Virtual Cubes

Yuán MemoQube

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Yuán MemoQube

This cube can be used to learn Mandarin Chinese words built of two characters. Characters are connected on a circle on each face, hence cube name Yuán or 圆, which means 'circle' in Chinese.

While most of Chinese words are composed of two characters, words of one, three or four characters do exist but are less commonly used.

In the initial state, stickers are numbered row by row from C1 to C9 on each face and 8 words can be built per face (C1-C2, C2-C3, C3-C6, C6-C9, C9-C8, C8-C7, C7-C4, C4-C1), giving 48 words per cube. Moving edge pieces allows to build many more words. A database has been used to find words that give a maximum of combinations between characters on corners and edges.

This cube was designed in 2013 by André Boulouard, I-Ling Quilfen and Walter Randelshofer.

Blue circle (up)

Mandarin Transcription English Circle
路口 lùkōu intersection
口语 kōuyǔ spoken language
语法 yǔfǎ grammar
法医 fǎyī forensic investigator
医道 yīdào art of medicine
道家 dàojiā taoism
家电 jiādiàn appliances
电路 diànlù electric circuit

Yellow circle (right)

Mandarin Transcription English Circle
外公 wàigōng maternal grandfather
公开 gōngkāi open to the public
开本 kāiběn format
本国 běnguó national
国书 guóshū credentials
书名 shūmíng title
名分 míngfèn social status
分外 fènwài exceptionally

Red circle (front)

Mandarin Transcription English Circle
火车 huǒchē train
车身 chēshēn car body
身心 shēnxīn body and mind
心想 xīnxiǎng to think
想出 xiǎngchū to come up with
出发 chūfā to leave
发起 fāqǐ to launch
起火 qǐhuǒ to catch fire

Green circle (down)

Mandarin Transcription English Circle
门生 ménshēng disciple
生日 shēngrì birthday
日上 rìshàng all day long
上天 shàngtiān Heaven, God
天下 tiānxià world
下海 xiàhǎi to take to the sea
海关 hǎiguān customs
关门 guānmén to close the door

Orange circle (back)

Mandarin Transcription English Circle
作风 zuòfēng style
风水 fēngshuǐ feng shui
水文 shuǐwén hydrology
文言 wényán classical Chinese language
言行 yánxíng words and deeds
行动 xíngdòng action
动工 dònggōng to begin work
工作 gōngzuò to work

Gray circle (left)

Mandarin Transcription English Circle
用人 yòngrén servant
人手 rénshǒu manpower
手提 shǒutí mobile phone
提成 tíchéng deduct a percentage
成长 chéngzhǎng to grow up
长高 zhǎnggāo to grow taller
高中 gāozhōng senior middle school
中用 zhōngyòng usable

Edges

Mandarin Transcription English Circle
公法 gōngfǎ public law
车道 chēdào road
人电 réndiàn magnetic healer, chiropractor
电人 diànrén robot Denjin Zaborger
(Japanese TV series in 1974)
风口 fēngkǒu air vent, drafty place
口风 kǒufēng intention
分心 fēnxīn to be distracted
提起 tíqǐ to mention
中文 zhōngwén Chinese language
工本 gōngběn cost price
上书 shàngshū to give one's opinion
出生 chūshēng to be born
长关 zhǎngguān administrative or military chief
关长 guānzhǎng customs chief
下行 xiàxíng descending

All 6 circles of the cube are connected by edges. Characters on the 12 edges make an additional set of two-character words.

More words

Mandarin Transcription English Circle
路道 lùdào road, path
法语 fǎyǔ French spoken language
法家 fǎjiā legalist school
道路 dàolù road, path, way
家口 jiākǒu members of a family
法国 fǎguó France
家书 jiāshū letter to/from family
路上 lùshàng on the road
医生 yīshēng medical doctor
电门 diànmén electric switch
口水 kǒushuǐ saliva
电动 diàndòng electric powered
路人 lùrén passer-by, stranger
家人 jiārén household, one's family
家长 jiāzhǎng family head
公国 gōngguó duchy, dukedom
分开 fēnkāi to separate, to part
外电 wàidiàn reports from foreign news agencies
公路 gōnglù road, highway
公家 gōngjiā the state
开口 kāikǒu to start to talk
开道 kāidào to clear the way
本家 běnjiā a member of the same clan
国法 guófǎ national law
书家 shūjiā calligrapher
开车 kāichē to drive
开心 kāixīn happy
本身 běnshēn oneself
公海 gōnghǎi high sea, international waters
开关 kāiguān power switch
名下 míngxià under somebody's name
外文 wàiwén foreign language
开工 kāigōng to begin work
外长 wàizhǎng minister of foreign affairs
公用 gōngyòng public, for public use
国人 guórén fellow countrymen
名人 míngrén celebrity
心火 xīnhuǒ internal heat
想起 xiǎngqǐ to remember
发出 fāchū to issue
起身 qǐshēn to get up
想法 xiǎngfǎ idea
出路 chūlù outlet
发电 fādiàn to generate electricity
起家 qǐjiā to start out
身分 shēnfen identity
身上 shēnshang on the body
发生 fāshēng to occur
心动 xīndòng emotionally affected
发文 fāwén message sent
发行 fāxíng to distribute
身长 shēncháng height
起用 qǐyòng to reinstate (in a position or job)
上门 shàngmén to drop in, to visit
上海 shànghǎi Shanghai
天生 tiānshēng innate, natural
天上 tiānshàng heavenly, in the sky
海上 hǎishàng at sea
门口 ménkǒu doorway, gate
门道 méndào doorway, gateway
生路 shēnglù means of living
上路 shànglù to take the road
海口 hǎikǒu seaport
日本 rìběn Japan
天公 tiāngōng heaven, lord of heaven
天书 tiānshū heavenly book, illegible writing
天分 tiānfèn natural gift, talent
生火 shēnghuǒ to light a fire
日出 rìchū sunrise
上火 shànghuǒ to get angry
上身 shàngshēn upper part of the body
天车 tiānchē crane
生水 shēngshuǐ unboiled water
生动 shēngdòng lively, vivid
日文 rìwén Japanese language
日工 rìgōng day worker
上水 shàngshuǐ to sail upstream
天文 tiānwén astronomy
天工 tiāngōng work of Nature
下水 xiàshuǐ to go into the water, to launch a ship
海风 hǎifēng sea wind, sea breeze
生手 shēngshǒu beginner
日中 rìzhōng noon, midday
上手 shàngshǒu seat of honour
下手 xiàshǒu to start
作文 zuòwén to write an essay, a composition
风动 fēngdòng pneumatic
作法 zuòfǎ practice, method of doing something
水道 shuǐdào acqueduct, sewer
行医 xíngyī to practice medicine
水分 shuǐfèn moisture content
风发 fēngfā high spirits
水车 shuǐchē waterwheel
文火 wénhuǒ small flame (when cooking)
文身 wénshēn tattoo
动心 dòngxīn tempted
水下 shuǐxià underwater
动人 dòngrén touching, moving
提高 tígāo to raise, to increase
成人 chéngrén adult
用法 yòngfǎ usage
人家 rénjiā household, other people
手法 shǒufǎ technique, trick, skill
中医 zhōngyī traditional Chinese medical science
手书 shǒushū handwritten
提名 tímíng to nominate
成分 chéngfèn element, component
成本 chéngběn cost price
中外 zhōngwài Sino-foreign
中国 zhōngguó China
用心 yòngxīn intention
人身 rénshēn human being
手车 shǒuchē handcart
手心 shǒuxīn the palm of the hand
成心 chéngxīn deliberately
人海 rénhǎi a multitude, a sea of people
手生 shǒushēng to get rusty
手下 shǒuxià under control of somebody
中天 zhōngtiān culmination (astronomy)
手工 shǒugōng handwork, manual
成风 chéngfēng to become a common practice

Additional set of two-character words.

© Walter Randelshofer. All rights reserved.