chinese ice radical

The Ice Radical 冫: Overview, Mnemonics, and Vocabulary

It’s such a hot summer. I’d better go to the ice skating rink! Speaking of ice, do you know how it’s written in Chinese? The ice radical bīng appears in many characters associated with ice or cold.

Read on to learn about the ice radical, how to memorize it with fun mnemonics, and a list of useful vocabulary.

What is the ice radical?

In Chinese, the radical bīng refers to “ice.” It’s often used in characters with meanings related to ice, physical cold, or a cold attitude. The ice radical bīng is composed of 2 strokes and listed as radical 15 according to the Kangxi radical chart (a system of radicals of Chinese characters). You can also find this radical in 115 Chinese characters (out of 49,030) ​​in the Kangxi Dictionary. 

Note that the ice radical never stands alone as an independent character. It always has to combine with other components to form a meaningful character. In modern Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese, the radical ice bīng in some characters is written as two bottom dots (as in 冬, 寒) rather than a dot and a throw stroke (or a left sweep stroke). 

This radical bīng was originally a pictogram and was written as (depictint a crack in some ice). The ice radical has been simplified and standardized to make writing easier. Let’s have a look at the transformation of this radical.

Historical forms of the character
Shang(1600 BC – 1046 BC)Western Zhou(1045 BC – 771 BC)Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han)(202 BC – 220 AD)Liushutong (compiled in Ming)(1368  – 1644)
Oracle bone scriptBronze inscriptionsSmall seal scriptTranscribed ancient scripts
冫-oracle.svg冫-bronze.svg冫-seal.svg冫-bigseal.svg
Historical forms of the character 冫

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What is the stroke order of the ice radical?

The ice radical has two strokes, written in the following order:

Source: Regular Calligraphy

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How can you memorize the ice radical?

Though the radical ice radical is a no-brainer to memorize, there’s a learning technique that lets learners memorize this radical with fun rather than learn it by heart  – the mnemonics technique.

At Pandanese, we employ mnemonics flashcards to help Chinese learners like you get the most out of your learning. Your Chinese learning journey couldn’t get any easier! Or could it? Have a look at how mnemonics works in this example.

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Can you create your mnemonics?

When it comes to using mnemonic devices to learn vocabulary, we recognize that a mnemonic may work well for one individual but not for another. In other words, everyone has their own individual logic behind their mnemonics. Let your voice be heard!

Pandanese can see that coming. Therefore, we’ve created the “Synonym Feature” that allows you to make your own mnemonics. It could be easier to memorize a character or radical with your personalized mnemonics. 

Check out the GIF below for a visual walkthrough of the Synonym Feature.

An ice radical vocabulary list for you!

Learn more about the ice radical and its related terms right away! 

CharacterPinyinEnglish meaning
bīngice, ice-like object, crystal
lěngcold
dōngwinter
liángcool
dòngfreeze
to smelt
zhǔnto allow, to permit, to grant
chòngto, towards
yúnto distribute evenly
to consult

Could learning Chinese be a breeze? 

Learning Chinese shouldn’t be hard — it should be easy and full of joy! Ditch the textbook and rote learning method and instead try mnemonics; using mnemonics is proven to help learners digest new pieces of information more easily and more efficiently.

Pandanese is a web-based application exclusively designed to help Chinese-language learners memorize Chinese characters easier and more effectively. Pandanese uses scientifically proven memory-aid methods like mnemonics and Spaced Repetition System (SRS) to optimize your learning ability, helping you learn more than 6,000 hanzi and vocabulary within just a year.

If you’re interested in the Chinese language, especially Chinese radicals, we encourage you to check out our Pandanese blog and read as much as you like before starting your learning!

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