Chinese characters in
general may be referred to as ideograms, due to the fact that ideas are represented directly by characters, but they can be divided into different types, based on how they are formed or derived.
Originally they consisted of pictograms (Xiàngxíng象形), from which derived “associative compounds”
(huìyì會意), that consisted of two or more pictographs in
order to form the character with the logical meaning. However, the majority originated as picto-phonic (形聲xíngshēng) which comprise 80 % of existing Chinese characters. Each Chinese character is composed of 2 or more picto-phonetic components that help to understand how to write and
The basic components
are around 200, they are known as radicals and are fundamental in the Chinese language. Therefore, once you learn these radicals, you can figure out how it was composed and the sound of a
character. Make studying more effective and enjoyable!