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See also: and

Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
6 strokes

Han character[edit]

(radical 10, +4, 6 strokes, cangjie input 竹土竹山 (HGHU), four-corner 24211, composition)

References[edit]

  • KangXi: page 124, character 5
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 1349
  • Dae Jaweon: page 260, character 6
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 1, page 267, character 2
  • Unihan data for U+5148

Chinese[edit]

simp. and trad.
Wikipedia has an article on:

Glyph origin[edit]

Historical forms of the character
Shang Western Zhou Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han) Liushutong (compiled in Ming)
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts
先-oracle.svg 先-bronze.svg 先-seal.svg 先-bigseal.svg





References:

Mostly from Richard Sears' Chinese Etymology site (authorisation),
which in turn draws data from various collections of ancient forms of Chinese characters, including:

  • Shuowen Jiezi (small seal),
  • Jinwen Bian (bronze inscriptions),
  • Liushutong (Liushutong characters) and
  • Yinxu Jiaguwen Bian (oracle bone script).
Characters in the same phonetic series () (Zhengzhang, 2003) 
Old Chinese
*sɯːlʔ, *sɯːnʔ
*sɯːn, *sɯːns
*sɯːnʔ
*sɯːnʔ
*sɯːnʔ
*sɯːnʔ, *srin
*sɯːnʔ
*sɯːnʔ
*sɯːnʔ
*srin
*srin
*srin
*srin

Pronunciation 1[edit]


Note:
  • sĕng - vernacular;
  • siĕng - literary.
  • Min Nan
  • Note:
    • seng/suiⁿ - vernacular;
    • sin - vernacular (limited, e.g. 先生);
    • sian - literary.
    Note:
    • soin1 - vernacular;
    • sing1 - literary.
  • Wu

    • Dialectal data
    Variety Location
    Mandarin Beijing /ɕian⁵⁵/
    Harbin /ɕian⁴⁴/
    Tianjin /t͡ɕʰian²¹/
    /ɕian²¹/
    Jinan /ɕiã²¹³/
    Qingdao /siã²¹³/
    Zhengzhou /sian²⁴/
    Xi'an /ɕiã²¹/
    Xining /ɕiã⁴⁴/
    Yinchuan /ɕian⁴⁴/
    Lanzhou /ɕiɛ̃n³¹/
    Ürümqi /ɕian⁴⁴/
    Wuhan /ɕiɛn⁵⁵/
    Chengdu /ɕian⁵⁵/
    Guiyang /ɕian⁵⁵/
    Kunming /ɕiɛ̃⁴⁴/
    Nanjing /sien³¹/
    Hefei /ɕiĩ²¹/
    /t͡ɕʰiĩ²¹/
    Jin Taiyuan /ɕie¹¹/
    Pingyao /ɕie̞¹³/
    Hohhot /ɕie³¹/
    Wu Shanghai /ɕi⁵³/
    Suzhou /siɪ⁵⁵/
    Hangzhou /ɕiẽ̞³³/
    Wenzhou /ɕi³³/
    Hui Shexian /se³¹/
    Tunxi /siɛ¹¹/
    Xiang Changsha /siẽ³³/
    Xiangtan /siẽ³³/
    Gan Nanchang /ɕiɛn⁴²/
    Hakka Meixian /sian⁴⁴/
    Taoyuan /sien²⁴/
    Cantonese Guangzhou /sin⁵³/
    Nanning /ɬin⁵⁵/
    Hong Kong /sin⁵⁵/
    Min Xiamen (Min Nan) /sian⁵⁵/
    /siŋ⁵⁵/
    Fuzhou (Min Dong) /sɛiŋ⁴⁴/
    Jian'ou (Min Bei) /siŋ⁵⁴/
    Shantou (Min Nan) /siŋ³³/
    /sõi³³/
    Haikou (Min Nan) /sin²³/
    /ti²³/
    /tai²³/

    Rime
    Character
    Reading # 1/2
    Initial () (16)
    Final () (85)
    Tone (調) Level (Ø)
    Openness (開合) Open
    Division () IV
    Fanqie
    Reconstructions
    Zhengzhang
    Shangfang
    /sen/
    Pan
    Wuyun
    /sen/
    Shao
    Rongfen
    /sɛn/
    Edwin
    Pulleyblank
    /sɛn/
    Li
    Rong
    /sen/
    Wang
    Li
    /sien/
    Bernard
    Karlgren
    /sien/
    Expected
    Mandarin
    Reflex
    xiān
    BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
    Character
    Reading # 1/2
    Modern
    Beijing
    (Pinyin)
    xiān
    Middle
    Chinese
    ‹ sen ›
    Old
    Chinese
    /*sˁər/
    English first

    Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

    * Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
    * Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
    * Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
    * Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

    * Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
    Zhengzhang system (2003)
    Character
    Reading # 1/2
    No. 13458
    Phonetic
    component
    Rime
    group
    Rime
    subdivision
    1
    Corresponding
    MC rime
    Old
    Chinese
    /*sɯːn/

    Definitions[edit]

    1. to advance
    2. first; ahead of time; before; beforehand
      洗手間 / 洗手间  ―  Wǒ yào xiān qù xǐshǒujiān.  ―  I need to go to the bathroom first.
      廁所 [Cantonese, trad.]
      厕所 [Cantonese, simp.]
      Ngo5 jiu3 heoi3 ci3 so2 sin1. [Jyutping]
      I need to go to the bathroom first.
    3. previous, preceding
      /   ―  xiānshēng  ―  herald; sign
      兩日 / 两日 [Cantonese]  ―  sin1 loeng5 jat6 [Jyutping]  ―  day before yesterday; two days ago
    4. things of utmost importance
    5. ancient
    6. dead
    7. ancestor
    8. Short for 先生 (xiānsheng).
    9. the past
    10. Short for 先手 (xiānshǒu).
    11. (Cantonese) only then
      而家 [Cantonese, trad.]
      而家 [Cantonese, simp.]
      Keoi5 fan3 dou3 ji4 gaa1 sin1 fan3 seng2 gaau3. [Jyutping]
      He slept so long that he only woke up just now.
      呢啲唱歌 [Cantonese, trad.]
      呢啲唱歌 [Cantonese, simp.]
      Nei1 di1 sin1 hai6 coeng3 go1. [Jyutping]
      This is true singing.
    12. (Cantonese) first off
      / [Cantonese]  ―  Nei5 maai5 zo2 mei6 sin1? [Jyutping]  ―  First off, have you even bought it yet?
    13. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.
      [Cantonese, trad.]
      [Cantonese, simp.]
      Ngo5 sin1 m4 tung4 keoi5 gong2 aa3. [Jyutping]
      There's no way I'm going to tell them. / No, I am not going to tell them.
    14. A surname​.
    Usage notes[edit]
    • (first; beforehand): In Standard Mandarin, comes before the verb; in Cantonese and Southeast Asian Mandarin, comes after the verb.
    Synonyms[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    References[edit]

    Pronunciation 2[edit]



    Rime
    Character
    Reading # 2/2
    Initial () (16)
    Final () (85)
    Tone (調) Departing (H)
    Openness (開合) Open
    Division () IV
    Fanqie
    Reconstructions
    Zhengzhang
    Shangfang
    /senH/
    Pan
    Wuyun
    /senH/
    Shao
    Rongfen
    /sɛnH/
    Edwin
    Pulleyblank
    /sɛnH/
    Li
    Rong
    /senH/
    Wang
    Li
    /sienH/
    Bernard
    Karlgren
    /sienH/
    Expected
    Mandarin
    Reflex
    xiàn
    BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
    Character
    Reading # 2/2
    Modern
    Beijing
    (Pinyin)
    xiàn
    Middle
    Chinese
    ‹ senH ›
    Old
    Chinese
    /*sˁər-s/
    English go first

    Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

    * Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
    * Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
    * Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
    * Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

    * Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
    Zhengzhang system (2003)
    Character
    Reading # 2/2
    No. 13467
    Phonetic
    component
    Rime
    group
    Rime
    subdivision
    1
    Corresponding
    MC rime
    Old
    Chinese
    /*sɯːns/

    Definitions[edit]

    1. to guide
    2. earlier
    3. to surpass
    4. originally
    5. to introduce
    6. term to address older brother's wife

    Pronunciation 3[edit]


    Definitions[edit]

    1. Only used in 先馬先马.

    Japanese[edit]

    Kanji[edit]

    (grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)

    Readings[edit]

    Etymology[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    さき
    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi

    From Old Japanese. Cognate with (saki, a (geographical) point, where the land sticks out into the water).[1]

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    (hiragana さき, rōmaji saki)

    1. before, previous
    2. end, tip
    3. earlier, the past
    4. afterwards, the future
    5. the destination of a motion or action
    6. sequel
    7. ahead, in front

    Compounds[edit]

    References[edit]

    1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
    2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
    3. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN

    Related terms[edit]

    Derived terms[edit]
    Idioms[edit]

    Korean[edit]

    Hanja[edit]

    (seon)

    • Eumhun:
      • Sound (hangeul):
      • Name (hangeul): 먼저 (revised: meonjeo, McCune–Reischauer: mŏnjŏ, Yale: mence)
    1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.

    Vietnamese[edit]

    Han character[edit]

    (tiên, ten, teng)

    1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.