The tip to learn Chinese character easily!

Many people think Chinese characters are pictographs and use pictorial symbols to convey the meanings of things. However it’s not true. In fact, only less than 1% of Chinese characters belong to this type of symbols. And we have to say it’s not efficient to create a character in this way. After all, not all things or concepts are suitable for images. Instead, we use another way to create characters. We use a number of meaningful components to form a character. So we can get unlimited characters with limited components.

We call these meaningful components “radicals”. If you can recognize these radicals, then you will not think that Chinese characters are just strange symbols. Some radicals stand for the pronunciation of a character and some stand for the meaning. By recognizing these radicals, you can get the rough meaning and pronunciation of a character. For example, the character 銅 has two components. The left one is 金 and the right one is 同. 金 means gold or metal. 同 [tóng] represents the pronunciation. From this we can see that the character 銅 is kind of metal with the pronunciation of 同 [tóng]. In fact, 銅 means the metal “copper” and it’s pronunciation is exactly 同 [tóng]. Over 99% of Chinese characters are created in this way. So you can use this strategy to recognize a Chinese character.

According to statistics, If you can remember 40 basic radicals, then you will successfully recognize 800 frequently used Chinese characters in daily life. And a finding from neuroscience shows that the strategy used by Chinese speakers for recognizing Chinese characters is similar to the one used by English speakers for recognizing English words. For English speakers, they get the pronunciation from the letters of a word and know the meaning from the structure inside a word. This is very similar to the Chinese character recognition mechanism we talked about before.

What I said above is about the traditional Chinese characters. You might wonder if this strategy still works for the simplified one. The answer is “Yes”. That is because both writing systems share 80% of characters. So the strategy works as well even if you plan to learn the simplified Chinese characters.

I have shown you how to learn Chinese characters systematically. As long as you learn Chinese step by step, you will find the logic behind these characters. I hope that Chinese characters will no longer be strange symbols for you. These beautiful characters are really precious gifts left by ancient Chinese people.

认得汉字的秘诀

很多人认为汉字是象形字,用图画来传达事物的意义,然而事实却不是如此。事实上,只有不到百分之一的汉字是属于这种类型的符号。而且我必须说,用这种方式来造字实在不是很有效率。毕竟,并不是所有的事物或概念都适合用图像来表示。我们反而是使用另外一种方式来造字。我们会用一些带有意义的小组件来组合成一个字。因此我们就可以用有限的组件来得到无限的汉字了。

我们称这些有意义的小组件为「部件」。如果你可以认得这些部件,那么汉字对你而言就不会再是陌生的符号。有些部件代表字的念法,有些则是代表字的意义。只要掌握这些部件,你就能够了解一个字大概的念法与含意。比方说,「铜」这个字有两个部件,左边是「金」,右边是「同」。「金」是黄金、金属的意思,「同」代表的是念法。由此可知,「铜」这个字是一种金属,念法同「同」。而事实也是如此,「铜」这个字就是copper这种金属,而念法就跟「同」一样。有超过99%的汉字都是这样造出来的。所以你可以使用这个策略来认一个汉字。

根据统计,如果你能记得住40个基本的部件,你就可以成功辨识,日常生活中经常使用到的800个汉字。还有来自神经科学的研究显示,中文用户辨认汉字的策略,和英语使用者辨认英文单字的策略,是非常类似的。对于英语用户来说,他们从单字的字母得知字的念法,从单字的结构得知字的含意。这和我们之前谈的汉字辨认策略十分类似。

以上我所说的是繁体字的例子。你也许会问,那么这套策略也可以适用于简体字吗?答案是肯定的,因为两套系统高达八成的用字是相同的。所以就算你打算学简体中文,这套策略也行得通。

这次我和你谈了如何有系统地去学习汉字。只要你按部就班地学习中文,你就会发现这些汉字背后的逻辑。希望汉字对你而言不会再是陌生的符号。这些美丽的字符,实在是中国古人留给我们的珍贵礼物。

 

認得漢字的秘訣

很多人認為漢字是象形字,用圖畫來傳達事物的意義,然而事實卻不是如此。事實上,只有不到百分之一的漢字是屬於這種類型的符號。而且我必須說,用這種方式來造字實在不是很有效率。畢竟,並不是所有的事物或概念都適合用圖像來表示。我們反而是使用另外一種方式來造字。我們會用一些帶有意義的小元件來組合成一個字。因此我們就可以用有限的元件來得到無限的漢字了。

我們稱這些有意義的小元件為「部件」。如果你可以認得這些部件,那麼漢字對你而言就不會再是陌生的符號。有些部件代表字的念法,有些則是代表字的意義。只要掌握這些部件,你就能夠瞭解一個字大概的念法與含意。比方說,「銅」這個字有兩個部件,左邊是「金」,右邊是「同」。「金」是黃金、金屬的意思,「同」代表的是念法。由此可知,「銅」這個字是一種金屬,念法同「同」。而事實也是如此,「銅」這個字就是copper這種金屬,而念法就跟「同」一樣。有超過99%的漢字都是這樣造出來的。所以你可以使用這個策略來認一個漢字。

根據統計,如果你能記得住40個基本的部件,你就可以成功辨識,日常生活中經常使用到的800個漢字。還有來自神經科學的研究顯示,中文使用者辨認漢字的策略,和英語使用者辨認英文單字的策略,是非常類似的。對於英語使用者來說,他們從單字的字母得知字的念法,從單字的結構得知字的含意。這和我們之前談的漢字辨認策略十分類似。

以上我所說的是繁體字的例子。你也許會問,那麼這套策略也可以適用於簡體字嗎?答案是肯定的,因為兩套系統高達八成的用字是相同的。所以就算你打算學簡體中文,這套策略也行得通。

這次我和你談了如何有系統地去學習漢字。只要你按部就班地學習中文,你就會發現這些漢字背後的邏輯。希望漢字對你而言不會再是陌生的符號。這些美麗的字元,實在是中國古人留給我們的珍貴禮物。

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