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Why does this entry list two different Mandarin pronunciations (bā and lù)? I've only ever heard it pronounced "bā." Badagnani 05:06, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I have checked 國語辭典 (Guoyu Cidian), which is currently the largest on-line Mandarin dictionary. I can find no reference to any pronunciation other than "bā." I also checked Dr. Eye and got the same results. I made a similar check for (rén - person), because it had a similar problem.

A-cai 09:46, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Amazing mathematical awareness in 1500 BC..[edit]

Etymology: "八 is two bent lines that signal divide. Eight is the single-digit number that can be divided by two the greatest number of times." Hbrug 02:11, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

OK. I can't find a source for or against this etymology, but I seriously doubt the veracity of this. I would hypothesise that this glyph was not supposed to represent the concept "eight" (OC *preːd), but rather the verb "to divide, to split" (OC *pred), which is later represented by the characters (*pred < **k-, "to part" < L. pars < *k-), (*proːg, "to peel"), / (*bruː, "to plane wood"), (*breːns, "to separate"), (*pɯn, "to divide", graphically: 八 "to split" + 刀 "knife"), (*paːns, "half"), ..., all from the root *prVt ("to part") with promising PIE, Uralic and Altaic look-alikes too. Hbrug 02:36, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

That's what it says here. But when was it applied to the concept of "eight"? The cardinal numbers from 1 to 10 are a pretty basic part of most languages, even going back to ancient times. 02:42, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Wow, so this hypothesis is probably correct. Hbrug 03:00, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
You mean you came up with this idea without first looking at the Chinese Etymology page or sources presenting a similar conclusion? 07:26, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, after realising how similar *preːd was to that word family. It's always nice to know you have got something right =D Hbrug 09:46, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Beginning Mandarin[edit]

We currently say the Mandarin term is the "(Beginning Mandarin)" character for "eight". Is another character used in advanced Mandarin? Which one? [[8]]? - -sche (discuss) 02:25, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

"Beginning Mandarin" probably just meant this is part of a word list that's considered "basic" to second language learners. There is one "capital" version of 八: (bā), used in cheques etc. to prevent forgery. Hbrug 09:46, 30 October 2011 (UTC)