Introduction to Chinese
The Bi Hua & Pianpang Bushou
“I don’t want to write Chinese, I just want to learn to speak.”
Yet, as adults, or even younger students learning Chinese as a second language, an understanding of Chinese characters is an important and helpful skill. It opens up the possibility of using reading to advance your vocabulary and conversational prowess.
The first thing to learn, as noted above, is the ‘bi hua’. The 31 basic strokes. All Chinese characters are made of of these basic strokes. (you may see some charts with less strokes, however the 31 are standard)
Then, it is important to learn the order of stokes, ‘bi shun’ – which is essentially top, bottom, left, right. All Chinese characters are made from the ‘bi hua’ stokes.
The Bi Hua is like individual letters in English. Syllables form the common groupings of letters in English. The Pianpang Bushou form the most common groupings of Bi Hua strokes in Chinese. They are like English syllables.
Some of the more common Pianpang Bushou:
These are often refered to as RADICALS
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