The principle for borrowing the character was that the new word be pronounced in the same or a similar way as the word represented by the character. The earliest writing consisted of carved inscriptions.
For the Chinese, a single logographic system is particularly useful because it is capable of representing very different spoken forms, just as the numerals 1, 2, and 3 are understandable across many regions though they represent different words in different languages.
First, they may double as loanwords. Such complex graphs or characters consist of two parts, one part suggesting the sound, the other part the meaning. Chineese writing Literacy[ edit ] Because the majority of modern Chinese words contain more than one character, there are at least Chineese writing measuring sticks for Chinese literacy: However, transliteration was not always considered merely a way to record the sounds of any particular dialect of Chinese; it was once also considered a potential replacement for the Chinese characters.
Similarly, the semantic relations represented by the graph are no longer so clear. The earliest graphs were schematic pictures of what they represented; the graph for man resembled a standing figure, that for woman depicted a kneeling figure.
To represent such words the phonographic principle was adopted. With the adoption of the brush as the tool and of ink on paper as the medium for writing, graphs became essentially arbitrary, involving simple lines and shapes.
In Chinese, with a general correspondence between morpheme and syllable, each morpheme is easily represented by a sign for the corresponding syllable.
For instance, it is common for a dictionary ordered principally by the Kangxi radicals to have an auxiliary index by pronunciation, expressed typically in either hanyu pinyin or zhuyin fuhao. These roots, or radicals, generally but imperfectly align with the parts used to compose characters by means of logical aggregation and phonetic complex.
The problem is intensified by the fact that neither the sound property nor the semantic property of the characters is of much help in the recognition of a character. Each written character corresponded to one monosyllabic word. Each graph or character corresponds to one meaningful unit of the language, not directly to a unit of thought.
The relation between the written Chinese language and its oral form is very different from the analogous relation between written and spoken English. In modern written Japanesekanji are used for most nouns, verb stems, and adjective stems, while hiragana are used for grammatical elements and miscellaneous words that have no common kanji rendition; katakana are used for transliteration of loanwords from other languages, the names of plants, animals and certain scientific or technical words, onomatopoeia and emphasis.
The logographic principle eliminates that ambiguity by providing one character for one meaning. The system was then standardized so as to approach the ideal of one distinctive graph representing each morpheme, or unit of meaning, in the language.
However, the writing system would then have been extremely ambiguous, with one character representing a dozen or more unrelated words as a consequence of the extreme homophony of the Chinese language. Yet there is no similarity in the way they are written.
This development was restrained to an extent by the standardization of the seal script during the Qin dynasty, but soon started again. The Chinese writing system requires more memorization, while the Latin alphabet requires more analysis and synthesis; both appear to be relatively optimal devices for the transcription of their respective, very different, languages.
For instance, it is common for a dictionary ordered principally by the Kangxi radicals to have an auxiliary index by pronunciation, expressed typically in either hanyu pinyin or zhuyin fuhao. Pinyin is not the sole transliteration scheme for Mandarin—there are also, for instance, the zhuyin fuhaoWade-Gilesand Gwoyeu Romatzyh systems—but it is dominant in the Chinese-speaking world.
The relation between the written Chinese language and its oral form is very different from the analogous relation between written and spoken English.
For those trained in written Chinese, it serves as a common medium; for those untrained in it, the graphic Chineese writing of the characters is in general no aid to common understanding characters such as "one" notwithstanding.
A second reform simplified the characters by reducing the number of strokes used in writing them. In this manner Chinese logographs form a common medium of communication for a vast country because they can be read by people who speak mutually incomprehensible dialects or languages.
History It is not known when Chinese writing originated, but it apparently began to develop in the early 2nd millennium bc. This acrophonic principle played a similar role in the development of hieroglyphic and cuneiform writing.
It is therefore useful to be able to transliterate a dialect of Chinese into the Latin alphabet or the Perso-Arabic script Xiao'erjing for those who cannot read Chinese characters. Bamboo and wooden slipsfrom at least the thirteenth century BC Paperinvented no later than the second century BC Silksince at least the Han dynasty Stone, metal, wood, bamboo, plastic and ivory on seals.
But, of course, such a large number of graphs imposes a major obstacle to learning to read and write. Little systematic study has been conducted on how simplified Chinese has affected the way Chinese people become literate; the only studies conducted before it was standardized in mainland China seem to have been statistical ones regarding how many strokes were saved on average in samples of running text.
In English one morpheme is often expressed by two syllables e. Immediately afterward, the mainland government began two parallel programs relating to written Chinese. Unlike English, in which morphemes combine to make new words e. The radicals are arranged in modern dictionaries according to the number of strokes used in writing them.
A graph that pictured some object was borrowed to write a different word that happened to sound similar. Chinese dictionary Written Chinese is not based on an alphabet or syllabary, so Chinese dictionaries, as well as dictionaries that define Chinese characters in other languages, cannot easily be alphabetized or otherwise lexically ordered, as English dictionaries are.
It applies a specific character to write each meaningful syllable or each nonmeaningful syllabic that is part of a polysyllabic word. The radicals are ordered first by stroke count that is, the number of strokes required to write the radical ; within a given stroke count, the radicals also have a prescribed order.
How can the answer be improved?Tell us how. Chinese writing, basically logographic writing system, one of the world’s great writing systems. Like Semitic writing in the West, Chinese script was fundamental to the writing systems in the East. Chinese Character Tutorial If you're interested in reading and writing Chinese characters, there's no better place to get started than with the numbers They are quite simple to write, useful to know, and are exactly the same in.
You have the opportunity to contribute ways that you remember Chinese characters and photos of your Chinese writing as you learn from other students of Chinese. Click the “Learn More” button next to any character to see what others have said about that character.
Chinese. Chinese is spoken by about billion people mainly in the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (a.k.a. Taiwan), Singapore and other parts of. Unlike European languages Chinese's difficulty is very front-loaded.
When you first study how to write in Chinese, you'll be confronted with a foreign pronunciation system, a foreign tonal system and a very foreign writing system.Chineese writing