社 is formed by 礻(to reveal) and 土 (soil), and it has several meanings, including ‘society’, ‘group’, ‘club’, etc. If you’ve missed its original post, you can check it out here: http://on.fb.me/1G6NAws
Speaking of ‘society’, another common way to say it is 社會 / 社会 (she4 hui4).
ni3 xiang3 yao4 zhu4 zai4 zen3 yang4 de she4 hui4?
nǐ xiǎng yào zhù zài zěn yàng de shè huì?
What kind of society do you want to live in?
Pinyin: she4 / shè
(Traditional and Simplified)
P.S. Interested in a reading challenge? Try this out: http://bit.ly/1Hhh9wS
社 means ‘society’ and 區 means ‘area’. So, what is ‘society area’? Actually, this phrase refers to a ‘community’. In English, the word ‘community’ can mean a group of people who live in a particular area, or who share the same religion, race, job, etc. However, ‘社區’ in Chinese tends to be used for a group of people who live in the same area.
So, 社區 = 社 (she4) + 區 (qu1) = community (geographical)
How about a group of people who share same beliefs or religion? We would use the phrase ‘社群’ (she4 qun2; lit. society group) for that instead.
Alright, let’s see if you really get difference between the phrases 社區 and 社群. Here’s a quick quiz: which phrase would you use to talk about an ‘online virtual community’? 😀
Illustration: Hua Zhong Wen