Homophone in Chinese

By Sujanti Djuanda – LingoLearn Chinese Teacher

Chinese has different characters with same pronunciation but different meaning, called同音字(tóng​yīn​zì​=homophonic characters​).

Example 1:

公(gōng) public

工(gōng​) work

I go to work by public bus every day.


Example 2:

咸(xián) salty

闲(xián) leisure

I like to cook salted vegetable duck soup in my free time.


Example 3:

雨(yǔ) rain

语(yǔ) language

Do you know how to say “太阳(tài​yang)雨(yǔ)” in English?


Example 4:

甜(tián) sweet

田(tián) field

Watermelons I planted in my field are very sweet.


Example 5:

市(shì) city

是(shì) to be

My hometown is Guangzhou city.


Example 6:

时(shí​) time

十(shí) ten

When I was 10 years old, I carelessly smashed a bowl once.


Example 7

元(yuán) Yuan

员(yuán) person, employee, member

Waiter, I give you 100 Yuan.


Example 8

完(wán) to finish

玩(wán) to play

After I finished my homework then I may go out and play.


Example 9

间(jiān) room

煎(jiān) to pan fry

If a waiter discovers a guest fried and boiled food, he must directly inform the boss.


Example 10

动(dòng) to act

冻(dòng)  to freeze

The weather is too cold.  He is unable to walk anymore. His feet are already frostbitten.


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