To learn to write Chinese, first I suggest you learning the strokes and their correct stroke order, which helps you read and write Chinese characters. Strokes and their order is an indispensable basis to learn written Chinese.
What is a Chinese Character?
Chinese characters are the symbols used to write Chinese. Unlike an alphabet which represents only sounds, each Chinese character has a unique meaning or several different meanings.
Are Chinese Characters all Pictures?
Yes and no. Many early Chinese characters were indeed visual representations of concrete things and objects. These characters are called pictographs.
Some of these are still in use today in simplified forms, such as
fire, 火(huǒ); tree, 木(mù); and the mountain, 山(shān).
Some Chinese characters are called ideographs, which illustrate abstract concepts such as one , 一(yī); two, 二(èr); above, 上(shàng); and below, 下(xià).
In addition, there are some Chinese characters which convey ideas and concepts by combining two or more pictographs.
日 (sun) ＋ 月 (moon) ＝ 明 (bright)
木 (tree) ＋木 (tree) ＝林 (forest)
How Many Chinese Characters are There?
There are over 50,000 Chinese characters, though a comprehensive modern Chinese dictionary will list less than 20,000. An educated Chinese person knows about 8,000 characters, but you will only need about 2-3,000 to be able to read a newspaper.
Are all Chinese Words Made up of Single Characters?
No. Most words in Chinese are actually made up of a combination of characters. For example when you combine fire, 火(huǒ) and vehicle,车(chē), you get 火车(huǒ chē) – "fire vehicle", which means "train".
Similarly, if you combine electric, 电(diàn) with vision, 视(shì), you get "electric vision", 电视(diàn shì), which means "television".
What are "Simplified" and "Traditional" Characters?
In the 1950s and 1960s, a number of characters were simplified by the Chinese government in order to make them easier to learn and improve literacy rates in the country.
These are known as "simplified characters" as opposed to "traditional characters", which are still used in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Chinese Characters and Chinese Culture
Chinese characters, the Chinese writing system is an important part of Chinese culture. As Chinese characters are so ancient, they contain insights into ways of thought that are thousands of years old, and allow people to read classical literature from the time of Confucius.
Chinese language, customs and culture have had a long influence on the history of both Japan and Korea which adopted Chinese characters before they developed their own writing systems.
Although both Japanese and Korean now have their own scripts, students in these countries will learn around 2,000 characters.
Usually, people can write fewer characters than they recognize.
Learn to Write Chinese with Kids Chinese Podcast
Kids Chinese Podcast offers a Chinese learning system designed to help Chinese language learners to study Mandarin Chinese in a practical, effective and enjoyable way.
The features of the system has been improving from the user feedback and feature requests from the Chinese learning community.
Key features include:
1. Display stroke order for ALL the Chinese characters learned in each Chinese lesson.
2. Generate character writing worksheets with English definitions and Pinyin in PDF format for offline handwriting practice. With one mouse click, you can generate beautiful worksheets for all the Chinese characters learned at the lesson at a time instantly. It is great for Chinese language teachers and parents to create Mandarin teaching and learning materials.
3. Chinese lessons with Kids Chinese Podcast offer high quality, carefully-designed dialogs that demonstrate the typical sentence patterns and the usage of common characters and words. The example sentences are created, one by one, by our tri-lingual Mandarin Chinese teacher, not generated by machines.
4. Kids Chinese Podcast Audio Chinese lessons have studio-quality, native-speaker recordings for every Chinese words and sentences.
5. Download MP3 audio Chinese lessons to listen to them whenever, wherever you want.
Pinyin course helps you learn Standard Mandarin Chinese Pinyin, the complete Pinyin syllables used in standard Mandarin, including possible tone variations and their pronunciations, and example Chinese words.
Many Chinese language learners and teaching professionals have found this Chinese learning system useful and effective. Read what some of our users and teaching professionals have said about us on the right side bar. Kids Chinese Podcast Chinese learning system serves as an excellent 24-hour-a-day tutor helping you learn Chinese easier and sooner. Sign up now, and make progress today!