Mark Zegarelli
Mark Zegarelli

How to Write Chinese

Introduction          Part 1          Part 2           Part 3           Part 4          Part 5 

How to Write Chinese is an attempt to demystify the beautiful but daunting Chinese language. Here's a quick look at our approach: 

Part 1: Every character in Chinese is a combination of 12 basic strokes that can each be made with a single flourish of the pen.

For example, the character 十 (which means ten, and is pronounced shi in Mandarin) includes two basic strokes: a horizontal heng stroke and a vertical shu stroke.

Part 2: These 12 basic strokes either stand alone or combine to form 32 strokes, each of which can be written without lifting the pen from the paper.

Part 3: As you learn to recognize and write these 32 strokes, you'll notice that many characters have common features called radicals, which can help you remember what each character means.

Part 4: Additional study reveals that many characters have components that either add to the meaning or provide clues about how that character is pronounced.

Lǐ Guāng Yào

is a Chinese language consultant who makes his home in Nanjing, China.

He is fluent in Mandarin, English, and Japanese.

In his spare time, he is an avid swimmer and workout enthusiast.