Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You - a saucy oil

You means oil or sauce. See the three dots of the water radical on the left. When you see this, it doesn't usually mean fried, although in a few cases it does. (Oil Stick 油條 is the name for the crullers you can order with your congee, for instance.) You'll see it most often in reference to various flavors of oils and sauces (like soy sauce or jiang you 醬油).

Since the word is pretty much the same word as "squid" which is pretty much the same as "excellent" in spoken Mandarin, you can see here how important the tones are in Chinese.

I mentioned earlier that the water radical has two variations (neither of which look much like the main character). Here is an example of you in a different font, with the other version of the water radical.

How to recognize You: it looks like a bottle, with the water radical hanging off the left side. (You know how oil has a way of dripping down the side of the bottle, right?)

The Pinyin spelling is yóu or you2 (second tone)

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