Saturday, 30 June 2012


This is GAO. I did this for a friend but thought I'ld share it here too!

Gao means high or tall and some scholars think the seal script form shows a tower or multistorey pavilion.

It's a character simple elegant and easy to remember and also interesting from a historical linguistics viewpoint since its one of those words with cognates in several languages that seem to derive from a Eurasiatic protolanguage. Yes Gao once spelt KAO may be related to HIGH and height.

How well a lot of Western and Germanic and Englsih words that start with H come from words that were centuries or millenia ago pronounced with an initial K. K tends to soften to a H.

A similar phonological change is why some Chinese words like HAN ZI are KANJI in SinoJapanese.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Orchid Sequence 3

Orchid Sequence 3

LAN 2 Unihan 862d or f91f bold Cantonese laaan 4  Minnan lan 5 hakka Lan 2 Other dialects lang laz noz nan

SJ RAN fujibaka
SK Lan
SV also Lan

The phonetic for this character has a meaning of blocked gate, fence, or doorscreen, which suggests to me that the Chinese have been growing these as garden or house plants for a very long time.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Orchid Sequence Two

Orchid Sequence Two

 Lan the "Orchid" is a favorite subject for Chinese painters however what the Chinese call LAN or "ORCHID" is usually Cymbidium goeringia or ensifolium or Bletilla Striata which is also called baiji lan.

bletilla striata plant

Just to complicate things Magnolias are "Jade Orchids" in Chinese and in Japanese the word RAN derived from LAN  is used in compounds like Yaburan to refer to Liriope muscari .

Then there's a plant called the Jian or Min Orchid and the Grass orchid .

More soon.

Saturday, 9 June 2012


LAN will be the topic of the next few Technozi blogs.

LAN usually gets translated as ORCHID but the plant the Chinese are usually referring to are cymbidiums like the one above .

The word is used by itself and in compounds to refer to a variety of flowers ranging from from cymbidiums to tropical orchids irises and even magnolias which are called jade orchids!

Here's$ variants of  the character !

I've taken images form several sources and combined them to show you left to right
first the traditional regular script form then a xing shu and below left right you have the cursive form and beside it seal script.

More on Lan orchids and Cymbidiums next time so follow this blog!