Learn 3500 Chinese Characters in One Week

Image courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_characters

Last updated: 02 May 2021

(This article has been converted into a course at this Facebook group.)

This article serves as an index to our compendium of 3500 Chinese characters we will be getting to know. Bookmark this page because it’ll be your “dictionary lookup” index to all 3500 Chinese characters in common contemporary use. Just do a text search for the Chinese character you want to get to know.

Our world-first system for analyzing Chinese characters helps you have fun getting to know every Chinese character easily.

What a claim, 3500 Chinese characters in one week”, you may think, and that in the wake of another claim that “Chinese writing is fun and easy” (I proved that claim, I swear!)

When you get to know a person well, you stop having to memorize details about that person. Knowing is natural, memorizing is forced. The same goes for learning Chinese characters.

This resource to learn 3500 Chinese characters is totally free for your use. You just need to invest some 30 minutes into understanding the needed foundations in Chinese writing.

This 4-part series fully explains the Chinese writing system:

The key concepts to learn from the 4-part series are:

“Hand” Radical

Radical forms: ‘手’ (radical 80), ‘龵’ (radical 80.a), ‘扌’ (radical 29.b), ‘又’ (radical 24), ‘𠂇’, ‘彐’ (radical 50), ‘寸’ (radical 31), ‘爫’ (radical 87.b), ‘廾’ (radical 32), ‘卜’ (radical 9), ‘攴’ (radical 74), ‘攵’ (radical 82.b).

Characters: ‘手’ (character 121), ‘看’ (character 1539), ‘又’ (character 21), ‘左’ (character 214), ‘右’ (character 217), ‘友’ (character 97), ‘糠’ (character 3429), ‘寸’ (character 31), ‘寻’ (character 563), ‘采’ (character 1172), ‘弄’ (character 600), ‘卜’ (character 8), ‘敲’ (character 3140), ‘攻’ (character 630), ‘牧’ (character 1126), ‘救’ (character 2232).

The story of “hand” (‘手’) in Chinese writing

(TODO: Link to characters ‘假’, ‘支’, ‘难’.)

Interchanging radicals: “king” and “jade”

Radicals: ‘王’ (radical 61), ‘玉’ (radical 99.a)

Characters: ‘王’ (character 75), ‘玉’ (character 190), ‘金’ (character 1166), ‘玩’ (character 944), ‘皇’ (character 1571), ‘弄’ (character 600).

Of kings ‘王’ and jades ‘玉’ in Chinese writing

“Togetherness”: character ‘与’

Characters: ‘与’ (character 34)

“Togetherness” 与 in Chinese writing

Counting “one” to “ten”

‘一’ (character 1), ‘二’ (character 3), ‘三’ (character 22), ‘四’ (character 262), ‘五’ (character 88), ‘六’ (character 160), ‘七’ (character 7), ‘八’ (character 9), ‘九’ (character 15), ‘十’ (character 4).

‘庐’ (character 839), ‘切’ (character 107), ‘扒’ (character 201), ‘肘’ (character 806).

“One to Ten” in Chinese writing

Collision Avoidance: ‘丙’, ‘内’, ‘入’, ‘人’

‘丙’ (character 213), ‘内’ (character 116), ‘入’ (character 11), ‘人’ (character 10).

From fish tails ‘丙’ to people ‘人’ in Chinese writing

“Person” radical

Radicals: ‘人’ (radical 12), ‘亻’ (radical 10.a), ‘儿’ (radical 14).

Characters: ‘人’ (character 10), ‘信’ (character 1570), ‘竟’ (character 2390), ‘竞’ (character 2043), ‘囟’ (character 3611), ‘儿’ (character 12).

Anatomy of “child” ‘儿’ in Chinese writing

Visually similar radicals: “shirt” and “ritual”

Radicals: ‘衣’ (radical 142), ‘示’ (radical 100), ‘衤’ (radical 117.a), ‘礻’ (radical 97.a), ‘月’ (radical 88).

Characters: ‘巳’ (character 62), ‘肉’ (character 443), ‘衣’ (character 520), ‘示’ (character 194), ‘祭’ (character 2371), ‘祀’ (character 891).

Between “clothes” ‘衣’ and “ritual” ‘示’ in Chinese writing

Animal radicals

Radicals: ‘犭’ (radical 42.a), ‘虫’ (radical 131), ‘豸’ (radical 163).

Characters: ‘犬’ (character 92), ‘虫’ (character 423).

All creatures big and small in Chinese writing

Radicals: ‘马’ (radical 58), ‘牛’ (radical 79), ‘羊’ (radical 143).

Characters: ‘豕’ (character 3688), ‘驴’ (character 941), ‘犁’ (character 2314), ‘牧’ (character 1126), ‘群’ (character 3035), ‘善’ (character 2738), ‘羚’ (character 2399), ‘家’ (character 2099), ‘象’ (character 2361), ‘马’ (character 72), ‘牛’ (character 120), ‘羊’ (character 530).

Specific creatures in Chinese writing: horse, cattle, caprine and pig

Radicals: ‘鱼’ (radical 177), ‘鸟’ (radical 114), ‘鼠’ (radical 199).

Characters: ‘鳍’ (character 3446), ‘鸡’ (character 928), ‘鼢’ (character 6260), ‘鱼’ (character 1194), ‘鸟’ (character 296), ‘鼠’ (character 2958).

Specific creatures in Chinese writing: fish, bird and rodent

“Knife” radicals

Radicals: ‘刀’ (radical 22), ‘刂’ (radical 8.b)

Characters: ‘刃’ (character 48), ‘利’ (character 763), ‘切’ (character 107), ‘刺’ (character 1039), ‘剿’ (character 3048), ‘分’ (character 146), ‘别’ (character 751), ‘剩’ (character 2675), ‘副’ (character 2234), ‘刚’ (character 441).

“Knife” radicals ‘刀’ and ‘刂’ in Chinese writing

Radicals: ‘⺈’ (radical 12.b)

Characters: ‘负’ (character 503), ‘危’ (character 499), ‘刍’ (character 3550), ‘及’ (character 52), ‘急’ (character 1609), ‘争’ (character 508), ‘兔’ (character 1195), ‘龟’ (character 808), ‘象’ (character 2361).

“Knife” radical ‘⺈’ in Chinese writing

“Fire” and “Water” radicals

Radicals: ‘火’ (radical 95), ‘灬’ (radical 96.a), ‘水’ (radical 77), ‘氵’ (radical 47.a), ‘冫’ (radical 18), ‘氺’ (radical 104.a).

Characters: ‘火’ (character 164), ‘灯’ (character 534), ‘煮’ (character 2529), ‘燕’ (character 3319), ‘水’ (character 117), ‘永’ (character 324), ‘泉’ (character 1572), ‘汗’ (character 536), ‘冰’ (character 513), ‘冷’ (character 838), ‘冲’ (character 113), ‘录’ (character 1304), ‘黍’ (character 5202), ‘黎’ (character 3262), ‘求’ (character 690).

“Fire” and “water” radicals in Chinese writing


Indexing radical ‘肀’, radical 98.a

‘聿’, ‘事’, ‘肃’.

Indexing radical ‘米’, radical 144



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store