How to Learn Chinese Characters in an Effective Way

circle words on the ball on the topics

circle words on the ball on the topics


A number of people who are learning Chinese have some common sayings, such as “I am going to leave China soon and will never take Chinese lessons again”, “Oh, I want to be able to speak this language”, “why to waste time and learn this language?” “Learning the characters is very difficult”.

Being completely honest, almost every foreigner will say the same things. If you are serious about learning Chinese characters, below are some of the best, tested and tried ways in which you can learn Chinesecharacters very effectively.

  1. Learn characters alongside the spoken language

Most of the people who are still in China, cannot write, speak or even read Chinese particularly well. A question arises from here, why is their spoken Chinese is still very poor? Well, the reality is that it is very difficult to make connections between different spoken words without having some knowledge of the Chinese characters.

For instance, “现 in 现金 or the cash was the same 现 as 现在” so you can remember it as ‘now gold’ as the cash is money that you have at hand.  A number of people get it wrong by thinking that one exists without another, but it is not a reality. Learning to read, and write as well as speak at the same time can improve the tones, pronunciation, and understanding of Chinese language.

  1. Learn radicals

Remember, characters are not only a few lines that are haphazardly thrown together in order to make the mind-numbingly complex picture. Rather, they are made up of radicals, and sometimes only 1, whereas the more complex characters are made up of more than a few. These radicals suggest meaning as well as pronunciation.

For instance, the character “切“, means “cut” is made up of 2 radicals. The 1st radical is “七” pronounced as “qī” which gives the character’s pronunciation. Whereas, the 2nd is a knife radical “刀” which suggests character’s meaning. Both of these radicals create the character “切“, and that is pronounced as “qiē”. After starting learning some basic radicals, you will enjoy and improve learning the characters.

  1. Start with – instead of “

This character is a character for the nose and it is pronounced as “bí”. This character is made up of 14 strokes and is its own radical. You are advised to start with simple characters such as the numbers, pictographic characters, and commonly used characters. Such characters are easier to learn as they show an obvious representation of the character. For instance, “雨” this character looks like rain falling outside a window. Now, what you remember it as a rain falling character.

In order to start well, the use of “Chinese Character Flashcard App” is a right choice. This app will help you to learn as well as review 3,200 Chinese characters.

  1. Writing and stroke order

Writing characters over and over again and following their stroke patterns can help retain the character’s image. You are advised to use “WCC Dictionary app” to practice writing the characters.

  1. Get yourself into a routine

Although it is a difficult part of learning, but you should give 10 minutes every day. Reading different posts about, ‘making routine’ can surely help you out.

  1. Keep learning fun with TV shows and games

Learning by doing everyday things such as listening to music, watching TV or playing games can help to deploy your language skills very quickly. You are advised to watch videos on YouTube with Chinese subtitles.

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