What does 便宜 (편의) mean in Chinese?

Answer: cheap

In the Korean language, the Chinese word for Korean is 편의 (cheap) means ‘convenience’ and not ‘cheap’ as in 편의점)market), which means “small shop”, but in Chinese, 便宜 (편의) means “cheap,” which is a bit odd because shops are known for being convenient, not for being cheap. The Chinese word for “comfort” is Appropriate (방편), which my Korean-English dictionary defines as “utilitarian.” Another Chinese word for “comfort” is Ease or convenience (편리), which also means “convenient” in Korean, and the Chinese word for “convenience store” is market (convenience store), no market (market).

I’m trying to teach myself to read Chinese using the Korean pronunciation, and one of the things I notice is that there are more Chinese words whose meanings don’t match their Sino-Korean meanings than I expected, and I find this more interesting than frustrating.

In Korean, the Chinese character defecate Pronounced: 편, which means “rest,” and , which means “stool” or “urine.”

Here are the words in the Chinese vocabulary:

  • cheap (comfort) cheap and reasonable
  • defecate (constipation) constipation
  • defecate (stool) a bowel movement
  • pee (소변) to urinate
  • Appropriate (comfortable) comfortable
  • uncomfortable (uncomfortable) uncomfortable
  • Self service, serve yourself (자편) Help yourself
  • unofficial (수편) Do whatever you want
From Understanding Chinese: A Guide to Using Chinese Characters

From Dong-A’s Prime Korean-English Dictionary

From Dong-A’s Prime Korean-English Dictionary

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