Chinese characters may seem very complex at first glance. However, it is much more logical than you think!
Within every Chinese character, there is a component called Radical. Often the radical gives indication to the meaning.
Here is an example. Have a look at the three characters below:
妈 [mā] mother
姐 [jiě] elder sister
她 [tā] she
You may notice all three characters have the same component on the left side. This component, which looks like this <女>, is the character for “female”, and also forms part of the characters that relate to “female”. We call this the “radical” of a character.
Radical provides categorisation of characters. You can think of radical as the root to a “family” of Chinese characters.
Here is more examples:
木 (tree/wood radical) 林（forest） 果 （fruit） 枝（branch） 柜（cupboard）
火（fire radical) 灭（extinguish） 烟（smoke） 烤（grill） 灯 （lamp）
How many Chinese characters do I need for daily conversation? Click here to find the answer
How do these characters make up words and phrases? Here is the answer.