03 Both Sides Now ➡️👄⬅️
Pay attention to the mouth
Welcome to Hanmoji Puzzles, your weekly dose of emoji word puzzles inspired by The Hanmoji Handbook. And don’t worry — you don’t need to speak Chinese at all in order to play along. You just need a love for emoji and be curious about how language works!
🧩 This week’s puzzle
What do you think these emoji combinations represent in Chinese?
Here we are using 👄 as the hanmoji for 口 (pronounced kǒu in Mandarin and hau2 in Cantonese), which usually means mouth.
⚡️ Hint ⚡️: Remember, in Chinese, the word for mouth 口 doesn’t just mean mouth — it can also mean a place of entry or passage. In English, we sometimes say “the mouth of the river” to describe where the river enters the sea, or “mouth of the cave” to talk about its entrance.
Answers (spoilers ahead!)
➡️👄 stands for 入口, which means entrance.
入 (rù/jap6), which we represent with the ➡️ emoji, means to enter. Notice that it kind of looks like 人 (rén/jan4), which means person, but with a head that tilted towards a specific direction. In The Hanmoji Handbook, we represented 人 using 🚶🏻. Imagine a person walking into the mouth of a river or cave, and you’ll find the entrance.
⬅️👄 stands for 出口, which means exit.
The ⬅️ stands for 出 (chū/ceot1), which means to leave or exit. It’s written with two 凵, or open boxes. Rather than entering the mouth, you exit by leaving the mouth.
🥳 Updates from our parent project, The Hanmoji Handbook
Our book was named one of the 20 best books to read this August by Kirkus Reviews.
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That’s it this week’s 🧩 Hanmoji Puzzles 🧩! Subscribe to receive next week’s puzzle and please forward this email to friends so we can continue this puzzling endeavor.
Hanmoji Puzzles is a spin off of The Hanmoji Handbook: A Guide to Learning Chinese Through Emoji, which you should absolutely pre-order today 😗. This newsletter is a project by Jason Li, An Xiao Mina and Jennifer 8. Lee.