Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Radicals’

  1. Why you should think of characters in terms of functional components

    Learning about the structure of Chinese characters can help enormously when learning the language. This article is an in-depth look at functional components, i.e. parts of characters that give the whole character either its meaning or its sound. It’s also a discussion about why we really shouldn’t talk so much about radicals when learning Chinese.

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  2. Focusing on radicals, character components and building blocks

    How much should you focus on learning building blocks? If you don’t focus enough, you will remain in the tourist phrase book. If you focus too much on building blocks, you will end up living in brick yard rather than a house.

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  3. Kickstart your character learning with the 100 most common radicals

    This is a list of the 100 most common radicals among the 2000 most common characters, meaning that it’s excellent for beginners who want to boost their understanding of Chinese characters. The list contains simplified, traditional, variants, meaning, pronunciation, examples, helpful comments and colloquial names.

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  4. Creating a powerful toolkit: Individual characters

    Learning to read and write Chinese requires intimate knowledge not only of words, but also of individual characters. Without this knowledge, the building blocks of each word become meaningless, and, as we all know, learning something meaningful is always easier. Knowing individual characters is also essential if we want to be able to guess the meaning of new words, learn new words quickly or use mnemonics!

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  5. Creating a powerful toolkit: Character components

    If you plan to learn to read or write Chinese, you will need to learn parts of characters (components) and parts of words (characters). There are an untold number of combinations of these, and if you only study these it will be impossible. This would be a little bit like learning maths by studying thousands of examples, but never actually looking at the underlying equations.

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