Chinese Characters

January 21, 2016

Chinese Characters

Written Mandarin uses an ideographic writing system with characters originally derived from pictograms or pictographs, each conveying an idea. There are more than 50,000 characters, 2,000 of which are considered necessary for basic literacy. In order to understand Chinese Characters, we need to understand the six types that can exist and they are:

Pictograms or pictographs: These type of characters are stylised symbols simplified to represent the visualised concept, object, activity, place, event or any other image from which it is created. The following are examples of pictograms.

木 for “tree” which is visualised with branches,

人 for “man” which is visualised when he is walking ,

日 for “sun” which is visualised with a central eye in the ancient mystical days,

月 for “moon” (which resembles the crescent moon seen then),

田 for “field” which is visualised with furrows and

山 for “mountain” which is visualised with upright trees.

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