RADICALS | NUMERALS | PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION | TONES | THAI | DEVANAGARI | KHMER | LAO | BURMESE

CHINESE SCRIPT 

       

 

Introduction

This section is intended as an introduction and aid to help recognize Chinese characters in the lexicon. Chinese language uses a logographic script composed of visual elements arranged in a variety of ways, rather than the segmental phoneme principle of construction used in alphabetic languages. Its logograms or ideograms are known as characters which in turn can be decomposed into components called radicals. The most commonly accepted table of radicals for traditional Chinese characters consists of 214 entries which were popularized in the reign of Qing emperor Kangxi (1716 AD), who commissioned what is now known as the Kangxi Zidian, a character dictionary listing 47,035 entries. The most comprehensive dictionary available to date is the Zhonghua Zihai which was published in 1994 and lists 85,568 characters.

Note however that just about 3,000 characters are needed for basic literacy (e.g., to read a Chinese newspaper) and a well-educated person will know around 4,000 to 5,000 characters. Whilst some radicals are characters in their own right, most are not, but learning them will enable one to recognize these radicals which in turn will help in the learning and recognition of other characters. Some radicals have more than one form: they may be used as side-radicals or have a variant or simplified form. If applicable, this is also listed below. See also Chinese Character Formation & Etymology and Comparative Language List.

 

Radicals

No. Radical Variants Simplified Radical Chinese Name English Name Stroke Count
1
    yi1 one
1
2
    gun3 line
1
3
    zhu3 dot
1
4
丿 乀, 乁   pie1 (fu2) (yi2) slash
1
5
,   yi3 (yin3) (zhe2) second
1
6
    jue2 hook
1
7
    er4 two
2
8
    tou2 lid
2
9
  ren2 man
2
10
    er2 legs, son
2
11
    ru4 enter
2
  ba1 eight
2
    jiong1 down box
2
    mi4 cover
2
    bing1 ice
2
16
    ji1 table
2
17
    qu3 open box
2
  dao1 knife
2
    li4 power
2
    bao1 wrap
2
    bi3 spoon
2
22
    fang1 right open box
2
23
    xi3 hiding enclosure
2
    shi2 ten
2
    bu3 Mysticism
2
26
    jie2 seal
2
    han4 cliff
2
28
    si1 private
2
    you4 again
2
    kou3 mouth
3
    wei2 enclosure
3
    tu3 earth
3
33
    shi4 scholar
3
    zhi (top) go
3
    sui1 (bottom) go slowly
3
36
    xi4 evening
3
    da4 big
3
    n3 woman
3
    zi3 child
3
    mian2 roof
3
41
    cun4 inch
3
    xiao3 small
3
43
  wang1 lame
3
44
    shi1 corpse
3
45
    che4 sprout
3
46
    shan1 mountain
3
, 巜   chuan1 (gui4) river
3
48
    gong1 work
3
49
    ji3 oneself
3
50
    jin1 turban
3
    gan1 dry
3
52
    yao1 short thread
3
广     yan3 dotted cliff
3
54
    yin3 long stride
3
55
    gong3 two hands
3
56
    yi4 shoot
3
57
    gong1 bow
3
58
  ji4 snout
3
59
    shan1 bristle
3
60
    chi4 step
3
  xin1 heart
4
    ge1 halberd
4
63
    hu4 door
4
  shou3 hand
4
65
    zhi1 branch
4
66
  pu1 rap
4
67
    wen2 script
4
68
    dou3 dipper
4
69
    jin1 axe
4
    fang1 square
4
71
    wu2 not
4
    ri4 sun
4
    yue1 say
4
    yue4 moon
4
    mu4 tree
4
76
    qian4 lack
4
    zhi3 stop
4
78
    dai3 death
4
    shu1 weapon
4
80
    mu2 do not
4
81
    bi3 compare
4
82
    mao2 fur
4
83
    shi4 clan
4
84
    qi4 steam
4
  shui3 water
4
86
  huo3 fire
4
  zhao3 claw
4
88
    fu4 father
4
89
    yao2 double x
4
90
    qiang2 half tree trunk
4
91
    pian4 slice
4
92
    ya2 fang
4
93
  niu2 cow
4
94
  quan3 dog
4
95
    xuan2 profound
5
  yu4, wang2 jade, king
5
97
    gua1 melon
5
98
    wa3 tile
5
99
    gan1 sweet
5
100
    sheng1 life
5
101
    yong4 use
5
    tian2 field
5
103
    pi3 bolt of cloth
5
104
    chuang2 sickness
5
105
    bo4 dotted tent
5
106
    bai2 black
5
107
    pi2 skin
5
108
    min3 dish
5
109
    mu4 eye
5
110
    mao2 spear
5
  shi3, ye4 arrow, business
5
112
    shi2 stone
5
113
  shi4 spirit
5
114
    rou3 track
5
115
    he2 grain
5
116
    xue4 cave
5
    li4 stand
5
118
  zhu2 bamboo
6
119
    mi3 rice
6
120
  mi4, si1 silk
6
121
    fou3 jar
6
122
  wang3 net
6
123
    yang2 sheep
6
124
    yu3 feather
6
125
    lao3 old
6
126
    er2 and
6
127
    lei3 plow
6
128
    er3 ear
6
129
    yu4 brush
6
    rou4 meat
6
131
    chen2 minister
6
132
    zi4 self
6
133
    zhi4 arrive
6
134
    jiu4 mortar
6
135
    she2 tongue
6
136
    chuan3 oppose
6
137
    zhou1 boat
6
138
    gen4 stopping
6
139
    se4 colour
6
140
  cao3 grass
6
141
    hu1 tiger
6
142
    chong2 insect
6
143
    xue3 blood
6
144
    xing2, hang2 walk, profession
6
145
  yi1 clothes
6
覀, 西   ya4, xi1 cover, west
6
147
  jian4 see
7
148
    jue2 horn
7
149
  yan2 speech
7
150
    gu3 valley
7
151
    dou4 bean
7
    shi3 pig
7
153
    zhi4 badger
7
154
  bei4 shell
7
155
    chi4 red
7
156
    zou3 run
7
157
    zu2 foot
7
158
    shen1 body
7
159
  che1 cart
7
160
    xin1 bitter
7
161
    chen2 morning
7
162
  chuo4 walk
7
163
阝(right)   yi4 city
7
164
    you3 wine
7
165
    bian4 distinguish
7
166
    li3 village
7
  jin1 gold
8
168
  chang2 long
8
  men2 gate
8
170
阝(left)   fu4 mound
8
171
    dai4 slave
8
172
    zhui1 short tailed bird
8
173
    yu3 rain
8
174
    qing1 blue
8
175
    fei1 wrong
8
176
    mian4 face
9
177
    ge2 leather
9
178
  wei2 tanned leather
9
179
    jiu3 leek
9
180
    yin1 sound
9
181
  ye4 leaf
9
182
  feng1 wind
9
183
  fei1 fly
9
184
shi2 eat
9
185
    shou3 head
9
186
    xiang1 fragrant
9
187
  ma3 horse
10
188
    gu3 bone
10
189
    gao1 tall
10
190
    biao1 hair
10
191
    dou4 fight
10
192
    chang4 sacrificial wine
10
193
    li4 cauldron
10
194
    gui3 ghost
10
195
  yu2 fish
11
196
  niao3 bird
11
197
    lu3 salt
11
198
鹿     lu4 deer
11
199
  mai4 wheat
11
200
    ma2 hemp
11
201
    huang2 yellow
12
202
    shu3 millet
12
203
    hei1 black
12
204
    zhi3 embroidery
12
205
  min3 frog
13
206
    ding3 tripod
13
207
    gu3 drum
13
208
  shu3 rat
13
209
    bi2 nose
14
210
  qi2 even
14
211
  齿 chi3 tooth
15
212
  long2 dragon
16
213
  gui1 turtle
16
214
    yue4 flute
17

 

Numerals

 
  ..... 1

..... 2

..... 3

..... 4

..... 5

..... 6

..... 7

..... 8

..... 9

..... 10

 

 

Phonetic Transcription (Zhuyin)

~ Consonants

 
z zh j g d (t) b (p)
c ch  q k t p (ph)
s sh x (s) h n m
     
  r     l f
           
 

~ Vowels

 

       
  ㄧ / l
  er (eu) an ai a i
   
    en (eun) ei (eij) o u (oe)
   
    ang ao e (eu) u (yu/)
     
    eng/ong/-ng ou (ow) e  

 

Tones (marks or digits)

Mandarin Chinese has five tones. These tones are the high level tone; high rising tone; low falling-rising tone; high falling tone; and the neutral tone. To represent these tones the pinyin system uses either diacritics or adds a digit to the end of each individual syllable. The number used for each tone is as the order listed below, except for the neutral tone which is usually not numbered.

 

 

1. The High Level Tone is marked by a macron (ˉ): 妈 (mā/ma1) mother

2. The (High) Rising Tone is marked by an acute accent (ˊ): 麻 (m/ma2) hemp

3. The (Low) Falling-Rising is marked by a caron/hček (ˇ): 马 (mǎ/ma3) horse

4. The (High) Falling Tone is marked by a grave accent (ˋ): 骂 (m/ma4) scold

5. The Neutral Tone is represented without any accent mark: 吗 (ma) question particle