American poet Ezra Pound once said: ” The easiest language in the world for writing poetry is Chinese. Pablo Picasso said:” If I was born in China, I wouldn’t have been a painter, I would have become a calligrapher.”
Whether simple or complicated, each Chinese character is a picture. And each character is a unity of form, sound and meaning, one at least. Learning Chinese is different from learning any other languages. In learning a western language, if you were to take a word apart, separating it into many phonetic syllables, it would lose its meaning altogether. For instance, if you were to take the English word “university” and try to figure out its meaning based on the meanings of the five syllabic components u/ni/ver/si/ty, you would get nowhere, because separately these components each has no meaning at all and certainly has nothing to do with what the word “university” means.
Let’s look at the Chinese word for “university”: 大学. You first learn the words “大” which means “big” and “学” which means “learning”, you learn the two words separately since 大学 is formed by combining these two characters (you might call them elements of the language). In meaning, 大学 has to do with both 大 and 学, and yet 大学 is not a simple case of 大 plus 学. On the surface it is the combination is “big” and “learning” yet the meaning is more than that. 大学is the equivalent of the English word “university”.
Similarly, take 危机, the Chinese word for “crisis” for example, it is formed by combining “danger” and “opportunity”. This is a perfect example to show the philosophical side of the Chinese language. Isn’t “crisis” contains both “danger” and “opportunity”?
Same as “university”, when we say “crisis” in Chinese, the meaning conveyed in 危机 is the equivalent of that of “crisis”. It is formed of “danger” plus “crisis” yet the meaning is more than just the combination of these two characters.
Chinese characters, created and improved by the Huaxia people in ancient times, are one of the world’s oldest scripts, with a history dating back to the Shang Dynasty (c1600-c1100BC)—-The oracle bone inscriptions carved on tortoise shells and ox bones used for divination and recording by the ruling families.
Chinese characters gradually developed from pictographs to square-shaped symbols composed of strokes. Chinese characters have been the standard official script throughout the ages in China.
Reference: Chinese Characters in Pictures