What is the Chinese word for to speak

China Park

Word, speak

Line count: 7

The Chinese character 言 (yán), which means “word / speak”, consists of two parts. The first part 口 (kǒu, mouth) symbolizes someone speaking. The four lines above could be interpreted pictorially as sound waves. This creates the pictorial representation of a mouth from which words come.

Stroke sequence and stroke direction:


言 (yán, words)


言 (yán, words) This radical comes from the long-character list for traditional radicals and can be found at position 149. In modern shorthand dictionaries, however, it can be in a completely different place.

讠 is the corresponding short radical. Both forms of this radical are listed in a section in the Xinhua dictionary, Xiandai Hanyu Cidian, and other dictionaries.

As radicals 言 and 讠 can always be found on the left side of the character.

Frequently used words and phrases

  • 言语 (言語) - yányǔ - speech, word;
  • 语言 (語言) - yǔyán - language;
  • 言论 (言論) - yánlùn - speech, opinion, expression of opinion, public speech;
  • 言论自由 (言論自由) - yánlùn zìyóu - freedom of expression, freedom of speech.

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