| Home | Free Articles for Your Site | Submit an Article | Advertise | Link to Us | Search | Contact Us |
This site is an archive of old articles


vertical line

How is learning Chinese writing different from learning a Western language?

In the modern Chinese writing system, each character is aform of its own, representing a particular sound and atleast one meaning.

In other words, each Chinese symbol isa unity of form, sound and meaning.

To learn Chinese writing, you need to know each Chinese symbol or character individually.

You will need a vocabulary of at least 3,000characters to understand 90% of what you read.

A vocabulary of 4-5,000 characters allows you to understandalmost everything written in Chinese in the moderncontext.

Although there are more than 60,000 characterslisted in the largest Chinese dictionaries most of them areancient symbols and no longer in use.

Only a very small proportion of Chinese characters- some 300, perhaps- are simple representations of natural objects; all others are composite signs.

Each sign generally has two components:

a graphic component (which represent a man, woman, treeetc.)

and a phonetic component, which gives some idea ofthe pronunciation.

Learning Chinese writing is quite different from learning a Western language.

To learn a Western language like English, you need to know a whole series of sounds.

If you take an English word apart, separating it into its many phonetic syllables, it would lose its meaning altogether.

In learn Chinese writing, you first learn the characters and then you learn the word.

Take, for instance, the Chinese word da4 xue2 大学which means "university". First you learn da4 “big” andxue2 “school; learn” separately.

Although the meaning of da xue has to do with da and xue, it is not a simple case of da ”big” plus xue ”school”.

It does not mean "big school".

If you were to take the English word “university”and try to figure out its meaning based on the meanings ofthe five syllabic components u/ni/ver/sit/ty, you would notunderstand anything because they mean nothing.

So, the Chinese character forms the basis in learning Chinese writing whereas the word or sentence forms the basis for learning a Western language.

In Chinese writing, the symbol is the unit carrier of meaning whereas in English it is the word which serves the same purpose.

Chinese characters are essentially pictures and they appeal to the eye.

In comparison, Western letters and words are based onsound rather than sight.

Submitted by:

Kah Joon Liow

Kah Joon Liow

Want to learn Chinese for pleasure and profit in less time? Like to creatively enhance your life with Chinese characters and symbols? Liow Kah Joon is your guide. Sign up for his free Chinese Symbols ezine at http://www.living-chinese-symbols.com.

article@living-chinese-symbols.com





ARTICLE CATEGORIES

Auto and Trucks
Business and Finance
Computers and Internet
Education
Family
Finances
Food and Drink
Gadgets and Gizmos
Health
Hobbies
Home Improvement
Humor
Kids and Teens
Legal
Marketing
Men
Music and Movies
Online Business
Parenting
Pets and Animals
Politics and Government
Recreation and Sports
Relationships
Religion and Faith
Self Improvement
Site Promotion
Travel and Leisure
Web Development
Women
Writing



http://www.articlesurfing.org/education/how_is_learning_chinese_writing_different_from_learning_a_western_language.html
Copyright © 1995-2016 Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).