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Mandarin Chinese I | 中文课程1

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All Chinese characters are built up from basic strokes. Understanding the stroke order will allow you to accurately determine the number strokes in characters. Knowing the number of strokes will be useful when looking up Chinese characters in the dictionary.

Learning objectives

  • Given the information provided, you should be able to identify the six basic Chinese strokes in this lesson

Strokes and stroke order

All Chinese characters build up from basic strokes. The simplest ones have only one stroke while the more complex ones can have more than 20–30 strokes. The strokes are to be written in the right order and in the right way. It is important to follow these rules.

If you always write a character the same way you will build a “feel” for it. You will sense if you have missed a stroke or if something else is wrong. The character will also look much better if you follow the rules. Proportions are very important, so you have to have it in mind when you write.

Example: This animation shows how the character is drawn.

The basic strokes

The following are the eight basic strokes.