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As you learn more characters, you will start to notice recurring themes and patterns. This will help you to guess the meanings of new characters. The more characters you learn, the easier it will become to learn new ones.
Japaneseis written with a mixture of Chinese characters orkanjiplus two syllabic scripts and sometimes the Latin alphabet. Knowledge of about 2,000kanjiis sufficient to read most Japanese texts.
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Chineseis written entirely with Chinese characters orhnzi. To read Modern Standard Chinese you need to commit about 4,000 – 5,000hnzito memory.
To avoid eyestrain when poring over Chinese or Japanese texts, dictionaries, etc, make sure your study area is well-lit and consider buying a large magnifying glass. Im serious – when I start learning Chinese and Japanese I had perfect eyesight. After studying them for four years I needed glasses.
Until the early 20th centuryVietnamesewas written with a script based on Chinese characters known asCh-nm.
Most characters are built of components which represent physical things or abstract concepts. Learn what each of the components represents and try building up mental images featuring the components for each character. Include in your mental images the meanings of the characters and the pronunciation.
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Frequently asked questions about learning languages
Make some character cards with a single large character on the front and the characters pronunciation and meaning together with words and/or phrases featuring the character on the back. Carry these cards around with you and refer to them whenever you have a moment. Some Chinese language courses include character cards like this.
There are a number of books, such asFun with Chinese Characters, which explain the structure and meaning of each character with illustrations and little stories.
When learning Japanese remember that mostkanjihave several different readings: usually at least one derived from Chinese and one that is the Japanese word with the same meaning. Japanese children learn the Japanese readings of thekanjifirst and later learn the Chinese-derived readings. This is probably a good technique to adopt, unless you know Chinese already.
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Language learning materials for:ChineseJapaneseandKorean
chinEASEhelps you learn Chinese characters by showing you how to break them down into simpler parts.
Practice reading and writing characters at every opportunity.
Learn the correct way to write each character and if possible, take a class in Chinese or Japanese calligraphy.
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Learning to read and write theChinese scriptis particularly challenging because it consists of a thousands of complex characters, and each character represents both sound and meaning.
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Books about Chinese characters and calligraphy
Koreanis written mainly with an alphabetic script known ashangeul. Chinese characters orhanjaare also used, but to a much lesser extent than in Japanese. A knowledge of about 2,000hanjais essential when reading older Korean texts, which use many morehanjathan modern texts do. In fact many modern texts use nohanjaat all.
Omniglot Chinese- learn to read and write the hundred most commonly-used characters. Available forAndroidiPhone
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