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Learning Chinese Radicals by Understanding the Meanings of the Line Drawings

 

Three black Chinese radicals (力, 人, 入) with grey lines which complete the picture so that one can see the original picture of the radical easily and grasp the meaning of the radical quickly.

 

1. What You Find in the Radicals Section of Lenaia.com

 

 

 

2. What One Page of the Radicals Section Looks Like

 

Page of the radical 力 on which you see the navigation to the groups of the radicals according to their stroke order, the navigation within one group, the radical and the added grey lines and the stroke order.

 

 

 

3. How the Learning in the Radicals Section Works

 

When you read Chinese you meet radicals (line drawings). For example these three:

力  人  入

 

Over the centuries, these radicals (line drawings) have been simplified. So, today one can't see the original picture easily anymore. Yet, when one adds a few grey lines, one can grasp the meaning!

 

Three black Chinese radicals (力, 人, 入) with grey lines which complete the picture so that one can see the original picture of the radical easily and grasp the meaning of the radical quickly. The picture is explained and the meaning is mentioned.

 

 

These are three more radicals (line drawings). What do they mean?

 

大  口  手

 

Here are the same radicals (line drawings) with the complete picture.

.

 

Three black Chinese radicals  (大, 口, 手) with grey lines which complete the picture so that one can see the original picture of the radical easily and grasp the meaning of the radical quickly. The picture is explained and the meaning is mentioned.

 

Now you have just learned the meanings of six Chinese radicals (line drawings).

 

Six Chinese radicals (力, 人, 入 大, 口, 手) with the completed pictures and their meaning

 

Please look at the line-drawings now and try to remember the meaning without looking at the entire picture. Experience how your mind completes the picture and puts forward the meaning!

 

力  人  入  大  口  手

 

If your mind was able to complete the picture and you remembered the meanings of the line-drawings, the lenaia.com-system obviously works for your mind.

 

 

 

4. Learning Actively with Lenaia.com

 

If you want to remember the meanings of these line drawings long-lastingly, it is important that you write them a few times. By being active, you get emotionally and physically involved in the learning process which furthers the best results.

 

When you write (draw) the radicals (line drawings) you should write (draw) them in the correct stroke order. You find the stroke order of a radical (line drawing) on the page of the respective radical (line drawing). When you write (draw) them, always start a stroke at the orange beginning of the stroke.

 

, , , , , .

 

Your exercise doesn't have to look good at all. The only thing that counts is that you are active! Write a few lines! Repeat them until you feel confident with the forms of the radicals (line drawings)!

 

Six handwritten Chinese radicals (力, 人, 入 大, 口, 手) as an example of actively learning the Chinese radicals

 

After having written (drawn) them you can add the lines which complete the picture.

 

Six handwritten Chinese radicals (力, 人, 入 大, 口, 手) with added lines which complete the picture as an example of actively learning the Chinese radicals

 

Because you are active while writing and drawing, your mind will remember much longer.

 

 

 

5. Line-Drawings, Radicals and Chinese Characters

 

The term radical comes from the Latin word "radix" which means root. The radicals, these line drawings, are the root-elements, the core-elements of the Chinese written language. All Chinese characters are composed of these radicals.

 

Some Chinese characters are composed of just one single radical:

 

The Chinese character 力 is composed of the single radical 力 and means strength. The Chinese character 人 is composed of the single radical 人 and means person. All six Chinese radicals which you have learned up to now are also Chinese characters which are composed of one single radical.

 

Other Chinese characters are composed of two radicals:

 

The Chinese character 从 is composed of the radicals 人 and 人. In this case, the two radicals tell us a little picture-story.

 

The Chinese character 从; the two radicals 人 and 人 which the Chinese character is composed of; the picture-story which the two radicals tell us in order to convey the meaning of the Chinese character

 

These picture-stories are what the characters section of Lenaia.com is all about. Yet, the basis of the entire Chinese written language are the radicals. Here you should start off if you want to progress systematically and quickly.

 

 

 

6. How to Learn 270 Radicals

 

Are 270 radicals a lot? You have just learned 6 of them! If you learn the radicals as it is proposed here, you can learn all of them within 2 to 3 days. Don't worry about how to pronounce the radicals! Just focus on the line drawings, the stroke-orders and the meanings!

 

Proceed as follows:

  1. Look at the radical, the added grey lines and the meaning.
  2.  

  3. Write (draw) the radical a few times by starting each new stroke at the orange beginning of the stroke. By writing you are active which makes you become physically and emotionally involved. This being active will enable your mind to remember long-lastingly.
  4.  

  5. Take the sheets of paper, on which you have written the radicals, and add the grey lines, which bring out the meanings of the radicals. It will feel great as you draw your own strokes!
  6.  

  7. After having learned about 10 radicals, you look at the navigation of the group of radicals which you are currently studying. Lean back, overlook the radicals in the navigation, add the grey lines in your head and recall the meaning! Click on the respective radical in order to check your knowledge! You will be surprised how fast you will learn!
  8.  

  9. Spend 50% of your time with learning new radicals and 50% with repeating.

 

 

 

7. Why this Way of Learning Chinese Radicals Works

 

Your mind can remember a meaningful picture much easier than a bunch of abstract strokes. So, if your mind can connect the abstract strokes of a radical to a meaningful picture, it is very easy for you to memorize the meaning of the radical.

 

Ideally the grey lines must touch the strokes of the radicals or grow from them and the completing picture must be tightly connected to the form of the radical. That way the radical is the bridge to the entire picture. The completed picture is the bridge between the abstract radical and the world which you know already. You only have to learn to see the bridge! The rest happens automatically.

 

 

 

8. Introductory Video on How to Learn Chinese Radicals Efficiently

 

Please also watch the introductory video about how to learn Chinese radicals joyfully and efficiently! By watching this video, you can experience how fast you can learn the meanings of 8 new Chinese radicals. You also get an example on how to actively learn radicals with lenaia.com.

 

Please watch the videos to the five parts (books) on this website in the following sequence:

 

1. Introduction to the Chinese Language

 

2. Chinese Radicals

 

3. Chinese Characters and Picture-Stories

 

4. Chinese Pronunciation

 

5. Chinese Grammar

 

6. Chinese Lessons

 

If your download-speed is too slow, just start the video, press the pause-button and wait for a few minutes before you press play again. In the meantime, the video can be downloaded. Thank you!

 

 

We hope you will enjoy learning Chinese with us greatly!

 

 

 

© Lenaia Ltd 2007-2012