How to write Chinese radicals?
I find that I can memorize a character better if I can name and write the radicals that compose it. The problem is, I often forget the name and the stroke order, which basically means I don't remember the radical.
Does anyone know where to find online, free directions on how to write the most common 214 radicals, and what their names are? I can never find a decent site when I do Google searches.
Note: I'm not looking for general guidelines for stroke order. I know that.
Thanks in advance
pcheneryOctober 27, 2009, 03:29 AM
Here's another website that I use for stroke order. You can also use the doodle function and watch the stroke order develop at the same time:
houstonOctober 27, 2009, 04:50 AM
I am new to the site, my 7 day trial is just about to end.
I used this site quite a lot when I had to fill in for our Mandarin teacher :)... without a word of mandarin at that stage I was quite dependent on the world wide web and my interacive whiteboad.
You will see on the left hand side menu that you can get all the radicals up... you can also hear them spoken although it takes a little while to load on my computer.
simonpetterssonOctober 27, 2009, 06:34 AM
I tried to learn the radicals by themselves, but that was kind of hard and boring, at least for me. I find it easier to use Skritter here on the site to practice writing characters. When I encounter a part of a character that I don't recognize, I use one of or both of http://www.chineseetymology.org/ and http://www.nciku.com/ to figure it out. The etymology page can identify the parts and give me some hints as to what is signific and what is phonetic. Then I can use the handwriting recognition in nciku to write just the radical and find the entry for it. So I learn the stroke order through Skritter and the meaning through one of the abovementioned sites.
This has worked really well for me and I think I can recognize almost all of the radicals by now, and I know the stroke order. I think learning them as you encounter them in characters is a lot easier than trying to study them all at once. Then again, if you already know a lot of characters without knowing the radicals, that might not work so well.
xiaophilOctober 27, 2009, 03:16 AM
It is helpful. Thanks.
I must admit, I am hoping for something that shows stroke order and direction. If nobody else comes up with anything, though, I will print this out today and call it good.
PS: Anybody else reading this, I am interested in simplied radicals.
xiaophilOctober 27, 2009, 07:10 AM
Great! 40 isn't all of them, but it is a lot.
I don't know why, but I just don't dig skritter. They do have an excellent product, but I guess it comes down to I want to use paper and pencil. Another thing is, I don't get bored memorizing radicals. I have already know something about quite a few of them. For me it not only makes remembering how to write charactes easier, it also makes them more interesting because I can see the logic (or sometimes the lack of logic) behind them. The problem is that I often don't know everything about a radical, i.e. I might know its shape and composition but not its name. Hopefully I don't sound like a jerk for not embracing your idea. It is very possible someone else will come through here and get inspired by you.
I have one of those books and have misplaced it! I'm kicking myself.
simonpetterssonOctober 27, 2009, 07:55 AM
Hey, have you checked out Yellowbridge? Look at this page. It has all the radicals, with variants and pronounciation as well as English meaning. Clicking on one will get you a window where you can get animated stroke order including direction, as well as etymology. It's also the first hit when you do a google search for "Chinese radicals".
Your google-fu is not strong. :)
xiaophilOctober 27, 2009, 02:52 PM
Haha, it seems I was getting carried away. I was googling things like 'how to write chinese radicals' and such. Your site is pretty good. Looks like I have a few other options to check out as well. Thanks!
houstonOctober 29, 2009, 02:20 AM
I also use a book called Reading and Writing Chinese, William McNaughton by Tuttle Language Library. Simplified version but Traditional availalble. It takes the first 1067 characters from the students list and gives a good explanation, and stroke by stroke drawing. Then does another 2,000 characters. The radicals are all in there, but not in order however I use it to look up many characters I am learning as a cross reference.
I have yet to find one single reference or book that has everything I want for learning a character
1. Radical named, and identified in different colour with pinyin as well.
2. Components named.
3. Number of strokes.
4. Configuration diagram.
5. Short explanation, eg, back story, sound loan, pictograph etc to aim remembering.
6. Uses in other compound characters and words.
But this book comes very close. Just doesn't identify the radical. However there are two other books for beginners that I have loved. The first one hundred characters, Vol 1 and Vol 2 and The first 250 characters Vol 1 and vol 2 by Tuttle also.
markOctober 27, 2009, 06:48 AM
I found a book in the bookstore called, "What Character is That?" by Ping-gam Go. It certainly has a list of radicals. I now don't like that it names them in English, but it still might be a place to start.