Up North Chant

In honor of Értóng Jié 儿童节, this is the first post in a series designed to bring us foreigners up to the level of Chinese elementary school children (not including their studies of hanzi, but if you want that, see Randy Alexander’s project).

For those of us who have mild dyslexia, here’s a little kǒujué 口诀 to help you keep the compass points straight:

  Directions Chant (2,739 hits)

Shàng Běi, Xià Nán, Zuǒ Xī, Yòu Dōng
上北, 下南, 左西, 右东


Up North, Down South, Left West, Right East

Of course, if you have no idea where left and right are it’s not going to be that useful.

Anyone else know any children’s chants for remembering things? Please share.

8 Replies to “Up North Chant”

  1. I know this is a Dumb Question … but I thought I could save time by asking someone who would know thw answer without referring to a 2249-Page document.

    When I see the english characters all is fine … But … Where I think the Chinese Characters should appear … all I get are small White “Boxes”, as if they were Place Holders for the Chinese characters that should appear at those locations.

    I presume I should load some software program to allow those characters to appear ? When I use the MGBD DIctionary …I do see the appropriate
    chinese characters next to each word.

    Can you offer some advice ? Thanks very much !


    6-1-10, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

  2. haha, my mom taught me that 口诀 when i was really young (and we were still living in china). i still use it today to figure out map directions, despite having grown up in the US and living here for over 20 years now

  3. Great tool to use! Does anyone know where I can find more recorded dialogue to learn with? I’m going to China within the year and would like to know some phrases. Thank you!

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