Chinese Zodiac System — 十二生肖

Posted by Jenie Cao 6446

chinese-zodiac-shi-er-sheng-xiao

The Chinese Zodiac System is represented by twelve different animals, known as十二生肖。Beginning 28th January 2017 till 15th February 2018 is the year of the Rooster (jī – 鸡)。 The sequential order of the twelve animals are:- Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and finally Pig. Each animal is supposed to possess certain attributes or characteristics, and if you are born in the year of the animal you are supposed to possess those attributes or characteristics. Without going into too many details, reproduced below are some of the general attributes or characteristics associated with the animals.

1) Rat(鼠 – shǔ)

The Rat is the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac.Rats are quick-witted, resourceful, kind and smart.

2) Ox (牛 – niú)

Following the Rat is the Ox. People born in the year of the Ox are supposed to be diligent, dependable, honest and family oriented.

3) Tiger(虎 – hǔ)

The Tiger, also known as the king of the forest, symbolizes justice, bravery, and confidence. A person born in the year of the Tiger is known to be irritable.

4) Rabbit(兔 – tù)

The Rabbit is the fourth animal of the Chinese Zodiac. Those born in the year of the Rabbit are supposed to be clever, gentle and alert.

5) Dragon(龙 – lóng)

Of all the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is a not a real animal but a supernatural one. It symbolizes nobility, power, and intelligence but can be aggressive at times.

6) Snake(蛇 – shé)

The Snake symbolizes luck, intelligence, wisdom, and intuitiveness. In Chinese fairy tale, the Snake also symbolizes romance and happiness.

7) Horse(马 – mǎ)

Those born in the year of the Horse are supposed to be handsome, energetic, competent and cunning.

8) Sheep(羊 – yáng)

Sheep is a symbol of gentleness, creativeness, and kindness. Those born in the year of the Sheep are quiet and they love fashionable items.

9) Monkey(猴 – hóu)

The Monkey always acts smart and is very energetic. It symbolizes the leadership, wisdom, and confidence.

10) Rooster(鸡 – jī)

Those who born in the year of the Rooster are supposed to be loyal, honest and sociable. They enjoy being in the spotlight.

11) Dog(狗 – gǒu)

The Dog is always a faithful companion to human beings. Those born in this year are loyal, faithful and amiable.

12) Pig(猪 – zhū)

Those who born in the year of the Pig are supposed to be industrious, generous, loyal, patient and tolerant.

When talking about the year of birth, Chinese people are like to exchange the zodiac with each other with “你属什么(的)?”, and people usually answers as “我属X”. So you can see, we use “属+animal” to express the year of zodiac we are.

Let’s see how to use them in a dialogue.

xiǎo wén, nǐ shǔ shén me?
A: 小文,你属什么?
(Xiao Wen, what animal sign were you born under?)

wǒ mɑ? wǒ shǔ lónɡ。
B:我吗?我属龙。
(Me? I was born under the Dragon.)

zhēn de mɑ? jīn nián ɡānɡ hǎo shì lónɡ nián。
A:真的吗?今年刚好是龙年!
(Really? This year is exactly Dragon Year.)

duì。wǒ jì dé nǐ hǎo xiànɡ shǔ tù, duì mɑ?
B:对。我记得你好像属兔,对吗?
(Yes. And I remembered that you seemed born under the Rabbit, right?)

méi cuò。qù nián shì wǒ de běn mìnɡ nián。
A:没错。去年是我的本命年。
(That’s right. Last year is the animal year of me.)
Here “本命年” is the year of animal is exactly the year we were born in.

Would you like to know more about Chinese Zodiac System? Welcome to book a free trial lesson and let the teachers help you learn daily Chinese!

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