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Fastest ways to learn to write Chinese characters

Knowing just about 1,000 Chinese characters will enable you to understand about 90% of written communication. But most learners complain it's hard to find the most effective ways to learn to write Chinese characters the fastest and easiest way. 


Learning Chinese characters should be easier than you thought. Magic? Too good to be true? No, just a systemized learning strategy instead of the brute-force rote learning that too many learners are stuck with. Check out the methods below. 


1. Learn to write characters based on recognition 先认后写

Recognize the shape, meaning and pronunciation of the character. Focus on recognizing, rather than writing. 


2. Trace in black ink over characters printed in red 描红

Trace in black ink over characters printed in red is good for both pupils and foreign Chinese learners. Get some handwriting exercise books and practice as often as you can. 


3. Decompose the components 笔画分解

The fastest way to memorize new characters is to decompose them on their main components and connect these components together to somehow convey the meaning and the shape of the characters you want to learn. 


4. Remember the correct stroke order 笔顺

Choose some characters that are easy to make mistakes in stroke orders, and do practice. For example, the characters "与, 车, 火, 出, 脊, 登, 考, 皮, 讯, 管, 凹 and 凸" are often confusing with their stroke orders. 


5. "Handwrite" by gesticulating in the air 书空


Put paper and pen aside, follow the teacher to "write" characters by gesticulating in the air. Meanwhile, speak out the names of strokes. This method will help the learner remember the stroke name and order correctly. 


6. Use flashcard 识字卡片 

Flashcards are widely used as a learning drill to aid memorization by way of spaced repetition. The pictures or cues on the flashcard are helpful to remember Chinese characters. Learners can use flashcards to guess the pronunciation, meaning and word formation.


7. Form a character with components 部首组字 

Assume that two learners are doing practice here. One of them ask the other to form more than 10 Chinese characters using the components "口, 十, 又, 土 and 女". 


8. Write from dictation 听写默写 

It's the most common way to test your learning result, but shouldn't be used as the only or main method, as it's hard for the alphabetic language learners to associate sound with the shape of a character in a short term. 


9. Differentiate characters with similar forms 形近字辨析 

There are numerous characters with similar forms in Chinese language. The learners can differentiate the characters through analyzing the differences of strokes and components, as in the characters "请, 情, 清 and 晴". 


Try out more ways to find a funny and suitable one. 


The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer. 



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