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Friday, February 17, 2017

Learning Chinese Radicals For Parents Helping Kids With Chinese Homework

Chinese Radicals
In a Chinese Dictionary, words may also be indexed according to Chinese Radicals
This post is for the members of our Facebook Group - The Malaysia Primary School Parents especially for non-Chinese speaking families who are helping their kids with Chinese homework.

Learning Chinese is very different from learning English or Bahasa Malaysia. In BM or English, you first learn alphabets, then you form words from those alphabets. Learning those alphabets is the building blocks for forming many words and from there you progress on to sentences.

On the other hand, you have to memorize Chinese Mandarin characters in order to master the language. How many Chinese characters are there? Over 50000 according to this article from BBC. However, you only need to know about 2000-3000 in order to read the Chinese newspaper.

Where alphabets are the building blocks for words, perhaps you could say that Chinese Radicals are the building blocks for Chinese characters. So, it would help for you to teach your child this well. Here are some useful resources from the internet that will help you learn Chinese Radicals.

  1. Chinese Mandarin Radicals from Wikibooks - Learn the Chinese name of the radicals from this page
  2. Chinese Character Radicals From Arch Chinese - Click on the pinyin to hear the pronunciation for each radical. Click on the radical and fetch details from the radical page to see the meaning as well as examples of words using the radical and their meanings.
  3. List Of Chinese Radicals from Yellow Bridge - Here's a quick glance at 214 radicals together with pinyin and English names.
  4. Chinese Characters and Radicals Index - This page has an explanation of how to learn Chinese characters and what are the advantages of learning Chinese Radicals
  5. Simplified Chinese Radical List Free Printable from Mandarin Poster - You can print out a list of Chinese Radicals all on one page for easy reference
Learning Chinese Radicals is a lot of fun. Once you learn the radicals, you will understand how and why certain Chinese characters are formed and be able to recognize a lot of other words/Chinese Character or guess the word simply by knowing the radicals. Here is a very good visual example of how the "ice" radical is used to form Chinese characters while here is another one which shows how the "mouth" radical is used in Chinese Characters . (Visit this link to have a good understanding of how radical works). Happy Learning!

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