Translation:Does every character have a story?
is 'behind' implied in this question?
'does every chinese character have a story?' is a more literal translation?
Came here to say the same thing. I would not have come up with the correct English translation had I not been using the refrigerator magnets.
Yes, that's correct. In this particular sentence, the Chinese translates fairly literally. There is no "behind" in the sentence; the literal translation is "Every Chinese character [all] has a story, right (question particle)?" I think the Duo translators tried to make it a bit fancy, but if "Every Chinese character tells a story, doesn't it?" isn't accepted, it should be reported.
I majored in Chinese Linguistics at university (B.A and M.A.), and the graduate classes in paleography - in which we traced the characters back to pictographs in ancient times on things like oracle bones and turtle shells, closer to their original pictorial meanings - were just so fascinating. That was one of the reasons I started studying Chinese in the first place, was to lean what the pictograms meant. So, this particular sentence has special meaning for me! Of course, the language has gone through so many changes over the millennia that sometimes, the origin of a word isn't what you would think it was.
Not surprisingly, there aren't a lot of jobs in Chinese linguistics, so I've been out of practice for quite a while. I was thrilled to recently find Duo's Chinese course so that I can brush up on my Chinese. :)
Yeah，汉字发展历史 or the developmental history of Chinese characters. I learnt some in secondary school, 甲骨文 or oracle bone script、金文、大篆、小篆、隶书、草书、楷书、行书等等。
Its fascinating to learn but we never did go too deep into it due to time constraints.
What I can remember from our classes is as follows: It started from knots of rope to distinguish an event or a day or something out of the ordinary, then when there were too many things that it became difficult to distinguish they invented a simple writing system carving symbols on turtle shells or other hard flat objects. This gradually grew more complex, and as paper was invented (in China by 蔡伦) and writing tools changed the characters began to be more rounded in the edges, from 隶书 to 草书 then to 楷书 of Chinese calligraphy fame, as in the different types such as 小楷、中楷、大楷 then to 行书 and characters more like the modern (traditional?) Chinese characters we use today.
It really brought home just how ancient the language is and I thought it was pretty cool.