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What Are The Best Ways To Memorize Chinese Characters?

You are not alone if facing any sorts of problems regarding memorizing Chinese characters. There are so many all across the world dedicated to learning Chinese but running confused that how to learn all about Chinese in an effective manner. Today, we are going to emphasize this topic.

In order to learn the Chinese language in an effective manner, you need to go with different types of approaches to learn Chinese character to get to know which one sits well with you. Some teachers prefer to go with oral expression and phonetics first. Moreover, they make the students know about the characters later on. Talking about the hard approach, it includes dictation. To put in simple words, it can be said that this approach is completely outdated and tough to follow.

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Happymandarin tries to make a synthesis of suggestions with the hope of helping students who want to learn Chinese characters in a simplified way:

  • Study each character in detail, including the order of the strokes and their structure:

Associate the characters with images for effective memorization and learning. The Chinese method offers a good example to easily memorize the simplest characters that are used frequently. 

  • Write the characters many times until it does not come out naturally: 

This will help to familiarize with the movements of the hand and improve the graph. The complexity of character and your ability to memorize decides the practice timing of the learning process.

  • Do not copy the stroke characters by stroke: 

It is useless to copy the stroke-by-stroke characters because memorization does not help. If you do not manage to memorize a complex character, it is best to divide them into two or more parts while learning.

  • Use the correct notebook, with large squares: 

Each character, regardless of the number of strokes, has to occupy a specific physical space on a sheet of paper. It does not matter if a character has many or few strokes, they all have to be of the same size. It must be borne in mind that the characters, in addition to a sound and a meaning, also have a strong aesthetic component that manifests itself in the art of calligraphy. 

With the characters, you always write the meaning and the pinyin with the tones, this will help you to memorize the four elements of each character, necessary to be able to read, write and understand the meaning of the characters that you learn. In this way, you avoid the frustration of recognizing a character and not knowing how to read it or what it means.

  • Rewrite the characters already learned at a distance of time: 

Writing 100 times in a row the same character is, of course, a method that allows memorizing the character, but it is certainly not the most efficient and effective system. The repetition of a character distributed over time is undoubtedly a much more effective method to internalize a character and remember it for a long time. Instead of writing a character many times in a single day and then not using it again for a long time, what you have to do is write the same character a few times (about 10 or 15 times) and repeat the exercise for many days.

  • Learn the radicals when you recognize them within a character: 

When you realize that a component of a character repeats itself with frequencies in other characters, it is probably a radical. Learning the radicals makes the study of the characters much more interesting. Consider that 90% of the characters are composed of a semantic and a phonetic component and that in the vast majority of cases the radicals help you to understand the semantic scope of a character. Assuming the importance of the 214 radicals, instead of learning the whole table of the memory radicals, the best way is to start from the observation of the characters that are being studied and discover the most frequent radicals little by little.

  • Use the "Flashcards”:

These are cards of the size of a game card where on one hand the character is written and on the other side, the meaning and pronunciation is written in pinyin with the tones. There are several types of "Flashcards" divided by levels and with audio support for correct pronunciation. You can also prepare your personal "Flashcards" with the words you learn during Chinese classes. 

  • Use technology:  

Many applications are a great help to learn Chinese characters. These applications, once they have been downloaded on a mobile phone or on a tablet, allow you to practice the characters anywhere, on a bus or subway while you go to work or while watching TV.

Curiosity is the first motor that will push you away towards the discovery of the fantastic Chinese world. You will see how by following these tips and with the help of a good teacher you will be able to read and write Chinese characters correctly.


Learning Chinese characters is a long-term process as there are thousands of characters with hundreds of radicals and strokes. A lot of practice, accurate tonality, flashcard method, analyzing radicals and Chinese method can help you to memorize Chinese characters effectively and efficiently.

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