Learning to write Chinese character is one of the most difficult aspects of learning Mandarin Chinese. There are more than ten thousand Chinese characters, and the only way to learn them is by memorization and constant practice.
Chinese is written with characters (汉字, hànzì), which represent both sound and meaning. Words in Chinese can be made up of one of more syllables and each syllable is represented by a single Chinese character. There are relatively few different types of syllable in spoken Chinese, about 1,700 in Mandairn, compared to languages like English with over 8,000. However, there are tens of thousands of Chinese characters. As a result there are multiple characters for each syllable, each of which has a different meaning. This type of writing system is known as semanto-phonetic, logophonetic, morphophonemic, logographic or logosyllabic.
Because the Chinese language uses characters rather than alphabets for written words, many Chinese learners feel very difficult to learn Chinese. Chinese characters, however, are not inscrutable scribble. They are not pictures with random lines. They were created, dozens of centuries ago, using an ingenious system of symbols. And they can be understood by anyone who takes the time to learn their meanings.
To learn how to write Chinese character, first, we suggest you learn the fundamental strokes and their correct stroke order. Each Chinese lesson with Kids Chinese Podcast helps you speak, read and write some Chinese characters and words learned in the lesson.
Chinese characters have patterns and rules. Each Chinese character is based on one of 214 radicals, which are the basic elements of the Chinese writing system. Radicals form the building blocks of Chinese characters. Some radicals can be used as both building blocks and independent characters, but others are never used independently.
Strokes are categorized into several basic forms, called Basic Strokes.
- The horizontal stroke is written from left to right.
- The vertical stroke is written from the top downward.
- The downward stroke to the left is written from top-right to bottom-left.
- The downward stroke to the right is written from top-left to bottom-right.
- The dot is usually written from the top to the bottom-right. Sometimes it is written from the top to the bottom-left.
- The stroke with a hook: the hook is written by lifting the pen quickly as you approach the end of the hook.
- The upward stroke to the right is written from bottom-left to top-right.
- The horizontal stroke with a downward turn is written ﬁrst from left to right and then downward.165 Basic Rules for writing Chinese characters
- The vertical stroke with a horizontal
A Chinese character consists of strokes, which should be written in a specific order, called stroke order. Learning the stroke order is very important for you to learn to write Chinese characters. The number of strokes is used to classify Chinese characters in dictionaries, so an added benefit of learning strokes is being able to use Chinese dictionaries.
The basic rules for stroke order are:
- Left to right and top to bottom
- Horizontal before vertical
- Horizontal and vertical stokes which pass over other strokes
- Diagonals (right-to-left and then left-to-right)
- Center verticals and then outside diagonals
- Outside strokes before inside stokes
- Left verticals before enclosing stokes
- Bottom enclosing strokes
- Dots and minor strokes
You can see the stroke order of a Chinese character in "Word Dictionary and Stroke Order" of a Chinese lesson with Kids Chinese Podcast. A good knowledge of Chinese characters is the only way to write Chinese correctly, and the best way to gain knowledge of Chinese characters is by learning to write them by hand so take advantage of Kids Chinese Podcast Chinese worksheet, you can trace each Chinese character, write it, and use it correctly.
For detail, please refer to Chinese Characters.