As we all know, language is a bridge to help us to communicate and understand other cultures. One of the most interesting things when studying a language is to learn about different mindsets which help us to change the ways in which we see the world.
时间 – Time
In Chinese time runs down like a waterfall, rushing down and submerging us in the world.
从上午11:00到下午1:00之间的时间段就像半腰上一块巨石，我们称之为 « 午 » 。
The period from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. is like a boulder at the halfway point, which is called 午.
河流从高的地方流到低的地方，所以有了 « 上游 » 和 « 下游 »。这跟英语一样。
A river runs from above to below, so we call the former upstream, and the latter downstream. This is the same as in English.
上车 / 下车 – Getting In and Out of Vehicles
Although in English you say you “get in” or “get out” of a car, in Chinese, the words are 上 shàng (on) and 下 xià (off) respectively.
Getting on/off a Boat, Ship, or Vessel
Going to Class, Work, and Other Daily Routines
Surfing the Internet
汉语并非你以为那样难，对吧? 只要掌握了汉语的思维方式, 学习会变得简单而有趣!
Now Mandarin Chinese is not as difficult as you assumed, is it? Once you have mastered the Mandarin Chinese mindset, learning will become more simple and fun!
If we consider time as a river, the Chinese stand facing the direction of the river’s flow; in other words, they stand facing the direction of history with the intention of respecting traditions. In the eyes of the Chinese, it seems that the days stand in line, with the earliest days at the front and later days toward the back of the line, passing one by one.
Predecessors sow the seed [of trees], and the descendants receive the shade. In English, a similar saying is “Walnuts and pears, you plant for your heirs.”
Chinese people are the offspring of the Dragon.
According to the traditional rules of Chinese writing, writing should proceed from up to down and from right to left.
According to a traditional Chinese geographical mindset, east is left and west is right. So, Chinese people always consider themselves to be facing south when they talk about geography.
在传统中国文化中，« 左 » 指违反标准，因此 « 右 » 往往比 « 左 » 更尊贵。« 右丞相 » 比 « 左丞相 » 地位要高， 所以 « 右迁 » 为提升。不过，在现代社会这种差异越来越被淡化。
In traditional Chinese culture, left means breaking the rule or being different with the standard, so right is always more respected than left. The Right Prime Minister’s position is higher than the Left Prime Minister’s, so “going right” 右迁 means promotion. However, this difference is becoming less important in modern times.
从方位到区间 – From Position to Range
当 « 上 » 和 « 下 » / « 前 » 和 « 后 » / « 左 » 和 « 右 » 合在一起，用在数字后表示数字不确切。
When you combine 上 and 下, 前 and 后, or 左 and 右 together, used behind a number, this shows that the number is not exact.
上下 – About
上下 is often used after stating an age to show this age is not exact.
前后 – Around/about
前后 is often used after a period in time to show this time is not exact.
Remark: 春节, the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival in Chinese culture.
他是2012年前后结婚的。He got married around 2012.
左右 – Around/about
This is often be used behind any number to show this number is not exact.