U+6211, 我
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-6211

[U+6210]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+6212]
Commons:Category
Commons:Category
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Translingual

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Stroke order
 
Stroke order
 
Stroke order
(Taiwan)
 

Han character

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(Kangxi radical 62, +3, 7 strokes, cangjie input 竹手戈 (HQI), four-corner 23550, composition 𠂌)

Derived characters

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Descendants

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References

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  • Kangxi Dictionary: page 412, character 1
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 11545
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 2, page 1401, character 2
  • Unihan data for U+6211

Further reading

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Chinese

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simp. and trad.
alternative forms

Glyph origin

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Historical forms of the character
Shang Western Zhou Warring States Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han) Liushutong (compiled in Ming)
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Chu slip and silk script Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts
         

A pictogram (象形) of a rake-like tool or weapon (note the oracle bone script form); Guo Moruo considers it to be the original character for (OC *ɡral, “a kind of axe or chisel”). Jao & Zeng (1985, pp. 289–290) conjecture about its similarity to a kind of three-bladed polearm found at archaeological sites; cf. (, polearm with one blade). It was already borrowed for sound to mean "I" (in the sense of "first-person subject") since the oracle bone script.

Folk etymology considers it to be an ideograph of a hand ( (shǒu)) holding a weapon ( ()) to protect oneself.

Some have suggested a contrast with (ěr), interpreting the latter as a weapon with tip pointing outward. (Can this(+) etymology be sourced?)

Etymology

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From Proto-Sino-Tibetan *ŋa-j ~ ka. Cognate with (OC *ŋaː), Burmese ငါ (nga, I), Hakka 𠊎 (ngài). The expected Mandarin pronunciation is ě (now only found in a few Northern dialects); is "a col[loquial] archaism" (Schuessler, 2007).

Pronunciation

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Note:
  • ngoi1 - vernacular (“I; my”);
  • ngo4 - literary (“I”);
  • ngoi4 - “we; our”.
Note:
  • uòi - vernacular;
  • nguòi - literary.
Note:
  • nguāi - vernacular;
  • ngō̤ - literary.
Note:
  • góa/óa - vernacular;
  • ngó͘ - literary.
Note:
  • ua2 - vernacular;
  • ngo2 - literary.
Note:
  • (Shanghainese) 6wu - common among younger speakers;
  • (Suzhounese) 1ngou - literary.

  • Dialectal data
Variety Location
Mandarin Beijing /uo²¹⁴/
Harbin /vɤ³¹²/
Tianjin /uo²¹³/
Jinan /ɤ⁵⁵/
/ŋɤ⁵⁵/
Qingdao /uə⁵⁵/
Zhengzhou /uo⁵³/
Xi'an /ŋɤ⁵³/
Xining /nɔ⁵³/
Yinchuan /və⁴²/
Lanzhou /və⁴⁴/
Ürümqi /vɤ⁵¹/
Wuhan /ŋo⁴²/
/o⁴²/
Chengdu /ŋo⁵³/
Guiyang /ŋo⁴²/
Kunming /o⁵³/
Nanjing /o²¹²/
Hefei /ʊ²⁴/
Jin Taiyuan /ɣɤ⁵³/
Pingyao
Hohhot /vɤ⁵³/
Wu Shanghai /ŋu¹²³/
/ɦu¹²³/
Suzhou /ŋəu⁴⁴/
/ŋəu²³/
Hangzhou /ŋou⁵¹/
Wenzhou /ŋ³⁴/
Hui Shexian
Tunxi
Xiang Changsha /ŋo⁴¹/
Xiangtan
Gan Nanchang /ŋo²¹³/
Hakka Meixian /ŋai¹¹/
/ŋɔ⁴⁴/
Taoyuan
Cantonese Guangzhou /ŋɔ³⁵/
Nanning /ŋɔ³⁵/
Hong Kong /ŋɔ²³/
Min Xiamen (Hokkien) /ɡua⁵¹/
/ŋɔ̃⁵¹/
Fuzhou (Eastern Min) /ŋuai³¹/
/ŋɔ³¹/
Jian'ou (Northern Min) /ŋuɛ⁴²/
/uɛ⁴²/
Shantou (Teochew) /o⁵³/
/ŋua⁵³/
Haikou (Hainanese) /va²¹³/
/ŋo²¹³/

Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1
Initial () (31)
Final () (94)
Tone (調) Rising (X)
Openness (開合) Open
Division () I
Fanqie
Baxter ngaX
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/ŋɑX/
Pan
Wuyun
/ŋɑX/
Shao
Rongfen
/ŋɑX/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/ŋaX/
Li
Rong
/ŋɑX/
Wang
Li
/ŋɑX/
Bernard
Karlgren
/ŋɑX/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
ě
Expected
Cantonese
Reflex
ngo5
BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character
Reading # 1/1
Modern
Beijing
(Pinyin)
Middle
Chinese
‹ ngaX ›
Old
Chinese
/*ŋˁajʔ/
English we, I

Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

* Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
* Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
* Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
* Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

* Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character
Reading # 1/1
No. 13041
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
1
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*ŋaːlʔ/
Notes

Definitions

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  1. I; me; my
    認識高興 [MSC, trad.]
    认识高兴 [MSC, simp.]
    Rènshí nǐ zhēn gāoxìng. [Pinyin]
    I am pleased to meet you.
    哥哥每日返工遲到 [Cantonese, trad.]
    哥哥每日返工迟到 [Cantonese, simp.]
    ngo5 go1-4 go1 mui5 jat6 faan1 gung1 dou1 ci4 dou3. [Jyutping]
    My brother is late for work every day.
    今朝公司事體 [Shanghainese, trad.]
    今朝公司事体 [Shanghainese, simp.]
    1cin-tsau 1kon-sy 6yeu 6zy-thi 6ngu 1shi 5tseu-leq [Wugniu]
    Today I have things to do in the company, (so) I'm leaving early (lit. ahead).
  2. (literary, formal or dialectal) we; us; our
      ―  guó  ―  our country
      ―  shì  ―  our city
  3. (obsolete) to stubbornly hold to one's own opinion
  4. (obsolete) to kill
  5. (obsolete) tilted
  6. a surname

Synonyms

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  • (Classical)
  • (Classical)
  • (dialectal Mandarin)
  • () (literary, humble)
  • 區區区区 (qūqū) (literary, humble)
  • (Classical)
  • (Classical)
  • (qiè) (archaic, humble, use by women)
  • () (used by emperor)
  • 我佬 (Mainland, internet slang)
  • (zhèn) (Classical)
  • () (colloquial, derogatory or familiar)
  • () (Mainland, internet slang)
  • 老子 (lǎozi) (colloquial male)

See also

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Standard Mandarin Chinese personal pronouns
Person Singular Plural
1st () 我們我们 (wǒmen)
inclusive 咱們咱们 (zánmen)
2nd male/indefinite () 你們你们 (nǐmen)
female () 妳們你们 (nǐmen)
deity () 祢們祢们 (nǐmen)
polite (nín) 你們你们 (nǐmen)
您們您们 (nínmen)
3rd male/indefinite () 他們他们 (tāmen)
female () 她們她们 (tāmen)
deity () 祂們祂们 (tāmen)
animal () 牠們它们 (tāmen)
inanimate () 它們它们 (tāmen)

Compounds

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Descendants

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Sino-Xenic ():
  • Japanese: () (ga)
  • Korean: 아(我) (a)
  • Vietnamese: ngã ()

Others:

References

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Japanese

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Kanji

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(grade 6 “Kyōiku” kanji)

Readings

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Compounds

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Etymology 1

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Kanji in this term
われ
Grade: 6
kun’yomi
Alternative spellings

From Old Japanese,[1] as the long form of (wa) below.

Compound of (wa, see below) +‎ (-re, nominalizing suffix).

Pronunciation

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Pronoun

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(われ) (ware

  1. first person singular pronoun: I, me, oneself
  2. (usually vulgar) second person singular pronoun: you
Usage notes
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  • In modern Japanese, most often encountered in the plural forms 我等 (warera) and 我々 (wareware, we, us).
Derived terms
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See also
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Etymology 2

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Kanji in this term

Grade: 6
kun’yomi
Alternative spellings

From Old Japanese (wa).[1]

Pronunciation

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Pronoun

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() (wa

  1. (obsolete or dialect) first-person personal pronoun: I, me
    • 棟方志功
      だばゴッホになる
      wa daba gohho ni naru
      (Aomori) I'll be a Gogh
Usage notes
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Derived terms
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See also
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Etymology 3

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Kanji in this term
わ(が)
Grade: 6
kun’yomi
For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entry.
[adnominal] (archaic, now literary) my
[adnominal] (archaic, now literary) our
Alternative spelling
吾が
(This term, , is an alternative spelling of the above term.)

Etymology 4

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Kanji in this term

Grade: 6
kun’yomi
For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entry.
H
[pronoun] (obsolete) first-person personal pronoun: I, me
Alternative spelling
(This term, , is an alternative spelling of the above term.)

Etymology 5

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Kanji in this term
あれ
Grade: 6
kun’yomi
For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entry.
あれ
[pronoun] (obsolete) first-person personal pronoun: I, me
Alternative spelling
(This term, , is an alternative spelling of the above term.)

Etymology 6

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Kanji in this term

Grade: 6
on’yomi

From Middle Chinese (MC ngaX).

The Buddhist senses are a translation of Sanskrit आत्मन् (ātman, self).

Pronunciation

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Noun

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() (ga

  1. the ego, self
  2. self-righteousness
  3. (Buddhism) obstinacy
    Antonym: 無我 (muga)
  4. (Hinduism) atman
    Synonym: アートマン (ātoman)
Derived terms
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Affix

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() (ga

  1. self, oneself, myself
  2. egotism, selfishness
  3. (Buddhism) atman

Derived terms

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References

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Shōgaku Tosho (1988) 国語大辞典(新装版) [Unabridged Dictionary of Japanese (Revised Edition)] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. 3.0 3.1 NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, editor (1998), NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 [NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary] (in Japanese), Tokyo: NHK Publishing, Inc., →ISBN

Korean

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Etymology

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From Middle Chinese (MC ngaX).

Historical Readings
Dongguk Jeongun Reading
Dongguk Jeongun, 1448 ᅌᅡᆼ〯 (Yale: ngǎ)
Middle Korean
Text Eumhun
Gloss (hun) Reading
Hunmong Jahoe, 1527[3] (Yale: ) 아〯 (Yale: ǎ)

Pronunciation

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  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [a̠(ː)]
  • Phonetic hangul: [(ː)]
    • Though still prescribed in Standard Korean, most speakers in both Koreas no longer distinguish vowel length.

Hanja

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Korean Wikisource has texts containing the hanja:

Wikisource

(eumhun (na a))

  1. (literary) Hanja form? of (I; me).
  2. (literary) Hanja form? of (we; us; our).

Compounds

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References

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  • 국제퇴계학회 대구경북지부 (國際退溪學會 大邱慶北支部) (2007). Digital Hanja Dictionary, 전자사전/電子字典. [4]

Okinawan

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Kanji

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(grade 6 “Kyōiku” kanji)

Readings

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Old Japanese

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Alternative forms

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Etymology 1

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From Proto-Japonic *wa.

Pronoun

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(wa) (kana )

  1. first-person personal pronoun: I, me
Quotations
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For quotations using this term, see Citations:我.

Derived terms
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Descendants
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  • Japanese: (wa)

Etymology 2

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From (wa, see above) +‎ (-re, thing, nominalizing suffix).

Pronoun

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(ware) (kana われ)

  1. first-person personal pronoun: I, me, oneself
Quotations
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For quotations using this term, see Citations:我.

Descendants
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  • Japanese: (ware)

Etymology 3

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Likely a compound of (wa, see above) +‎ (-ro, suffix indicating affection).

Pronoun

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(waro2) (kana わろ)

  1. (regional, Southern Eastern Old Japanese) first person singular pronoun: I, me
Quotations
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For quotations using this term, see Citations:我.

Etymology 4

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The eastern variant of (ware).[1] Appears to be (wa) + (nu), appearing here not as the negative verb auxiliary but rather as a suffixing element of uncertain meaning. Appears in the Man'yōshū, volume 14 poem 3476.[2]

Pronoun

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(wanu) (kana わぬ)

  1. (regional, Northern Eastern Old Japanese) first person personal pronoun: I, me, oneself
Quotations
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For quotations using this term, see Citations:我.

Etymology 5

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(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Pronoun

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(a) (kana )

  1. first-person singular pronoun: I, me
Quotations
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For quotations using this term, see Citations:我.

Derived terms
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Descendants
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  • Japanese: (a)

Etymology 6

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From (a, see above) +‎ (-re, nominalizing suffix).

Pronoun

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(are) (kana あれ)

  1. first-person singular pronoun: I, me
Quotations
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For quotations using this term, see Citations:我.

Descendants
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References

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  1. ^ 我・吾”, in 日本国語大辞典 [Nihon Kokugo Daijiten]‎[1] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2000
  2. ^
    c. 759, Man’yōshū, book 14, poem 3476:
    , text available online here

Vietnamese

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Han character

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: Hán Việt readings: ngã[1][2][3][4], ngả ((ngữ)(khả)(thiết))[5]
: Nôm readings: ngả[1][2][3][6][5][4][7], ngã[1][2][3][5][4][7]

  1. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) chữ Hán form of ngã, ngả ((Vietnamese Literary Sinitic) I; me).
  2. Nôm form of ngả (way; direction).
  3. Nôm form of ngã (to fall; to slip).

Compounds

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References

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