Thursday, February 19, 2015

The "Yang" confusion

Is this the year of the goat, lamb or ram? It has always been the year of the goat for me. There were no confusions until this year when I begin to see lamb and ram being used in decorations.

The Chinese character for lamb is 羊, yang(2), and it does mean either lamb, goat or ram. So anything goes?

It actually can be any of these: 綿羊 mian yang (sheep), 山羊 shan yang (goat), 公羊 gong yang (ram), 母羊 mu yang (ewe), 羔羊 gao yang (lamb), or 羚羊 ling yang (antelope).

But apparently Chinese linguists are sticking to the goat. That is exactly what has been known to me.


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