This article is a good starting point for understanding how Chinese characters work.
Cindy Wong
21

Indeed, it’s by no means an extensive introduction to Chinese characters. There are many more specific ways to combine characters, using their meanings or not, and there are characters with many different meanings, and characters which construction don’t seem to make any sense, and thus are hard to remember.

My main goal when writing this article was to tease the curiosity of people who don’t know much about the Chinese language. Most people have a vague idea of what Chinese characters are, and they either think it works kind of like an alphabet, or that they are purely ideograms.

There are plenty of learning resources online to teach all the intricacies and subtleties of the Chinese language. But I couldn’t find one simple introduction to what originally made me want to study Chinese: the richness and uniqueness of its writing system.

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