The Advantages and Disadvantages of Chinese Characters

When computer technology was new, processing Chinese characters seemed an impossible task. One solution was to romanize the Chinese writing system. This led to the establishment of a national standard, GB 2312-80, which specifies a scheme for coding 6763 characters. The characters are further divided into two groups according to their frequency of usage. Based on a statistical study of lexical frequencies from 1974, the most common set of 3755 characters is considered 99.9% adequate for general usage.


Phono-semantic Chinese character features are the characters that contain both primary and phonetic radicals, which are important for their pronunciation. More than 90% of Chinese characters contain both phono-semantic and non-phono-semantic features. In Table 2, we show the percentages of each phono-semantic feature. Phono-semantic Chinese characters are often used for name tags, while non-phono-semantic characters have no meaning.

There are many ways to recognize phonetic-semantic components in Chinese characters. The phonogram mi2, for example, can facilitate the recognition of arrow, bow, and generation. The phonogram gong1 is also a semantic radical that can be used to represent the word “bean”.


You might have heard the term “chinese characters are logical” in relation to learning the language. This may sound a little strange to a non-Chinese speaker, but in Chinese, there is a logical reason why most characters are so complex. In addition, Chinese characters are made up of multiple parts that are connected together by a series of sounds. Because of this, learning Chinese characters is very much like learning to speak a second language.


The use of borrowed Chinese characters in Japanese place names demonstrates that Japanese language is a rich source of idiosyncratic readings. In the Kansai region, the use of Chinese characters is difficult, but idiosyncratic readings are still abundant. The Hanyu dazidian has 60,000 entries. Despite their large size, Japanese place names are often difficult to decipher.


Ideographic Chinese characters are the most widely used in modern China. The concept of ideographic writing is not a new one, but it has its pitfalls. Ideographic writing would require an enormous number of symbols, and would be completely divorced from the spoken language. While English has visual morphemes, Chinese characters have none. But this does not mean that Chinese characters are useless. Here are some of the disadvantages of ideographic writing.

Several of these characters are similar in their structure. The horizontal line acts as a base, while the vertical portion points up. Another character is called a “down,” and is an upside-down version of the previous one. Ideographic characters tell fascinating stories and reveal the source of ideas that are not normally associated with any particular language. For example, the character for “woman” in Chinese means “forest.”


One of the most common methods of recognizing Chinese characters is to decompose them into their constituent radicals. For example, Zhua /zaau2/ means “claw” and Mu /muk6/ means “wood.” The same principle applies to the pronunciation of Cantonese characters. Each character has its own phonetic radical. Using the LSHK transcription scheme, the first part of the character is marked with its tone, followed by a phonetic word.

The next step in reading these vocabular components is to learn to decode the meaning of the characters. While morphological decomposition doesn’t activate the semantics of morphemes, phonetic radicals do. As a result, reading Chinese requires the reader to learn to decode these complex characters to identify their meanings. Here are some tips and tricks for learning Chinese. To make learning Chinese easier, try these methods.