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Until this section is more complete, use

MDBG or yellowbridge

to look up characters and a textbook such as Reading & writing Chinese: simplified character edition by William McNaughton and Li Ying.


Three a Day
Want to write a Three a Day? This is the list of Characters not yet addedThis resource has a huge number of characters and you can search by combining component elements with +: CTEXT
To use this website you need to have a large Unicode font, e.g. the free Hanazono, installed on your computer. 

Three a Day
The start of a Bridge to China character course.

Party Pieces
This is a new section on very difficult characters.


If you learn about a thousand a year, effectively three a day, it will take about three years.
You will be bumping into rare characters for the rest of your life! The Morohashi dictionary lists over 70,000.

What's all this about Traditional Characters and Simplified Characters?


Simplified Characters are used in Mainland China and Singapore. Traditional Characters are used elsewhere. Many characters did not change during the reform.

In this course's Conversations Conversation vocabularies and Dictionary, Traditional Characters are written in brackets, except for easily recognizable recognisable Simplified elements such as: 讠(言),贝(貝),见(見),金(金),马(馬),鸟(鳥),鸟(鳥),门,门(門) and 鱼(魚).

Frequently one Simplified character results from two or more Traditional characters. Note:

  • Traditional characters make this difference depending on whether 'you' is male or female: 你 (male), 妳 (female), both nǐ.
  • 侄子 zhízi 'nephew' and 姪女 zhínǚ 'niece' are simplified as: 侄子 and 侄女.

Sometimes usage is just different:

  • 老闆 lǎobǎn 'boss' is 老板.
  • 藉口 jièkǒu 'excuse' is 借口.

Do you just have to memorise them?