yán words; speech; to say


Alternative traditional form of character:

Note

The radical for speech has been greatly simplified to just two strokes from seven strokes in the full character. It is often used in characters relating to language. It original had an upside down man over a mouth which over time became lines that suggest utterances.
Number of strokes 7

Sounds same

yán (face) yán (words)
This character is also represented as a radical in the form: yán

< Previous yán Next yán >

Pronunciation

Sound file kindly provided by shtooka.net under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License

stroke order for 言
Stroke order for character 言, kindly provided under Wikimedia creative commons license

Proverbs

顾左右而言他 gù zuǒ yòu ér yán tā Avoiding talking about something; taking a long digression
泥人怕雨,谎言怕理 ní rén pà yǔ, huǎng yán pà lǐ Over time lies will eventually be laid bare
听其言观其行 tīng qí yán guān qí xíng Judge people by their actions, not by their words
言而无信 yán ér wú xìn To go back on one's word
一言既出驷马难追 yī yán jì chū sì mǎ nán zhuī Be careful what you say, it can not be unsaid

Yangzi bridges

It was not until 1957 (just over 55 years ago) that the very first bridge was built over the lower Yangzi. The river had proved too wide and dangerous a river for ancient bridge technology. Up until 1957 everything had to be ferried across in boats, even trains, which had to be unhitched and re-assembled on the other side. The first bridge was at Wuhan. There may soon be as many as a hundred bridges over the lower Yangzi.
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World War 3

War between U.S.S.R. (Russia) and China in March 1969 could easily have escalated to a nuclear conflict. Fortunately the Battle of Damansky Island lasted all of 90 minutes. It was Ho Chi Minh's intervention that halted military conflict between the two Communist nations.
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