Must-know Chinese Words in the Digital Age (I)


Have you ever wondered what life was like before the digital age?

The digital age has changed everything, including the way we learn a foreign language. Today, there are more and more people taking language courses online, learning through apps, online language-exchange programmes or even via Skype. All those cannot be achieved without access to the internet, one of the greatest inventions of all time!

And that’s why the first must-know Chinese word you will be learning here relates to the internet or simply “net.”

網/网 pinyin: wǎng; net; internet

网 (net) is the simplified form of 網, which is a combination of 糸 (silk) and 罔 (to deceive). In some context, 网 can mean “internet.” Its traditional form is 網.

上網/上网 pinyin: shàng wǎng; surf the internet

上 (to get on) +  网 (Internet) = 上网 (surf the Internet) [literally] (to get on Internet)

上网 can also mean “connect to the internet” or “have access to the internet.” The traditional form is 上網.

機/机 pinyin: jī; machine

机 is composed of 木 (tree/wood) and 几 (table); 木 provides the meaning while 几 indicates the sound of the character 机 which means “machine.” We would like to interpret it as in ancient times, a lot of machines are made of wood. The traditional form is 機.

手機/手机 pinyin: shǒu jī; cell/mobile phone

Hand (手) + Machine (机) = Cell phone/mobile phone (手机)

The “machine”(机) that can be held by “hand” (手) easily – that’s cell phone! The traditional form is 手機.

手機上網/手机上网 pinyin: shǒu jī shàng wǎng; access the internet by mobile phone

手机 (mobile phone) + 上网 (surf the internet) = 手机上网 (access internet by mobile phone) [literally] (mobile phone surf the internet)

According to the China government, there are more than 800 million internet users in China and 98% of them are accessing the internet by their mobile phones (手机上网). What an interesting statistical fact!

The traditional form is 手機上網!



This guest blog post comes from Learn to read and speak Chinese with Chineasy — a groundbreaking approach that transforms Chinese characters into effective and unique illustrations.

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