Hanzi-The Essence of Chinese Language


Most of my students would say a big “NO” to learning Chinese characters (汉字 han zi) when they first try to pick up the language, for reasons as simple as “they look scarily complicated”. After a while, they’d realise it’s almost impossible to decipher the language without knowing the characters, as “ma” can be 妈 mum or 马 horse.

However, if you start learning the characters from the basic strokes, radicals and the structures, they won’t look daunting at all but somewhat fascinating.

First, let’s look at the basic stroke types:

HSK1 Characters Intro

Then the structure:


As shown by the diagram above, Hanzi can be on its own, up and down, up-middle-down, left and right, left-middle-right, half surrounded, three-quarter surrounded and all surrounded.

As for the radicals, each of them has evolved from a picture and carries a specific meaning.

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 11.44.41 PM.png

For those who are preparing for HSK Level 1 test, here’s our school’s tracing exercise worksheets of all the basic 150 Hanzi.

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