Learn to Write Chinese Characters!

Learning to write Chinese characters is one of the most difficult aspects of learning MandarinChinese. There are thousands of different characters, and the only way to learn them is bymemorization and constant practice.

All Chinese characters consist of strokes which should be written in a specific order. Learning the stroke order is an important part of learning to write Chinese characters. The basic rules for stroke order are:

  1. Left to Right
  2. Top to Bottom

The rules for writing Chinese characters are intended to smooth hand motion and thereby promote faster and more beautiful writing.

The basic principal when writing Chinese characters is Left to Right, Top to Bottom.

  1. Outside to Inside

When there is an inner component, the surrounding strokes are drawn first.

  1. Horizontal Strokes before Vertical Strokes

In Chinese characters which have crossing strokes, the horizontal strokes are drawn before the vertical strokes.

  1. Left-Angled Strokes before Right-Angled Strokes

Angled strokes are drawn downward to the left before those which are downward to the right.

  1. Center Verticals before Sides

If there is a center vertical stroke flanked by strokes on either side, the center vertical is drawn first.

  1. Bottom Stroke Last

The bottom stroke of a character is drawn last.

  1. Extended Horizontals

Last Horizontal strokes which extend beyond the right and left boundaries of the body of the Chinese character are drawn last.

  1. Frame Is Closed With Last Stroke

Characters which form a frame around other strokes are left open until the inner components are finished. Then the outer frame is completed – usually with the bottom horizontal stroke.

  1. Dots – Either First or Last

Dots which appear on the top or upper left of a Chinese character are drawn first. Dots which appear on the bottom, upper right, or inside a character are drawn last.

In this digital age, it’s possible to use a computer to write Chinese characters. Anyone who knows Pinyin can use a computer to write Chinese characters. The problem with this is that pinyin spellings can represent many different characters. Unless you know exactly which character you need, you will likely make mistakes when using the computer to write Chinese characters. So, learning how to write Chinese characters by hand is the best way to gain a thorough understanding of each character.

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