBens6

What do you mean by two types of writing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Traditional and simplified.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MBH3691

How do you write Chinese characters on a phone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K.525

Input method:

Chinese: Pinyin

Taiwanese: Zhuyin (aka bopomofo)

HK people: 倉頡 (Cangjie), 速成, 無蝦米, 大易, 九方, 行列, 縱橫, 粵拼 (Jyutping), etc ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GryTea

Some of those you listed under HK are also used in Taiwan.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeri893412

They still use traditional characters in Taiwan


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jordanchfung311

Not only Taiwan! But also Hong Kong, Macau and some southeast cities.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leredrub_

It genuinely annoys me that when first presented with something completely new with zero foundation to go off, I have to guess what word or number it should be. Later on it's a good tactic to test if you understand how the language you are learning is built but when completely new it's freaking annoying because I'm just guessing not actually learning anything. Language isn't a gambling thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vetyr_Cylni

Well, I guess we are starting off with 零 foundation, and that is the hardest one of all..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

Yes I totally understand. I think the people who are volunteering their time are either not teachers or maybe the Chinese educational system is based on repetition and not actually understanding based on previous learning. Its very frustrating but it is also available as a free resource so I'm one part grateful and two parts frustrated. I've been told to use other sources and come here just to see what I can garner. I've learnt to either play with it or leave it alone and go elsewhere for actual learning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stupedfatidiot

How would you write lets say 581 in chineese? you use all the symbols? Five hundred Eight ten????? all of the symbols you use? can somebody tell me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vetyr_Cylni

Pretty much that. Five hundred 8 ten one. 五百八十一


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CalebDorse

The hardest number to write (for me) is the one that isn't there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chucklenuts7

that's a freaky looking character, it's like some levitating super-being


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miliani329099

I think Doulingo is a nice app. You can practice any language! Everyone can practice one language and more. Its fun to practice with other people too! Its a really fun likish app. It is like a game to practice languages!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GryTea

零 (pronounced as "líng") is made of 雨 (meaning "rain") and 令 (usually pronounced as "lìng"). 零 originally meant "odd rain" or "rain here and there," as opposed to heavy rain. In modern Chinese, it's further used to mean "zero" (which is emptier than "odd" and than "here and there").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaufanWija

its soooooo easy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FaithFluff

This is quite hard to be honest


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OlegLilitk

Null is incorrect. Think they expect integer here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GryTea

answer_type_t *answer_type = nullptr;

// *answer_type = answer_type_integer_e;


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ParulAggar16

I can't understand what is meaning of John 3 your 77 aur 30


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLY12IN

Ling is easy so easy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MalaikaKis

I misunderstood the word


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RocioAlvar809140

Alguien más que hable español y chino


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shilpajamg

Fabulous voice easy to understand


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SourabhNai2

This app is really Helpful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnmorse15

Im confused being asked to translate numbers that we have never met before, essemtially just guessing what the snswer is. ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neelanjana499250

You should speak it out clearly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.s3OW3P

Thanku that was super helpful!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.Nl2CCw

I want to talk and also learn to write


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vuk947440

It doesn't refister my voice


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CALYSTANH

Aww it's so cute i have a typo and the app understand itt


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Billybobjo671285

How do you draw that? How is zero harder to draw than the numbers 1-10?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sheheryar932184

Hi friends how are you alls I write zero


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathan740070

All the digits were quite simple until the chinese decided to divide by ling.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/egosirius

The sound of 零(líng) is similar to clean, so I think of a cleaned place that is ZERO mess so it's a C-líng place.

Get it?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.coI5vy

Ling means zero hi guys how are you I am lalalalisa from blackpink pls like and subcribe don't forget to share and tell to them subcribe in youtube I am very happy today


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Anyone knows how this character is made? What are the roots and their meanings?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AWSMDEWD

Is it possible to write this in Mandarin as just the number 0, like that? This goes for other numbers too (1, 2, 3...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/weirdnerdykid123

i put 00000000000000,0000000000000000000000000000000000 and it worked XD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

Coincidentally a completely different character than the Japanese "borrowed"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverQuee677478

Lian yu in english is purgatory.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cheddar500

You didn't tell me this meant zero yet...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UjjwalAndK

All are l'ing i am onley first


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Preston563690

How was I supposed to know


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Preston563690

I learned this easily


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sean725768

I thought you could also put 0 and they would understand


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

Read the discussion and you will see other options.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zara376408

I'm learning soo much Thanks doulingo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zara376408

The numbers are tricky to


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Celcel94

I like the turtle sound..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/belinda502

I typed Zero and it says wrong answer. Also I used 'caps' on the 'Z'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThngMnh

☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jamaicanqueen123

Try and make us learn to actually write the characters because just being able to speak a language doesn't enable us to write it correctly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IgorKoroli1

Hppfzodgksgkkdkgzdyodyodylflfykdloxxkldlfhkfkfkfdktsoo uck category Jharkhand


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JJStudies

My computer doesn't type in chineese only in english


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Panda186192

The zero in chinese language is too compkicated then others


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcosLean18443

(・∀・)(・∀・)(・∀・)(・∀・)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/isabella647877

Someone give me hearts and i will follow you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sancheti3

good enough i love chinese people so i started learning chinese


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NaazTai

I am learning well but i dont knowing the answers.....but i known that i have learned this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

There are other ways to write "zero".

〇, 零, 洞


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jordanchfung311

Why is "洞" means "0"?

Don't you find it in the Google Translate?

All kinds of translater are useless, they often make mistakes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaylorGrayMoore

Should "zilch" be accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zara376408

Ya since it means nothing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muzamalsal

ling mean zero how i foucus?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NamuhnonSi

How do I know this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sonic968462

It said I typed in English, but I typed the Chinese symbol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frostoniaaaaa

In this question it said i had typed in english and not chinese


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

If you did type in Chinese, then you need to report it as an error. OR if the question asked you to type in English but you got that message, then also report it as an error.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KMAC783

my dad now's some chase


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G0n12

This mean zero or nothing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben611106

I accidentally typed 9 (next to the 0) an get it right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CadenCurti2

How do you spell zero is chinese


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marleny921062

I know that lìng means 0.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dullcheeto

lol thats my name


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.L.I.5000

joooooooooosherman


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverQuee677478

I only had the game for 15 mins and already got a streak of 15 in chinese


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ultimatemanjr.

This is hard. * got wrong last time *


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zara376408

Take your time and understand it then you'll get because learning is all about making mistakes. Just remember doulingo is here to help


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beyaruni

I never want to write it again omg what a fkin letter xDD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sioma1siom

I guess this is a bug but i didn't know the answer so i wrote G and it said it was correct......


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caleb829123

I just pressed the spacebar


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marleny921062

If you wrote G it was correct?!! If you wrote G it said it was wrong!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mal924402

Esta aplicacion es muy buena


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tupanamanuel

There's no a zero


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MommyWarlo

I did "Zero 0" and I got wrong, but technically its still correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jordanchfung311

Nope! "Zero 0" means "零零", that is WRONG!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caleb829123

then how is 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 correct

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