Learn Zodiac Signs in Mandarin

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Hello, future Mandarin experts! Have you ever wondered how to discuss your zodiac sign or horoscope in Mandarin? Well, you’ve arrived at the right place. Curiotory is excited to take you on a journey through the stars as we explore the Chinese Zodiac and delve into astrology signs in Chinese. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the necessary vocabulary to discuss zodiac signs, horoscope, and the rich traditions of Chinese astrology. So buckle up and let’s take off to the stars! 

Origination: How did Zodiac signs originate in China? 

The Chinese Zodiac, known as Shēngxiào or “Birth Likeness,” has a rich history dating back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD). It’s intricately woven into Chinese culture and has roots in astrology, folklore, and religion. 

 The selection of the 12 animals is tied to a 12-year cycle, which corresponds to the orbit of Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system.  

Each year in the cycle is associated with a specific animal, and each animal carries symbolic meaning and characteristics that are believed to influence the personality and fate of people born in that year. 

As for how the specific animals were chosen, there’s an ancient legend known as the Great Race. In this myth, the Jade Emperor, a key figure in Chinese mythology, invited all the animals to participate in a race.  

The first 12 animals to cross the finish line would be immortalized in the zodiac.  

Zodiac Signs in Mandarin

You might be aware that the Chinese zodiac system, unlike the Western one, is based on years rather than months.  Here’s how you say the Western Zodiac signs in Mandarin:  

  • Aries (March 21 – April 19): 白羊座 (Báiyáng zuò) 
  • Taurus (April 20 – May 20): 金牛座 (Jīnniú zuò) 
  • Gemini (May 21 – June 20): 双子座 (Shuāngzǐ zuò) 
  • Cancer (June 21 – July 22): 巨蟹座 (Jùxiè zuò) 
  • Leo (July 23 – August 22): 狮子座 (Shīzi zuò) 
  • Virgo (August 23 – September 22): 处女座 (Chùnǚ zuò) 
  • Libra (September 23 – October 22): 天秤座 (Tiānchèng zuò) 
  • Scorpio (October 23 – November 21): 天蝎座 (Tiānxiē zuò) 
  • Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21): 射手座 (Shèshǒu zuò) 
  • Capricorn (December 22 – January 19): 摩羯座 (Mójié zuò) 
  • Aquarius (January 20 – February 18): 水瓶座 (Shuǐpíng zuò) 
  • Pisces (February 19 – March 20): 双鱼座 (Shuāngyú zuò) 

Now that we have the zodiac signs covered, let’s move on to the unique aspect of Chinese astrology – the zodiac animals. 

Zodiac Animals in Mandarin

The Chinese Zodiac, known as 生肖 (Shēngxiào), is a 12-year cycle where each year is associated with a specific animal sign. Here they are: 

  • Rat (鼠 – Shǔ) 
  • Ox (牛 – Niú) 
  • Tiger (虎 – Hǔ) 
  • Rabbit (兔 – Tù) 
  • Dragon (龙 – Lóng) 
  • Snake (蛇 – Shé) 
  • Horse (马 – Mǎ) 
  • Goat (羊 – Yáng) 
  • Monkey (猴 – Hóu) 
  • Rooster (鸡 – Jī) 
  • Dog (狗 – Gǒu) 
  • Pig (猪 – Zhū) 

Each animal carries its own unique set of traits and characteristics believed to be embodied by individuals born in that year. 

Chinese Zodiac Elements

In Chinese astrology, each zodiac animal is also associated with one of the five elements, namely Wood (木 – Mù), Fire (火 – Huǒ), Earth (土 – Tǔ), Metal (金 – Jīn), and Water (水 – Shuǐ).  

This creates a more detailed profile and additional layers of personality traits and destiny predictions. 

Star Signs in Chinese

In addition to the zodiac signs and animals, Chinese astrology also incorporates ‘star signs,’ which are not identical to the Western concept. This astrology system considers the year, month, day, and hour of birth, using information from the heavenly stems and earthly branches, forming what is known as the ‘Four Pillars of Destiny.’ 

  •  Year Pillar: The year pillar represents your outer self and how others perceive you. The zodiac animal provides insights into your general characteristics and personality traits.  
  • Month Pillar: It reveals your inner self and emotional characteristics. It is associated with the earthly branch of the month of your birth. Each earthly branch corresponds to a zodiac animal and carries its own unique qualities.  
  • Day Pillar: Represents your true self and your core essence. It is associated with the heavenly stem and the earthly branch of your birth date. The heavenly stem provides insights into your innate character traits and attributes, while the earthly branch offers additional information about your personality and destiny. 
  • Hour Pillar: Signifies your interactions with the world and your relationship with others. It is associated with the earthly branch and the zodiac animal of the specific hour of your birth.  

The Chinese Horoscope: A Brief Overview

Just like in Western astrology, the Chinese horoscope or 星座运程 (xīng zuò yùn chéng) offers predictions about love, work, health, and more based on your zodiac sign.  

There are the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each zodiac animal is associated with one of these elements, which rotate in a 60-year cycle. These elements are believed to influence a person’s personality traits and destiny. 

Next, there’s the concept of Yin and Yang, the two opposing but complementary energies that make up the universe. Each zodiac sign is associated with either Yin or Yang, which adds another layer of personality traits. 

Lastly, there’s the Four Pillars of Destiny or ‘Ba Zi.’ This system creates a detailed profile based on the year, month, day, and hour of one’s birth, incorporating information from the heavenly stems and earthly branches. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q1: Why are there only 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac? 

A: The 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac correspond to the 12-year cycle of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. It’s also said that these animals were selected by the Jade Emperor through the mythical Great Race. 

Q2: How does the element associated with my Chinese zodiac sign affect me? 

A: The five elements in Chinese philosophy—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water—add an extra layer of characteristics to your Zodiac sign. They can influence your personality traits, destiny predictions, and relationships with others. 

Q3: What’s the difference between the Western Zodiac and the Chinese Zodiac? 

A: While Western Zodiac is based on the month of birth and associated with celestial constellations, Chinese Zodiac is based on the lunar year of birth and associated with 12 animals. Each system has its own unique set of beliefs and interpretations. 

Q4: What is the ‘Four Pillars of Destiny’? 

A: The ‘Four Pillars of Destiny’, or ‘Ba Zi’, is a sophisticated system within Chinese astrology that constructs a person’s destiny path. The four pillars refer to the year, month, day, and hour of your birth. 

Q5: Is Chinese astrology only about horoscopes and zodiac signs? 

A: No, Chinese astrology also encompasses other concepts like Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, and the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches, which all play integral parts in understanding the complexities of one’s horoscope. 

In Closing: Embark on a Celestial Journey

Whether it’s Western zodiac signs, Chinese zodiac animals, or the profound Chinese zodiac elements, astrology offers a fascinating way to engage with Mandarin.  

Not only does it provide new vocabulary, but it also grants a peek into a culturally significant aspect of Chinese society.  

May the stars guide you,and may your Mandarin language skills continue to flourish as you explore new celestial horizons.  

Happy learning, and may your path be filled with abundant fortune and blessings! 

Keep shining bright, language enthusiasts! 

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