Chinese Characters

Dating back from the Neolithic Age (about 6,000 BC to 2,000 BC) and Yangshao Culture, written Chinese is among the world's oldest written languages. They first began as "drawings". Now it has evolved into many different script forms, from oracle bones carvings, inscriptions on bronze, seal character, official script, regular script, cursive script to running script. Even today, as a living language recorder, it has not stopped evolving. Its present formats are mainly in square-shaped symbols, which we call Chinese characters. They are built from strokes in given construction steps. We count up to 100,000 Chinese characters in the present repertoire, impractical to learn them all. Hence, this article will focus on the principles of applying strokes and construction steps of Chinese characters, after learning of which, one will be able to practice writing Chinese characters with minimal hands-holding.

Stroke Name Example
horizontal stroke 二三
vertical stroke 十中
down stroke to the left 八才
down stroke to the right 人天
dot 六玉
upward stroke 虫河
horizontal stroke with a vertical turn 白田
horizontal stroke with a down stroke to the left 又冬
horizontal stroke with a hook
vertical stroke with a horizontal turn to the right 出区
vertical stroke combined with a level bending stroke
vertical stroke with a upward stroke 比衣
vertical stroke with a hook 手水
down stroke to the left combined with a turn to the right 去公
down stroke to the left combined with a dot 安姑
bending stroke with a hook 家猪
slant stroke with a hook 我成
level bending stroke with a hook
horizontal stroke with a vertical turn and a level bending stroke
horizontal stroke with a vertical turn and a upward stroke
horizontal stroke with a vertical turn and a hook
vertical stroke with a level turn and a down stroke to the left 专传
vertical stroke combined with a level bending stroke and a hook 花儿
horizontal stroke with a double turn and a down stroke to the left
horizontal stroke with a down stroke to the left and a bending stroke with a hook 都队
horizontal stroke with a vertical turn and a bending stroke with a hook 气九
vertical stroke with a double turn and a hook 乌写
horizontal stroke with a triple turn and a hook 扔场

As mentioned, Chinese strokes are applied in given orders while shaping the characters. Basically, the stroke orders in writing Chinese characters are from left to right, from top to bottom, from outside in and from center out. The first stroke is the anchor and the subsequent strokes emulate from the first.

Here below are some examples of Chinese stroke orders

  • 1. From Left to Right
  • 2. From Top to Bottom
  • 3. From Outside In
  • 4. From Center Out

Next: Learn to Speak Chinese

Comments (9)

1.

Feb 9, 2018 13:43 Reply

Mrs.ASBILL(hunstville) said:

please help me to speak,to write,to form words in chinese fluently,.I Earnestly request you! I'm most enthusiasm for chinese language!

2.

Sep 28, 2017 08:30 Reply

Mr.WILLIAM EIPA(KENYA) said:

I wat to learn chinese longueg

3.

Aug 9, 2016 06:40 Reply

Ms.PÁEZ(Spain) said:

Hello. My son is stadying Chiniese at school, but for me it is very difficult to help him, because in spite of I´m good at languages, chinese is too difficult for me. Please, could someone recomend a web? Thank you very much.

4.

Nov 5, 2015 06:45 Reply

Mr.SHAKIR(Pakistan) said:

Chinese is not easy as you people think

5.

Sep 2, 2015 02:25 Reply

MIKENJOKA said:

Its possible to learn Mandarin. I schooled in Shandong Normal University. I now teach in Kenyatta University. Jiayou jiayou!!!!
Mikelee Laoshi.

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