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The Easy Way to Learn Chinese Characters

January 12th, 2010 - by Huang Jason


1. Do you know how to learn Chinese Characters?

2. Can you read or write Chinese Characters?

3. Are Chinese Characters difficult?

If your goal is just simple conversations, you don’t need to learn Chinese characters. In contrast, if you want to reach higher level, Chinese characters are the must. Ok, If you plan to learn Chinese character, this article is for you.

Chinese characters are only difficult for the beginner

It’s said that mandarin Chinese is one of the toughest languages in the world for reasons that Chinese character is difficult to read and write. However many native Chinese kids can read newspaper before they go to school, and any Chinese kid can tell you what is “Tyrannosaurus” (a kind of dinosaur). why? It seems that Chinese character is not so difficult if you can master 1000-2000 Characters.

What is the easy way to learn Chinese Characters?

1. Learn Chinese characters with pinyin & tones

When you learn a new word or character, make sure you know how to pronounce it, make sure you can say its pinyin and tone. You need to combine the character's pinyin, tone and definition, and learn them within the words or sentences.

2. Learn Chinese characters in your life

You can learn the Chinese characters fast; however, it’s more difficult to memorize them. They may get forgotten quickly. You need to use some kind of tools to help you to use them in your life. Print the characters out and paste them around you; Read Chinese news, lyrics, stories; Watch Chinese TV. In the beginning you may need some Characters-pinyin helper or Character-pinyin converter, which can add pinyin above the characters, and these tools can be found in following text.

3. Use your ear, your eyes, your mouth and your hand to learn characters

Use them at the same time. You may follow & repeat the dialogue when you watch Chinese TV. Don’t forget to use your hand and try to write the characters in the subtitles. It will help you to memorize all the pronunciation, shapes and definition of the characters.

4. Use some good tools to learn Chinese characters.

Don’t kill yourself to learn Chinese. Most of you may soon give up. I’m here recommending some tools to make things easier.

Recommended Tools

a) Online Chinese Characters to Image Converter

This tool can create various images of Chinese character in different Chinese fonts.

b) The Firefox Addon: Words-Chinese Pinyin Popup Dictionary

This wonderful tool can pop up a small screen when you double-click or select a Chinese character / sentence, which show the translations, pinyin, tones, definitions of every characters and words of the selection. To get it, just search the name at add-on page of firefox browser.

c) Chinesebuddy the Chinese Characters Writing Animation Tool

It’s a very good Chinese teaching tool and learning tool for the beginner to learn Chinese characters. It shows you the pronunciation, writing animation and help you learn to read, write and memorize the characters.


7 Responses to “The Easy Way to Learn Chinese Characters”

  1. strawberry blossom says:

    how do you convert chinese characters to pinyin?

  2. Huang Jason says:

    Use the pinyin-Converter in this website (in the navigation bar.)

  3. Sean says:

    I have spent 5 years in China and I was able to learn how to speak Chinese pretty well after 1 year. For the first 2 years, I completely ignored Chinese characters and it became very difficult to proceed past a certain level.

    I have been studying one on one with a tutor for the last 3 years and my reading has improved by leaps and bounds. I don’t know if learning how to read Chinese characters is best described as difficult; I think it would be best described as time consuming.

    You are right, after a student can read 1,000-2,000 characters; then you can read almost all of the most important passages.

  4. ZzRkOzZ says:

    I want to know how to learn chinese puickly,as exams are coming.i heard Sean said it takes a long time,so i am going to do that everyday at least one hour.i wish it works!!!!!

  5. vera says:

    Thanks for your help. Chinese character and four tones are so tough for me.I think I should spend more time on it. I wish I can find a quick way.

  6. William says:

    I studied Chinese at University. I recommend at first spending as much time as possible speaking. Once you have a foundation speaking in any language, reading becomes easier. From then on it’s all about reading, from simple children’s books to more complex literature like 红楼梦。Also recommend audiobooks – I downloaded Harry Potter (哈利波特)

  7. to buy articles says:

    Woah this blog is fantastic i like reading your posts. Keep up the great work! You understand, many persons are looking around for this info, you could help them greatly.

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