Learning Mandarin: Five – about me?

This is the sixth in a series of posts where I'm looking at how the Chinese view numbers, often from a superstitious basis.


The Chinese character for five (Wǔ) is shown on the right hand side of the main image above.

The number five is slightly on the lucky side of neutral in Chinese, where people believe there are five blessings: luck, prosperity, wealth, longevity, and happiness.

Similarly, it has been associated with the five elements: water, earth, fire, wood, and metal. There is some past association with emperors.

It sounds a bit like the word 吾 (Wú) which means "I", "my", or "me".

While that's all good, it also sounds like 无 (Wú) which is more like "nothing" or "not" or "without". That has the possibility of being either good or bad.

Learning Mandarin

I'll write more soon on the best methods for learning. If you want to get a taste for it in the meantime though, my current favorite site is iTalki, and my favorite teacher by far is Amy He. If you decide to try it, click here and it's cheaper for both you and me.

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