Dear grammarians,

As you may know, Ticket to Translation is part of our website of Translation and Interpretating services, BertaGrama Traducciones. Although we offer quite a wide variety of languages ​​that are not easily found on the Costa del Sol, we are specialists in Mandarin Chinese, that is, the official language of the People’s Republic of China. This is the reason why our logo might look so “Asian”, “Zen” or simply exotic to you. In our entry today we would like to unveil the meaning of our logo -up to a certain extent, as only an expert in Chinese Philosophy would be able to explain it thoroughly.

Our logo, being a whole in itself, is made up of different elements that have existed in Chinese culture for thousands of years. In short, we could state that it is an ancient way of recording the time, but it is also used in another way by the Feng shui system. However, in old times this symbol was also used as a method of divination, similar to the oracle of the West.

If we first stop to analyse its inner structure, we can see the yin-yang symbol, so well-known in Chinese Philosophy. The yin-yang theory says that everything in the great cosmos contains many linkages. Any object that has any type of interaction with another object, and within itself, has an opposing, yet interdependent nature. This opposing, yet interdependent nature, is due to the interaction of yin and yang. The Yin-Yang philosophy is a means to understand and grasp the lays of nature. It is the empirical reasoning for the production, development, and perishing of all things in the great cosmos. The most common symbol to represent yin and yang is a big enclosed circle that symbolizes the whole universe. The curvature within the circle symbolizes the opposing, yet interdependent nature of yin and yang. The black (yin) and the white (yang) tear drop shapes symbolise the decreasing and increasing of yin and yang, as well as, the transformation of yin and yang. At the highest concentration of yang there is black dot, and at the highest concentration of yin, there is white dot. The dots symbolize that yin and yang are not absolute. They are not only interdependent, by there are subdivisions of yin and yang within yin and within yang. This theory is primarily used to describe the opposing, interdependent, waxing and waning, and transformational nature of all things in the cosmos.

The yin-yang theory is also represented by hexagrams. The Twelve Sovereign hexagrams are twelve hexagrams which show the ascend and descend of yang (represented by a straight line) and yin (represented by a broken line) energy. Using three lines, there are eight combinations, which are known as the 8 trigrams or Ba Gua (八卦), generating the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching, the Book of Changes, written around 1200 BC. These hexagrams also appear in our logo.

Next to these hexagrams you can see white strip with twelve Chinese characters. These are the Twelve Earthly Branches (十二 地支), which are cyclically used  in the calendar as ordinal numbers: 子、丑、寅、卯、辰、巳、午、未、申、酉、戌、亥. They correspond to the solar months and the order in which they appear indicates how things are transformed from the moment they are created.

Furthermore, ancient Chinese Yin Yang Five Element scholars assigned Five Elements to the seasons – Wood for the spring, Fire for the summer, Fall for the autumn, Water for the winter and Earth for between-the-season. When applying Five Elements on the Chinese calendar, Yin Yang scholars observed and counted the days of the seasons. Then assigned the Yin Yang Five Elements into the months. The 12 months are equivalent to the 12 zodiac signs. Every animal sign, earthly branch, contains one or more Yin Yang elements.

You can check their relationship here.

Given the complexity of Chinese Philosophy, we have only brought forward a few ideas that obviously need to be further developed. You can get a wider view of Chinese Philosophy on this link.

Chinese wedding -bride and groom in Beijing.

In addition to the structure of the logo, we must highlight the spread use of red colour in China. Within Chinese culture red colour represents good luck, so it is not uncommon to find brides, greeting cards, and New Year’s ornaments in red.

The characters 白 佳 · 翻译 服务 in the logo of BertaGrama Traducciones basically means “Berta Cano · Translation Services”. In addition, our team is available for the Chinese-English-Spanish language combinations. You can access all the information about our services on this link.

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