If you’re new to learning how to read and write Chinese, you may not have come across radicals yet. But you’re here now, so let me introduce you to Chinese radicals!
Before you start, let me tell you that radicals are really an essential part of learning to read Chinese characters as they are the ‘building-blocks’ that help us to understand a Chinese characters meaning.
In the following articles, we’ll answer several questions, such as:
WHAT ARE RADICALS?
HOW ARE THEY USEFUL?
HOW DO I LEARN THEM?
To get the ball rolling, take a look at our first article:
The Radical Truth
The Radical Truth provides an introduction to Chinese radicals and how to use them to learn Chinese. The final section of the article shows you how to use radicals to search for a word in a Chinese Dictionary.
Radicals Are Your Friends
Here’s an example of how radicals work in the Chinese character 想 (xiǎng). Learn how to use this method to study and remember other Chinese characters.
The following posts deconstruct specific radicals and the characters they appear in. Learn some of the etymology behind characters and why they contain certain radicals.
The Female Radical
Learn about the ‘female’ radical and learn some of the characters that contain 女字旁 (nǚ zì páng).
The Metal Radical
Learn about the characters and bigrams that contain the ‘metal’ radical, aka 金字旁 (jīn zì páng).
The Grass Radical
Find out about 草字头 (cǎo zì tóu) or ‘grass on the head’ and the characters that contain this radical. Learn some etymology behind some characters containing 草字头 (cǎo zì tóu) and example sentences.
The Earth Radical
土字旁 (tǔ zì páng) is the ‘earth on one side’ and appears in characters that relate to the ground. Learn about these characters and bigrams along with example sentences.
The Tree Radical
Learn about 木字旁 (mù zì pang) or the ‘tree’ radical and the characters that contain this radical. See examples of bigrams and example sentences.
The Heart Radical
心字底 (xīn zì dǐ) is the ‘heart’ radical and you’ll find it in characters associated with emotions. Study some of these characters and bigrams in detail with example sentences.
The Food Radical
Who doesn’t love food? You can use the ‘food’ radical 饣字旁 (shí zì pang) to find food related characters (very useful in a restaurant!).
The Water Radical
Find out how to recognize characters that are associated with ‘water’ with images and example sentences.
How to Learn Chinese Characters That Look Alike
Learn how to recognize characters from the radical on the left-hand side. You’ll also find other methods to learn how to separate and remember characters that look similar.
How to Read Chinese Characters: A Beginner’s Guide
An extensive guide on learning to read Chinese characters, there’s a section specifically on using Chinese radicals to help you learn how to read and write.
Learn everything about the first 20 radicals with our new book, ABCs of Written Chinese.