Matters of the Heart


A lot of Chinese words are compounds of two characters put together, as I ‘ve mentioned previously.

Today’s quiz is about the character for “heart”, or xin.
See if you can guess what the words mean, when combined.

1.  Kai xin = open + heart

2.  Fang xin = put-in-place + heart

3.  Re xin = hot + heart

4.  Xiao xin = little + heart

5.  Dian xin = little dot + heart



Ok, here are the explanations.

1.  Joyeous, happy.  I hear this daily when carrying our 10 month old who (still) eagerly smiles at strangers on the sidewalks.

2.  Set your mind at ease, relax, don’t worry.  This is what my 5 year old says when I yell Xiao xin! to her, countless times a day.  Although she still prefers English as her modus operandum.

3.  Warm-hearted, enthusiastic.  My oldest to a T.  Always eager to join in what’s going on around her, willing to help, thinking about the underdog.

4.  Caution, watch out.  Mothers yell this when kids are about to cross the street in front of a three wheeled bike with a mountain of styrofoam blocking the driver’s view.  And when Lu Ming tries to climb a tree way too tall for him and gets stuck halfway up.

5.  Little crackers or biscuit-like snacks.  Ok, this one is not so intuitive, but for me, those little snacks do fill my heart with joy…


One response »

  1. What a wonderful post! Thanks for the language explanations and the precious pictures of the kids. I just recently got signed up for your blogs and I am enjoying each and every one of them. Makes me feel like you’re not so far away! Love and miss you all; Cathy

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