What Are the Different Types of Chinese Characters?

When we talk about Chinese characters, we often think of pictures. However, there are many more kinds of Chinese characters than just pictures. They also represent abstract concepts such as spatial relationships. Chinese characters have evolved from pictures to modern forms. So, what are the different types of characters? Read on to learn more about Chinese characters. There are many advantages to learning Chinese characters! Here are some of them:


Symbols in Chinese are often made up of pictograms, which are pictures of physical objects with symbolic meanings. These pictures are often highly stylized and are not immediately obvious. On the other hand, ideograms, or icons, represent abstract concepts. They are the simplest type of character to draw and form the basis for other more complex characters. The following are some examples of pictograms:

Many cultures have incorporated pictograms into their language. These symbols are often found in Chinese paintings and calligraphy. While a few characters are pictograms, the vast majority are made up of different components. These components are grouped together to form a word. The characters themselves are not pictograms. These pictograms can represent the same idea as a traditional Chinese painting. For example, “bi” is written in Chinese.


Despite not being pronounced using standard rules of spelling-to-sound conversion, Chinese characters exhibit a remarkable consistency in pronunciation. Approximately 80% of Chinese characters are phonograms, which are character units with a single radical expressing the meaning and pronunciation of the word. By retrieving the radical pronunciation, a phonogram can be generated. These phonograms are a key factor in the development of Chinese-language reading and writing.

The elements of a phonogram indicate the meaning of the character and its pronunciation. The phonogram Feng, for example, contains the element Yan that symbolizes the character’s sound. The sound element Feng is similar to the pronunciation of the character, so it’s crucial for foreign learners to learn to distinguish the two elements. Learning Chinese characters through regular teaching of phonograms will make your learning easier and help you build your language skills.


Most of the characters in the modern Chinese language are phono-semantic compounds, also known as semantic-phonetic or pictophonetic compounds. These characters contain two parts, one representing the general meaning of the character and the other the character that is pronounced as its target character. For example, the word “Ke” is pronounced as “ke,” while the character “Shui” is pronounced as “he.”

Phono-semantic Chinese character recognition requires processing the phonograms and semantic radicals to extract the meaning of the word. Semantic radicals are embedded with varying amounts of sublexical functional information. These cues are used to aid in phonogram recognition. In this study, we examined whether these phonograms were able to influence the recognition of a chinese word.

Associative compound characters

Associative compound characters in Chinese characters are less difficult to decipher and can be learned easily through association. These characters combine two separate elements to create a single meaning. Examples include character Wai, meaning “slanted,” and the characters Bu (not) and Zheng (straight).

Associative compound characters in Chinese characters can also refer to a single word or a set of related words. This is because each individual component is used separately or in combination with another to create a single word or sentence. In this case, the word Jiao refers to both a teacher and a student, which means that the two are related. However, there is an even more complicated explanation for the origins of these characters.