Languages › Mandarin Chinese Character for "Left" Learn How to Say and Write Left-handed in Chinese Share Flipboard Email Print Mandarin Understanding Chinese Characters Mandarin History and Culture Pronunciation Vocabulary by Qiu Gui Su Qiu Gui Su is a native Mandarin speaker who has taught Mandarin Chinese for over 20 years. Updated November 04, 2019 Knowing the Chinese word for left can be very helpful when it comes to giving directions or pointing something out. Easily remember how to say and write left in Chinese with these few explanations. Breaking Down the Character The Chinese character for left is 左 (zuǒ). The character is composed of two elements: the radical 工 (gōng) and a stylized version of the character 手 (shǒu). The character 工 means worker or work. Pictographically, the word represents a carpenter's square. The character 手 means hand. Therefore, one can interpret 左 as a left hand holding a square. Compare this with 右 (yòu), which means right. Both of these characters contain a stylized symbol of the word for hand. But in the case of 右, the character's second element is the word for mouth, 口 (kǒu). Because it is common to eat with the right hand, the inclusion of 口 (kǒu) reminds us that the definition of 右 is right. Mandarin Vocabulary With Zuǒ Get a taste of how you can put the Chinese word for left to use with this chart of characters and phrases. Traditional Characters Simplified Characters Pinyin English 左邊 左边 zuǒ biān left (side) 左輪手槍 左轮手枪 zuǒ lún shǒu qiāng revolver 左右 左右 zuǒ yòu about; approximately; left and right; around 左面 左面 zuǒ miàn left side of something 左右勾拳 左右勾拳 zuǒ yòu gōu quán the old one-two; a left and a right hook 向左 向左 xiàngzuǒ facing left 中左 中左 zhōngzuǒ center-left 相左 相左 xiāngzuǒ to be at right angles Continue Reading What Does "He" in Chinese Really Mean? How Many Chinese Characters Do You Really Need to Know? How Do You Say and Write "You" in Chinese? Learning to Write Chinese Characters by Hand Da - "big" - Learn About This Common Chinese Character What Does the Chinese Character 早 Mean? Choosing Chinese Baby Names for Boys Learning the Building Blocks of Chinese Characters Why Are Fish So Important in Chinese Language? How Are Strokes Used in Chinese Writing? Step-by-Step Guide to Learning Chinese Chinese Language Characters as Pictographs Why Is the Chinese Character for Horse so Important? How Did Mandarin Become China's Official Language? Chinese Calligraphy: A History and a How-to Guide What Does the Chinese Character 日 (rì) Mean?