Some numbers are liked by people, some are not. For example, 13 in some western countries is not a likeable number, it is considered unlucky which is exactly the same in Chinese culture.
The numbers 6, 7 and 8 are popular in China. The number 6 means everything is going very well, the number 7 means everything is rising and getting even better, 8 means you will make a good fortune.
Like in western culture the young generation make up their own language like text talk, the Chinese youngsters do the same with numbers. 512 means I love you, 1314 means for your whole life.
While, the number 4 is not likeable, because the sound of number 4 is similar to the word “die” in Mandarin, so Chinese people regard it as an unlucky number, they try to avoid it in daily life, for example some apartment buildings don’t have a 4th floor at all, or the 4th floor flat is much cheaper than the others. And the number plate on a funeral car is usually 444444.
Now you know how to say the numbers zero to ten in Chinese, which is really quite impressive. What about the rest of the numbers? Before we begin, let’s go through some very simple maths.
11 = 10 + 1
12 = 10 + 2
13 = 10 + 3
19 = 10 + 9
Here are the numbers in Chinese from 0 to 10, and there are some ‘silly’ tips to help you remember them. Please notice that the sounds of the numbers are underlined.
0 – Líng – bling bling the twinkling star
1 – Yī – is easy
2 – èr – two ‘r’s on the Rolls Royce
3 – sān – three grinds of sand
4 – Sì – a girl named Sue
5 – Wǔ – when you woooo someone, you wave five fingers
6 – Liù – the lion King Leo wears a number 6 on his neck
7 – qī – seven dwarfs having tea and cheese (combine the tea and chee)
8 – bā – eight sheep go baaaaa
9 – jiǔ – a girl named Jill
10 – Shí – shhhh, be quiet
The sounds of the numbers are easy, don’t worry about the tones, we will look at them later.
The best way to memorize these numbers is to break it down into two parts, one to five and six to ten, and just keep on repeating them.
Repeat to remember and remember to repeat.
The Chinese invented many things in the past, and it’s not surprising that they also invented the number system, according to Professor Lam Lay Yong from National University of Singapore Mathematics, that the Chinese invented the number system and were adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing as early as 475BC, almost 1,000 years before the Arabic and Egyptians, and they simply used bamboo rods.
It’s no doubt that the numbers play a very important role in our lives, and in Chinese culture, people believe that some numbers can bring good luck and certain number can bring bad luck.
The lucky numbers are five, six, eight, nine and ten, and the unlucky number to avoid is number four. Continue reading