Interested in learning Chinese Etymology? Read this article for the etymology for the character 江.
Breakdown Of the Character 江
江(jiang1) means river. The character 江 broken up into its component parts is:
氵(shui3) + 工(gong1) = 江(jiang3)
氵(shui3) means water. In this character, it means something related to water. So, in the character 江, 氵 is the meaning part of the character.
工 (gong1) means work or something related to work. gong1 is a somewhat similar sound to jiang1 (both end in ng). In 江, 工 is the phonetic part of the character.
Evidence From Cantonese
Further evidence for 江 being a phonetic character comes from Cantonese. In Cantonese 氵=seoi2, 工=gong1, and 江=gong1
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