How to Write Chinese Characters
Posted by Mollan Mo on 2015-11-21 15:12:29 5328

The Chinese character system is one of the oldest writing systems in the world. More than just communicative, it records the developmental history of Chinese culture. Chinese lifestyle and worldviews are expressed deeply in the way of making and combining a Chinese word.

Chinese characters are ideograms, and composed of a square block of strokes. There are six basic strokes of Chinese characters. They are the horizontal stroke "一"(heng 横), the vertical stroke (shu 竖), the left-falling stroke (pie 撇), the right-falling stroke (na 捺), the dot (dian 点) and the rising stroke (ti 提).

Chinese Stroke

Here are some basic rules of Chinese character writing.

1. From top to bottom

Take (two) as an example, it is written with the top stroke first and then the lower stroke. This rule also can be used in other characters, such as 古,the top is 十,and the bottom is 口.

 write 二 Chinese characters

2. From left to right

The character 好(good)is firstly written the left part 女,and then the right part 子。Other characters can be written from left to right, including 妈(mother),你(you),猫(cat),始(start),etc.

hao in stroke order

3. Horizontal before vertical

When strokes cross, horizontal strokes are usually written before vertical strokes. The character 十(ten) is a good example, other characters are 王(king),七(seven),工(work),etc.

王 in stroke order

4. Diagonals right-to-left before diagonals left-to-right

An example 人(person),right-to-left diagonals (ノ) are written before left-to-right diagonals (乀). And other examples are 父(father),大(big),个(a measure word) and so on.

父 in stroke order

5. Outside before inside

The character ( huí ) (back) is firstly written the outside part "口",and then the inside part "口"。This rule also replies to the characters 同(same),月(moon),向(towards).

write 回 in Chinese character

6. Inside before bottom enclosing

This rule replies to the characters with Surround from Below structure , such as 凶(fierce), 鼎(The tripod with two handles), or characters with Surround from Lower Left structure , such as 达(reach), 运(carry), etc.

write Chinese characters

Mastering these strokes is the first step to mastering Chinese writing. Good luck!

Still got questions? Take a free 1-on-1 live Mandarin lesson with our qualified and experienced Chinese teacher now.

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