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Lesson Transcript


Hi, everybody! Olivia here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Cantonese questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: How should I learn to write the Chinese characters?
Modern Chinese uses the familiar western layout of horizontal rows from left to right, read from the top of the page to the bottom. CantoneseClass101.com provides the basic rules for stroke order, as well as visual guides for the most common Chinese characters. We'll tell you more about these resources at the end of the lesson!
Let’s look at some basic information.
First, how many characters do people usually use daily? In contemporary Chinese, around three thousand characters are in common usage.
Next is the importance of the stroke order when learning how to write the Chinese characters.
The stroke order is important because it helps you to remember the character faster and is necessary for typing Chinese when using certain Chinese input methods for computers.
It also helps you write calligraphy correctly and beautifully.
Finally, let’s see an example.
Let's try to write the character 口 (hau2) "mouth". So according to the rules, we start from left to right, and top to bottom. So first, we start with the left vertical stroke (丨), the brush begins at the top then falls downward. Secondly, it's a turning stroke starting from left towards right, then turn 90 degrees to fall downward ↴. Finally, we finish with the bottom horizontal stroke (一), filled from left to right. So despite the number of "lines" in this character, 口 (hau2) is actually comprised of three strokes.
Remember, to see the detailed stroke orders for writing a Chinese character, check out the “Learn Chinese Characters” page under Cantonese Resources at the top of our site. There, you can also find the "Basic Rules of Stroke Order" page ( https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/basic-rules-of-stroke-order/ )
To acquire a natural feel for the proper stroke order, you have to practice by writing them on the paper. Please make use of the Honzi Close-Up PDF worksheets in each lesson to help you write them correctly and beautifully.


How was it?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
"See you next time!", 下次見! (haa6 ci3 gin3!)