What Are the Different Types of Chinese Characters?

The different types of Chinese characters are known as Pictograms, Associative compound characters, Ideograms, Xingshu, and Xian. Let’s have a look at these characters and how they are formed. There is a lot of information available about these characters. The following articles will help you learn these characters. They will also provide useful tips and tricks for learning these characters. If you are unsure about how to write Chinese characters, you can read our articles about the different types of Chinese characters.


The development of Chinese characters can be traced back to the ancient Chinese people. Before the concept of a writing system was known, these people used picture-like labels to indicate the meaning of concrete objects. Although only a small percentage of Chinese characters are pictograms, these images were the foundation on which the rest of the characters evolved. In this article, we will discuss some of these early pictograms. But what are they?

Simple indicative characters combine several pictograms to form a new meaning. These characters illustrate abstract concepts directly. An example of such a character is the Mu, which represents a tree, when used with its two companions, the Mu, which means “forest”. A similar pictogram is the Zhong, which is used to represent the moon and is known as “the middle”.

Associative compound characters

Associative compound characters in Chinese characters are composed of two elements: the phonetic element and the semantic element. They include the word’shin’, which is represented by the character ‘yu’, and the component ‘bi’, which stands for ‘water’. Xu Shen classified these characters incorrectly in his dictionary, which has been updated to reflect current knowledge. In addition to compound indicatives, Chinese characters also include joint ideograms, which are logical aggregates.

Associative compound characters are also called ‘conjunctive’ characters because they combine two ideograms or pictograms with the same meaning. For example, the word ‘tree’ can be formed by combining two Mu characters, which are usually related to wood. In the same way, the word ‘cloud’ can be formed by combining two Mu characters (the second one is Mu), while the character’sun’ is formed by combining two Mu characters, which represent the sun. Similarly, the character ‘yue’ represents the moon and its associated light source.


The Ideograms of Chinese characters are used to represent sound and ideation. The leading part of a character represents the idea, while the following portion indicates a sound. For example, the kanji for the word oil leads with three marks, which represent the idea of water, while the second half of the character is the character yu, which closely matches the sound of the word oil. In this way, we can easily understand the meaning and pronunciation of Chinese characters.


Xingshu is an easy-to-write form of Chinese characters. Its strokes are short and rectangular, and it fills the void left by writing in a more complicated form. As the demand for regular handwriting grew in China, xingshu began to replace the seal characters as the standard form of Chinese writing. Today, Xingshu is widely used in the writing of business documents, personal letters, and even on the backs of currency.

The Xingshu writing style developed from the lishu script of the Han dynasty. The Xingshu style is more loose and abstract than its counterpart Kaishu style. Its characters are written faster than Kaishu but with no less care. This is also why Xingshu characters do not look as neat or tidy as their Kaishu counterparts. Despite its differences, this writing style has proven very useful for centuries.

Zhuan Zhu Zi

The traditional Chinese characters for Zhuan Zho Zi are similar to their modern (simplified) counterparts. But what is the actual meaning of these characters? To answer that question, we must first analyze the meaning of the word. As the name suggests, Zhuan Zhu was an Assassin from the State of Wu during the 6th century BCE. He was hired by a prince named Guang to assassinate the King of Wu. The Assassin successfully completed his mission and was killed by Prince Guang. Prince Guang then ascended to become King Helu of the Wu state.

Chinese characters represent 413 syllables, with the most common being wu and y. This makes it easier to pronounce Chinese words when learning the language. Pinyin is also helpful, providing an instant reference between the sound of a word in Chinese and its intuitive English pronunciation. Chinese syllables are divided into two groups: initials and finals. The first group of initial sounds are those that are closest to the English consonant, while the finals are the full syllable. Hence, Chinese pronunciation is divided into initial and final sounds. English consonants are used for twenty-one of the initial sounds, while the finals are pure vowel or a combination of both.