I’m curious to see which character(s) are your favorite. Or maybe you see characters purely as functional ends. But maybe there are some Chinese characters that mean something more to you, however arbitrary.
For example, for some reason I am fond of the character 和 harmony.
It’s mostly arbitrary. Maybe it’s the simple composition.
It’s amusing how combining 禾 grain and 口 mouth results in harmony
Sometimes it seems like a koan to contemplate
Do you have a favorite character? The more strange or arbitrary the better!
I guess it’s hard to say since I’m only at ~600 out of the few thousand common characters. So far I’d say in simplified (my current course) it’s gonna be 感. There used to be a Korean drinking lounge in ktown LA called “Gaam” (i.e. 감), and I have many memories of drinking yogurt soju and lots of Korean drinking food.
For the Chinese as well as the Indians, the tortoise symbolizes the universe. Quoting Pen T’sao, “the upper dome-shaped part of its back has various signs, which correspond with the constellations on the sky, and this is Yan; the lower part has many lines, which relate to the earth and is the Yin.”
Seeing a second “hug” character (拥) in the examples made today’s lessons worth it. I added a meaning hint: “You put your HANDS to USE when you HUG.” One semantic question, though: What’s the difference in meaning between 拥 and 抱? (I’ve noticed a duplicated 抱抱 in some content made for children; that construction feels more like “cuddle” than “embrace”!
The more subtle differences I think would be that 拥 has a stronger meaning of hug/embracing/possession (e.g., 拥有 “possess/have”) while 抱 can also mean more simply to hold in the arms (e.g., 抱著小孩子 “hold a child in the arms”).
A great way to get a feel for the differences for the characters is to use a dictionary (like Pleco) and look up the character then view the sentence examples or the words it forms. And as we get more vocabulary in HanziHero this should be more easily doable within HanziHero itself, too. In either case, I’ve found that the more subtle differences in character/word meaning are usually picked up eventually via immersing in the native media. Sort of like how the subtle differences of “hug” and “embrace” (which effectively mean the same thing) can only really be ascertained from the exposure of many many sentences that use both over a long period of time.