Chinese alphabet: Ultimate guide to learning Chinese characters – Strokes, radicals & single characters uncovered

Learn the building blocks for Chinese writing proficiency

Learn the foundation of the Chinese writing system, where every character is a work of art crafted from a combination of strokes. Much like how paintings are brought to life with lines, Chinese characters are constructed using a series of strokes. Take, for instance, the Roman letter "k" - it's not merely a letter but a three-stroke character in its own right.

FREE digital flashcard modules for learning Chinese

Swiftly and progressively build your skills

Dive into our comprehensive Chinese learning modules covering strokes, components, essential characters, and Mandarin pronunciation. Begin your immersive Chinese learning journey with us today!

28 essential strokes

Start you Chinese language learning journey here

Indeed, Chinese characters often consist of more strokes than their Roman counterparts, but don't let that intimidate you. With the knowledge of just 28 fundamental Chinese strokes, you'll possess the building blocks to create any character your heart desires. Embrace the beauty and simplicity of these strokes, and watch as they come together to form the rich tapestry of the Chinese written language.


Chinese strokes


Stroke module

Learn all 28 strokes and master stroke identification and direction in Chinese characters by using our free stroke module. Here's how it works:

  1. Observe a stroke and its corresponding character.
  2. Pinpoint the stroke within the character.
  3. Carefully trace the stroke on top of the character, adhering to stroke direction rules.
  4. evaluate your work and decide whether you've drawn it correctly.


If you're having trouble, don't worry! Our helpful hints will guide you in drawing the stroke in the correct direction. Remember, strokes can appear multiple times within a single character.

To ensure your success, we've incorporated essential example characters for each stroke, empowering you to recognize and master every stroke in the vast world of Chinese characters. Unleash your potential and make learning Chinese a breeze with our innovative lesson!

Have you already read our free e-workbook about all 28 strokes? Download it here.



Character components

Elevate your mastery of strokes and embark on the next crucial aspect of Chinese writing: Character components. Delve into two distinct types of components - Radicals and single characters. Radicals, the foundational building blocks, may not possess inherent meaning, but they pave the way for single characters. These meaningful, standalone characters provide clues to pronunciation and serve as integral components in crafting more intricate characters.

Explore the 104 most prevalent Character Components: Single characters, denoted in blue, and radicals, distinguished in brown. Unravel the fascinating world of Chinese writing as you enhance your understanding of these vital elements.



Character components module

Try our Chinese character components module, designed to enhance your character component recognition and writing skills. By presenting a component alongside a character, minus the component, you'll be challenged to seamlessly integrate it. This engaging method not only refines your stroke direction proficiency but also educates you on stroke order.

As you become acquainted with strokes and components, even unfamiliar Chinese characters will exude a sense of familiarity, empowering you to learn with confidence. This solid foundation sets the stage for an incredibly effective Chinese learning experience.



400 most commonly used Chinese characters

Leveraging 104 essential components, our third module expertly crafts the 400 most common Chinese characters, streamlining your journey toward mastery.

Begin by viewing a captivating image accompanied by the character's pronunciation. Your task is to then accurately draw the character.

To ensure a seamless learning journey, we highly recommend mastering pronunciation before delving into the full character drawing process. Our state-of-the-art pronunciation module is engineered to fine-tune your listening skills, enabling you to discern subtle distinctions between similar Chinese sounds.

Be aware that prematurely learning a character's pronunciation without a firm grasp of Chinese sounds may lead to confusion and misinterpretation. To avoid the need for relearning, prioritize pronunciation mastery to pave the way for a smooth and successful linguistic journey!

1600 most commonly used Chinese words

Having mastered your initial set of characters, you'll discover that a character often represents a word in Chinese. However, it's more common for Chinese words to comprise multiple characters. With this in mind, we'll leverage the 400 characters you've already learned to unlock an impressive 1600 words, eliminating the need to study new characters for the time being. By incorporating sounds, visuals, and your existing knowledge, we'll make the Chinese learning process seamless and enjoyable.

Chinese is distinguished by its minimal grammar and absence of verb and plural conjugations, which accelerates sentence comprehension. Embrace the ease and elegance of the Chinese language as you continue to progress on your linguistic journey.


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