The Mystery of Chinese Characters

11 things you might not know about Chinese Calligraphy

  • It is about 6000 years old
  • Every character has a history, and changed over the years
  • In chinese there are words with same sound a pronunciation although they have different characters
  • Characters can be subdivided into different types of strokes: horizontal (一), vertical (丨), left-falling (丿), right-falling (丶), rising (lower element of 冫), dot (、), hook (亅), and turning (乛, 乚, 乙, etc.).
  • Characters are written in a specific order from left to right , top to bottom
  • Reading generally goes from left to right, top to bottom
  • There are more than 50,000 characters
  • An average educated chinese person knows about 8,000 characters
  • You need to know about 2000-3000 characters to be able to read a newspaper
  • Chinese language is traditionally taught through a series of between roughly 180 and 215 radicals. The radicals form the characters used to read write and speak.
  • With a bit of immagination characters might resemble real objects: –> tree , people (two legs stylised)


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A calligraphy teacher writing the characters for the word Ning Meng (lemon)

If you want to know more about Chinese characters , take a look on the section : Learn & Read Chinese characters . Click here to read my first article Wow… I can read that one!