Is Learning Chinese Characters Important?

13 Aug

Learning Chinese characters is often what concerns many students because they just want to learn to speak Chinese and learn Pinyin. They try explaining that they do not want to spend any extra time learning the characters because Pinyin is much easier to learn. Now in their defense, and to be honest, they are right; Pinyin is easier to learn and write. However, Pinyin is not always enough.

More and more students with this concern tend to return to their teacher wanting to learn Chinese characters once they have figured out that learning how to speak Chinese and learning Pinyin alone isn’t enough to communicate properly and fluently in Chinese. Now let’s look at the difference between the two.

A Pinyin word normally has four tones. A Pinyin with one tone can always represent more than one Chinese character, yet some students just type Pinyin without any tone. It will take a long time to figure out the meaning behind what was written if there is no tone to differentiate the words. For example,” zài” represents “再” in “再见” (bye) or “在” in “现在” (now). Students can handle it easier, and without any confusion, if they can just understand that there are two different meanings and two different characters. In addition, as we need Chinese characters when typing Chinese on the computer, so learning how to use them properly is essential.

Learning about the Chinese culture is a good idea as well so that you can understand the language and its history a bit better. An interesting fact relating to Chinese characters that few may know is that this is the only script in the world that has been used continuously for over three thousand years with independent development. Chinese characters are ideographic, so they are a good tool for communication, even for people of various dialects. It is a good way to understand the Chinese culture as whole as well.

You definitely can learn how to write Chinese characters from online sessions at various places, but ideally, you want to have a native Chinese teacher or tutor so that you can hear, comprehend and retain the language better. However, not all online schools have that essential aspect, but does. Nevertheless, the one thing to remember most of all when you are learning to speak, read and write Chinese is simple – have fun!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: