Learning Mandarin: Nine – long lasting

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

Nine

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

The number nine is also a lucky number. Once again, that comes from the fact that it's pronounced similarly to 久 (Jiǔ) which means "a long time". In some contexts, it can mean "long lasting" or even "everlasting". Because of the latter meaning, you'll often hear it used in weddings.

The number has older relevance to emperors, regarding the nine bestowments and later the nine-rank system for exams. Emperor's robes were often adorned with nine dragons. The forbidden city was said to have had 9,999 and a half rooms.

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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