5 Ways To Learn To Read and Write Chinese Characters Better

5 Ways To Learn To Read and Write Chinese Characters Better

With increased global trade and financial opportunities across Asia, more and more individuals are choosing to learn to read and write Chinese for better work opportunities. 

For more people, this prospect is quite daunting. The Chinese characters look nothing like the English alphabet. The sound of the language, whether Mandarin or Cantonese, is quite unlike English.

Despite all of these worries, it is quite possible to learn Chinese. It typically takes some time and effort, but with enough practice, you can improve your speaking and reading ability.

Remember to be patient with yourself and try, try again whenever you make a mistake.

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1. Use a mobile app or website to learn Chinese characters

There is a huge variety of Chinese resources out there that can help you to learn to read and write in Chinese.

Many accommodate your skill level, so you can start where you are in learning Chinese. Whether you know no Chinese at all, have some vocabulary knowledge, or are a formerly fluent speaker who wants a refresher, sites like Pandanese can help you to hone your skills. 

Pandanese dashboard

Pandanese dashboard

You can boost your vocabulary and run through the lessons as many times as you like—perfect if you are trying to fit your Chinese lessons with the rest of your commitments.

2. Take a Chinese class to learn to read and write Chinese

Signing up for an in-person Chinese class, language school, or community college has many benefits. 

There is an instructor where you can ask questions, and you benefit from peer learning with your classmates. You can have interactive exercises, speak with fellow students in Chinese, and set up study groups with people also learning the language.

Perhaps the best part of learning in a class is the comfort of knowing that others are also trying to conquer a new language and are experiencing similar challenges.

3. Hire a Chinese tutor for personalized studying

Especially if you need Chinese for business and want to ensure you get it right, a one-on-one tutor may be your best bet. 


Preply's Chinese tutor search

With so many native Chinese speakers, however, and because there are so many dialects of the language, it is a good idea to find a Chinese tutor who is also a trained teacher. Merely meeting up with someone who speaks Chinese can be helpful, but having grammar and vocabulary instruction will develop your skills better.

4. Travel or study abroad

Like other languages, you can learn a lot by studying abroad or traveling to Chinese speaking areas. You can indirectly learn to read and write Chinese with so many words around you. 

That way, you can get a feel for the sounds and rhythms of the language, and learn a lot more about how to speak and write in Chinese.

It may be impossible to simply “pick up” Chinese by absorption, but once you have more exposure to the language it is easier to proceed with your studies.

5. Self-study with books, CDs, YouTube

Depending on your learning style, you may want to read books in Chinese, practice writing traditional or simplified characters, depending on the ones you focus on, and watch video instruction. 

Reading and listening in Chinese allows you to get a sense of the structure and how to use certain words in Chinese. From there, it’s easier to dive in and learn the rules of grammar and pronunciation. 

Since pronunciation is so important in Chinese, as the four tones do not exist in English, it can vastly change the words’ meanings. So, watching videos can be a useful way to learn. 

Frequently asked questions

How can I learn Chinese writing and reading?

Some effective ways to learn to read and write Chinese are using softwares to learn Chinese characters, taking Chinese classes, hiring a Chinese tutor, self-studying, and, if you are able to, traveling and studying abroad to be fully immersed in Chinese all around you.

How can I improve my reading and writing in Chinese?

By using softwares to help you improve your Chinese words, you will build up your vocabulary. Additionally, taking Chinese classes will help you become more confident and give you a schedule for studying Chinese. Finally, self-studying such as reading Chinese news, scrolling on Chinese social media, and writing in Chinese will greatly improve your reading and writing in Chinese.

Is it hard to read and write Chinese?

Whale Chinese might be hard to read and write, but it is achievable. By making time, putting in the effort, and lots of practice, you can learn the Chinese language fast.

In closing

At the end of the day, it’s best to choose the method of learning that’s right for you. You may find you want to combine online instruction with in-person classes and self-study to learn to read and write Chinese. Over time, you’ll find you’re learning more and more, and the language is less of a mystery. 

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Learn over 6,000 Hanzi with Pandanese’s Chinese characters flashcards with our easy mnemonic stories and SRS system to build your Chinese vocabulary.

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