|Pinyin||líng (second tone)|
|English||0; zero; naught|
|Like what you expect, for once, as in 'linger'|
The number zero has an important place in the development of mathematics as it makes computation so much easier. We still use two numerical systems in everyday life, we say 'two thousand and five' rather than 'two zero zero five' but if we give out account numbers we use the second 'digit' based system. The point is that you don't need a symbol for zero in the first scheme, its presence is deduced. Historically there is evidence that zero was 'invented' in the India/China area in about the eighth century but the written form of 'ling' in Chinese came as late as the fourteenth century it seems to have replaced an earlier form.
It has a rather interesting form as a character which would appeal to English people. It shows the character for rain combined above that for for 'good' so you can visualise it as the rain that is 'good' i.e. no rain at all.
|two||zero||zero||four||year||= 2004 AD|
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