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The 30 Easiest Chinese Characters Youll Ever See

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(d ho)big flame and (xio ho)small flame, refer to heat levels for cooking; you might see these in recipes

You could describe a big mountain as (d shn).This, of course, is also the name of famous Chinese-speaking comedianMark Roswell.

When combined with other characters, it means even more things related to nature and scenery. For example, when combined with the character for water, (shi),you get (shn shi),which means landscape.

Check out this flaming characters evolution fromthe bone script version. Very cool. Here are some ways to use this character:

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The character for one in Chinese is simply one horizontal stroke.

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This is an important character because its part of Chinas name. It also looks like what it means: a line through the center of something. Youll see this character used in these ways, among others:

University is called (d xu),literally big school.

The character for sun looks like a box with a line in the middle. Its supposed to approximate the image of the sun. You might have to use a little imagination, but in ancient bronze script, this character wasmore circular like the sun.

One in Chinese is used in references to the singular, such as a single person (y g rn). For example:

The character for moon originally resembled a crescent. If you look at theoracle bone scriptyoull see what I mean.

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(zhng go)China; literally meaning Middle Kingdom

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One is also used when ordering or purchasing items, for example:

The Chinese character for man is two simple strokes. The character looks like a person with legs apart.

Do you think this character looks likean animal with antlers? Heres how we use this character:

The horse character resembles an animal with running legs and a long neck. It went throughseveral iterations throughout history. Here are two more common uses of this character:

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This character does bear a striking resemblance to a doorway, doesnt it? Here are a couple more uses of this character:

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Below are some of the most basic, commonly usedcharacters in Chinese, the ones having the leastnumber of character strokes.

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Three strokes make up this character that looks like its pointing up. This character also refers to attending something or going somewhere. Heres how we use it:

When we combine with another character we just learned () we get (d rn)which means adult, or literally, big man. However, FYI, a child isnt called little man.

(y shu)single-handedly / by oneself

This I-beam character appears in many work-related terms as well. Heres where you might see it:

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The word birth also refers to life and the start of something. Here are some of the many ways to use it:

(nu b)awesome; were not sure what cows have to do with awesomeness, but maybe its kind of like holy cow! in English.

The character for mouth looks just like an opening. Here are some common phrases that use this character:

(xin shng)mister; e.g. (wng xin shng)Mr. Wang

not only refers to the nightly crescent, but it also means month. For example, 8 7 is how youd write August 7.

Therefore (shn shi hu)refers to a landscape painting. Check out how the character for painting or drawing, (hu),looks like a little picture in a frame!

Because they have so few strokes, these are some of the simplest words towrite in Chinese.Youll find them easy to remember as well, since some of thecharacters actually resemble their meaning.

Since we learned big, we have to learn its opposite, .Can you guess what elementary school is in Chinese? Its (xio xu)or little school.

To make use of another character we already learned (), one glass of water is (y bi shi). To ask for a glass of water, you could say:

This nature-associated characterresembles a tree. Here are two examples of associated vocabulary:

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Theres also (wng z), which means prince.

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Furthermore, 20 is (r sh)or two tens, 30 is (sn sh)three tens, 50 is (w sh)and the pattern continues like this until you reach 90, which is (ju sh).

But just so you know, 100 is not ten-tens, its just (y bi).

This character looks likean animal with horns. Here are a couple ways we use this character:

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Were not totally sure, but perhaps this character looks a little like the organ it refers to. What do you think? Heres how to use this character:

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This word can also mean to start. We use this character in these ways:

In counting, all the teen digits use ten as the base, that is:

Can you guess how this character resembles its meaning? Check out the lines in the palm of your hand! Here are more ways to use this character:

Incidentally, the characters for two (r)and three (sn)are also simple horizontal strokes. One, two and three are quite easy to remember, since one is one stroke, two is two strokes, etc.

(qng gi w y bi shi)Please give me a glass of water.

You can write all the months in Chinese simply by putting a numeral (or Chinese character if you likeeither works) in front of . Here are the names of January through March:

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Ready to put these Chinese characters to use in real-life settings?

(rn m)troops, literally men and horses

Plus, well give you tons of more advanced vocabulary that build from these easy characters.

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(rn rn du i h k l)Everyone loves drinking soda.

(w yo y g)I would like one.

not only refers to the Earths source of light, but it also means day. Its used when talking about dates, e.g. 7 is the seventh day of whatever month youre talking about. If you put two sun characters together (r r)it means every day.

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Wang (wng)is a popular last name; for example(wng l hng)Leehom Wang is the name of a popular singer and actor.

Although this character means no, we dont usually use it by itself. We usually say (b sh)for no and not correct or (b ho)forno or not good.

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This solid list of easy Chinese characters should get you well on your way to becoming a language superstar!

On another note, (xio ji)means lady.

The character for water resembles a drip with some splashes. It was much more watery-lookingthousands of years ago.

This simple character looks like a downward arrow. It also refers to leaving or getting off someplace.

Ten in Chinese is a very versatile word. For example, (sh fn)means very much.

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(b sho)literally translates to not few, and so in other words means a lot.

Can you tell that this character looks like a mountain range? Check out the ancient script, and youll see thatit has much closer resemblance.

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(i shng)fall in love; note that in Chinese, we dont fall in love with someone, we love upon someone!

Notice how the shape of this character points upwards, towards the sky. Two of these characters together (tin tin)means every day as well.

When you put two of these characters together, producing (rn rn),the meaning is everyone.For example:

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See how the character for big looks like a person with arms and legs spread wide?

(w y g rn li)I came here by myself.

Now for the word that refers to the food staple and the Chinese cultural icon! Here are more cases of the character for rice:

(bi m)white rice or refined rice for eating

The character for boy is actually the combination of (tin)farm and (l)work, referring to how traditionally men worked the land. Youll see this character on the door of public washrooms. Here are a couple more instances using this character:

This character kind of looks like a lady with her legs crossed. Check out its interestingevolution throughout history. Here are two examples of how to use this character:

Note that (xio)only refers to size. When we talk about small amounts, we say (sho).

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