Writing Chinese Characters

Chinese characters usually can be decomposed down into smaller parts.
Many of these parts are chinese characters in their own right.
And some of them are called Radical.

For example:

  • 好(hǎo) consist of 女(nǚ) and 子(zǐ)
  • 明(míng) consist of 日(rì) and 月(yuè)
  • 翻(fān) consist of 番(fān) and 羽(yǔ)

Strokes

Strokes are the basis of Chinese characters.

There are 8 kinds of basic strokes in chinese characters:

  • 点diǎn(丶) dot stroke
  • 横héng(一) horizontal stroke
  • 竖shù(丨) vertical stroke
  • 撇piě(丿) left-falling stroke
  • 捺nà(㇏) right-falling stroke
  • 提tí(㇀) raising stroke
  • 折zhé(𠃋) turning stroke
  • 钩gōu(亅) hook stroke

There are 24 kinds of derived strokes in chinese characters:

Derived strokes
Stroke
Number of turning
Stroke Name
For Example
1
弯钩
了 狐 狗
1
斜钩
我 弋 战
1
卧钩
心 必 沁
1
竖弯
四 西 要
2
横折折
凹 卍 兕
2
横折钩
月 用 匀
1
横撇
水 又 互
㇈(乙)
2
横折弯钩
九 几 亢
3
竖折折钩
弯 弟 号
2
横折提
说 计 鸠
3
横折折撇
及 建 汲
3
横撇弯钩
那 队 耶
2
横折弯
朵 躲 没
3
横折折折
7
1
横折
口 品 田
1
横钩
你 了 冗
𠃊
1
竖折
山 互 牙
𠄌
1
竖提
良 以 比
𡿨
1
撇点
女 巡 甾
𠃑
2
竖折折
鼎 卐
2
竖弯钩
孔 乱 已
𠄎
4
横折折折钩
乃 孕 仍
2
竖折撇
2
横斜钩
凰 凤 风

Structures

Basically, Chinese characters can be classified into 12 kinds of structures.

Struct Description Example Sequence of components
Left-Right 女子
Top-Bottom 木口
Left-Middle-Right 木又寸
Top-Middle-Bottom 亠口小
Outside-Inside 囗口
Surrounded by three sides, the bottom side is opening 几皇
Surrounded by three sides, the top side is opening 凵㐅
Surrounded by three sides, the right side is opening 匚斤
Top-left to Bottom-right 疒丙
Top-right to Bottom-left 戈廾
Bottom-left to Top-right 走召
Two components are overlapping 工从

How to write a Chinese Character?

The structure of Chinese character is square.
For the beginner, we can use 田(tian) sharp square lattice(田字格) or 米(mi) sharp square lattice(米字格) for helping writing Chinese characters.

Writing order of strokes (Chinese character writing standard)

Generally, there are some rules while writing chinese character:

Left First, Then Right
Top First, Then Bottom
Horizontal stroke First, Then Vertical stroke
Left-falling stroke First, Then Right-falling stroke
Outside First, Then Inside
Outside First, Then Inside, Finally Seal
Middle First, Then both sides
Surrounded(Top-left): Outside First, Then Inside
Surrounded(Top-Right): Outside First, Then Inside
Surrounded(Left-Bottom): Inside First, Then Outside
Surrounded(Left-Bottom-Right): Inside First, Then Outside
Surrounded(Left-Top-Right): Outside First, Then Inside
Surrounded(Top-Left-Bottom): Top First, Then Inside, Then Left, Finally Bottom
Point[Dot](Top, Left-Top): Dot first
Point[Dot](Top-Right, Inside): Dot Last