The traditional Chinese culture is very family oriented with an individual’s family being of the utmost importance. The character for family or home is 家 pinyin: jiā. The construction of this character is quite interesting. Over the top of the character is a roof. The rest of the character is 豕 pinyin:shǐ which is a character meaning pig. Anciently, if you had a roof over your head and owned a pig you had a home. A safe place to go to where you wouldn’t go hungry.
The character is very common and its uses are of great importance for anyone studying the language.
Here are just some of the ways the character is used.
|Family tree (genealogy)||家谱||jiā pǔ|
|Country (national family)||国家||guó jiā|
It also refers to a person who is proficient or employed in certain arts or professions
|Musician||音乐家||yīn yuè jiā|
|Artist (painter)||画家||huà jiā|
|Scientist||科学家||kē xué jiā|
There are also several popular phrases or sayings that use the character.
|Housewife||家庭主妇||jiā tíng zhǔ fù|
|Home style cooking||家常菜||jiā cháng cài|
|Family ugliness cannot be publicized. (Don’t air your dirty laundry.)||家丑不可外扬||jiā chǒu bù kě wài yáng|
|Every family has its problems.||家家有难念的经||jiā jiā yǒu běn nán niàn de jīng|