Common Chinese characters

Here are all the characters that we describe in detail - more will be added soon. The remainder can be found in our online dictionary. They are ordered by the normal pinyin pronunciation in Mandarin.

A

á (what?) ǎi (low) ài (love) ān (peace) àn (bank) ǎo (jacket) ào (bay)

B

bā (eight) bā (to long for) bā (supposition or suggestion) bǎ (to hold) bà (father) bái (bright) bǎi (hundred) bǎn (board) bǎn (a register) bàn (half) bàn (to act) bāo (to cover) bǎo (jewel) bǎo (to eat till full) bào (to announce) bào (to hold) bēi (cup) běi (north) bèi (shell) běn (root) bǐ (pen) bié (to leave) bīng (ice) bīng (ice) bǐng (third in order) bǐng (both) bǔ (divination) bù (no; not) bù (a step)

C

cǎi (color) cài (vegetable) cǎo (grass) cǎo (grass) céng (once) chá (tea) chāng (prosperous) cháng (long) cháng (always) chǎng (cliff) chàng (to sing) chàng (to initiate) chē (vehicle) chéng (to succeed) chéng (city walls) chī (to eat) 齿 chǐ (tooth) chì (step) chóng (duplicate) chóng (insect) chóu (silk) chǒu (shameful) chū (go out) chū (at first) chuān (river) chuán (boat) chūn (spring) chuò (walking) cí (porcelain) cǐ (this) cōng (quick at hearing) cóng (from) cùn (unit of length)

D

dà (big) dāi (bad) dài (replace) dài (to respect) dān (to undertake) dǎn (the gall) dàn (birth) dàn (dawn) dàn (but) dāng (to be) dāo (knife) dǎo (fall) dǎo (island) dào (arrive) dào (road) de (of) dé (get) dé (virtue) děng (wait) dì (supreme ruler) dì (earth) dì (younger brother) dì (ordinal (1st,2nd)) diǎn (spot) diàn (inn) dīng (nail) dìng (to set) dìng (how) dōng (east) dōng (winter) dǒng (to understand) dòng (to use) dōu (all) dǒu (unit of weight) duì (right) duì (to cash) dùn (shield) duō (many)

E

è (evil) ér (child) ér (legs) ér (as well as) ěr (ear) ěr (thus) èr (two)

F

fā (to send out) fǎ (law) fà (hair) fǎn (contrary) fàn (food) fāng (square) fáng (house) fáng (to protect) 访 fǎng (to visit) fǎng (fine woven silk fabric) 仿 fǎng (to imitate) fàng (let go) fēi (fly) fēi (coffee) fēi (to not be) fěi (bandit) fēn (divide) fēn (numerous) fèn (portion) fēng (wind) fēng (to confer) fèng (phoenix) fū (husband) fú (blessing) fú (good fortune) fú (not) fù (woman) fù (father) fù (rich) fù ('left ear') fù (place)

G

gān (pleasant) gān (liver) gān (pole) gǎn (to overtake) gàn (do) gāng (ridge) gāng (hard) gāng (guiding principle) gǎng (harbor) gǎng (harbor) gāo (tall) gǎo (to do) 稿 gǎo (manuscript) gào (to tell) gē (spear) gē (elder brother) gē (song) gé (animal hide) gè ('of') gè (each) gěi (give) gēn (heel) gèn (stubborn) gèng (more) gōng (work) gōng (palace) gōng (public) gōng (accomplishment) gōng (bow) gōng (to provide) gǒng (two hands) gòng (common) gǒu (dog) gòu (to reach) gū (paternal aunt) gū (estimate) gǔ (ancient) gǔ (valley) gù (happening) gù (hard) guài (decisive) guān (shut) guān (official) guǎn (building) guāng (light) 广 guǎng (vast) guī (to return) guī (tortoise) guī (jade tablet) guǐ (ghost) guì (precious) gǔn (line) guō (pot) guó (country) guò (past)

H

hāi (sound of sighing) hái (still) hái (child) hǎi (sea) hài (12th earthly branch) hán (cold) hàn (chinese) hàn (perspiration) hǎo (good) hào (name) hē (drink) hé (river) hé (together) hé (grain) hé (what) hé (to close) hé (why) hēi (black) hěn (very) hēng (prosperous) hóng (red) hóng (flood) hòu (behind) hòu (wait) hū (at) hú (lake) hǔ (tiger) hù (door) hù (door) huā (flower) huá (splendid) huà (speech) huà (to make into) huà (to draw) huān (merry) huáng (emperor) huáng (yellow) huī (emblem) huí (to circle) huì (can) huǒ (fire) huǒ (fire (as radical)) huò (maybe)

J

jī (starve) jī (fowl) jī (machine) jí (lucky) jí (and) jǐ (how many) jǐ (self) jì (border) jì (already) jì (season) jì (order) jì (to record) jì (skill) jiā (house) jiǎ (first in list) jiān (narrow) jiān (difficult) jiǎn (scissors) jiàn (healthy) jiàn (see) jiàn (to establish) jiàn (gap) jiàn (arrow) jiāng (river) jiāng (border) jiāo (to teach) jiāo (to hand over) jiāo (suburbs) jiāo (to glue) jiǎo (horn) jiǎo (dumpling) jiào (called) jiào (religion) jiào (comparatively) jiē (street) jié (joint) jié (seal (of document)) jié (knot) jiě (elder sister) jīn (ferry crossing) jīn (metal) jīn (modern) jīn (axe) jīn (scarf) jīn (metal) jìn (near) jìn (to advance) jīng (capital) jīng (refined) jīng (Classic) jīng (to start) jīng (eye) jǐng (well) jǐng (bright) jiōng (covering box) jiǔ (nine) jiǔ (wine) jiǔ (long time) jiù (fault) jiù (at once) jiù (old) jú (tangerine) jù (sentence) jūn (monarch)

All about China

Our geography section has pages for each individual province as well as the great Yangzi and Yellow rivers. To complete the wide coverage we have included pages on climate, population, ethnic people, airports and universities.
Read More

K

kā (coffee) kāi (begin) kān (to print) kǎn (open box) kàn (look) kě (can) kè (to be able to) kè (customer) kǒng (great) kǒu (mouth) kǔ (bitter) kuài (chopsticks) kuài (piece)

L

lái (arrive) lán (blue) láo (to toil) lǎo (venerable) lǎo (old) le ('completed') lè (music) léi (thunder) lèi (tired) lí (Fire) lǐ (inside) lǐ (ceremony) lǐ (texture) lǐ (plum) lì (strength) lì (stand) lì (sharp) lì (strict) lì (beautiful) lì (to experience) lián (to pity) liáng (good) liǎng (pair) liàng (collective word for vehicles) liáo (distant) lín (forest) lín (neighbor) líng (zero) líng (mound) líng (age) lǐng (neck) lìng (other) lìng (to order) liù (six) lóng (dragon) lóu (multi-story building) 绿 lù (green) lù (road)

M

mā (mother) mǎ (horse) mǎ (?) mǎi (buy) mài (sell) mǎn (to fill) máng (busy) māo (cat) máo (hair) mào (to emit) mào (hat) me (what) méi (have not) měi (beautiful) mèi (younger sister) mén (entrance) mén (s) měng (Mongol) mí (to bewilder) mí (riddle) mǐ (rice) mì (cover) mián (roof) miǎn (to escape) miè (to extinguish) mín (people) mǐn (dish) míng (bright) míng (name) mìng (life) mò (do not) mǔ (mother) mǔ (area) mù (wood) mù (eye)

N

nà (that) nǎi (milk) nǎi (to be) nán (south) nán (male) nán (difficult) ne (and you?) nèi (inner) néng (to be able to) nǐ (you) nián (year) 廿 niàn (twenty) niàn (to read) niǎo (bird) nín (you (polite)) nìng (better) niú (ox) nǚ (woman) nǚ (female)

P

pá (to crawl) pà (to be afraid) pàn (to hope for) pào (bubble) pào (cannon) pén (basin) péng (friend) pí (hops) pǐ (bolt of cloth) piàn (thin piece) piào (ticket) pín (poor) píng (flat) píng (bottle) pú (grape) pǔ (general) pù (store)
Traditional and Simplified

Traditional and Simplified

Language

When you start learning Chinese you soon across the fact that there are two written forms still in use, the simplified form used in China and the old, traditional form still used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and other overseas Chinese communities. With 4,000 years of use the written Chinese language has many archaic features. On formation of the Peoples Republic an ambition reform programme of the script was instigated which has made the learning of the characters far easier.

Q

qī (seven) qī (phase) qí (board game) qí (his) qí (strange) qǐ (to rise) qì (gas) qì (steam) qiān (thousand) qián (money) qián (front) qiǎn (shallow) qiàn (yawn) qiě (and) qīn (parent) qín (Qin) qīng (green) qīng (clear) qíng (affection) qíng (clear sky) qǐng (please) qìng (celebrate) qiú (autumn) qǔ (to take) qù (go) quán (all) quán (spring) quǎn (dog) quǎn (dog) qún (group)

R

r (r) rén (person) rén (humane) rì (sun) róng (to hold) ròu (meat) ròu (meat) rú (as) rù (to enter) rùn (leap)

S

sān (three) sè (colour) shān (mountain) shān (bristle) shǎng (to hand down) shàng (up) shàng (still) sháo (spoon) shǎo (less) shé (tongue) shè (to shoot) shè (residence) shéi (who) shēn (body) shēn (to extend) shén (god) shén (what) shēng (produce) shèng (holy) shī (lion) shī (to lose) shī (corpse) shí (ten) shí (time) shí (rock) shí (real) shí (food) shí (eat) shǐ (history) shǐ (to begin) shǐ (arrow) shǐ (pig) shì (is) shì (matter) shì (market) shì (life) shì (spirit) shì (bachelor) shì (clan name) shì (to show) shǒu (hand) shǒu (hand) shǒu (head) shòu (to receive) shū (book) shū (spear) shǔ (heat) shǔ (office) shù (tree) shuāng (pair) shuǐ (water) shuǐ (water) shuì (taxes) shùn (to obey) shuō (to speak) sī (silk) sī (private) sī (silk) sī (to think) sǐ (die) sì (four) sì (snake) sì (to run) song (Song) sū (revive) sù (respectful) sù (to complain) suàn (calculate) suī (although) suī (rap) suí (Sui) suì (year) sūn (grandson) suǒ (actually)

T

tā (he) tā (she) tā (it) tái (typhoon) tài (too) táng (Tang) táng (sugar) tǎng (to recline) tàng (collective for trips) táo (grapes) tiān (sky) tián (field) tiē (to stick) tīng (to listen) tōng (open) tóng (same) tóng (boy servant) tóu (head) tóu (head) tǔ (earth) tù (rabbit)

W

wǎ (tile) wài (outside) wān (bowl) wán (toy) wǎn (evening) wàn (ten thousand) wāng (lame) wáng (to die) wǎng (monarch) wǎng (net) wéi (proud) wéi (to preserve) wèi (do) wèi (not yet) wèi (position) wén (script) wén (to hear) wèn (ask) wǒ (I (me)) wò (lie) wū (crow) wū (house) wú (not to have) wǔ (five) wǔ (noon) wǔ (martial) wù (do not) wù (fifth (ordinal))
Imperial servants - the eunuchs

Imperial servants - the eunuchs

History

For over two thousand years the Chinese Emperor was served by a large number of Imperial servants who had castrated as young boys. With no possibility of having children themselves they were seen as having more loyalty to the Emperor than the Emperor's often scheming family. Some eunuchs became fabulously rich as a result of their total control of access to the Emperor.

X

西 xī (west) xī (sunset) xí (to practice) xǐ (box; bag) xǐ (to be fond of) xì (system) xià (summer) xià (down) xiān (fresh) xiān (first) xián (to stay idle) xiǎn (danger) xiàn (to appear) xiāng (fragrant) xiāng (each other) xiāng (countryside) xiǎng (to think) xiàng (elephant) xiǎo (small) xiào (smile) xiào (filial piety or obedience) xiào (school) xiào (effect) xiē (some) xiě (write) xiè (thanks) xīn (new) xīn (heart) xīn (hard) xīn (heart) xīng (star) xīng (prosper) xíng (permitted) xìng (surname) xìng (fortunate) xiōng (elder brother) xù (beginnings) xué (study) xué (cave) xué (narrow) xuě (snow)

Y

yán (face) yán (words) yán (words) yāng (center) yáng (yang) yáng (sheep) yāo (youngest) yǎo (to bite) yào (want) yě (also) yè (night) yè (page) yī (one) yī (doctor) yī (clothes) yí (proper) yǐ (hidden) yǐ (to use) yǐ (chair) yǐ (already) yì (easy) 亿 yì (100,000,000) yì (justice) yì (also) yì (city) yì (catch) yì (skill) yì (to recollect) yì (idea) yì (different) yīn (yin) yīn (sound) yǐn (to drink) yīng (flower) yíng (welcome) yǒng (perpetual) yòng (to use) yóu (outstanding) yǒu (friend) yǒu (have) yǒu (wine vessel) yòu (right) yòu (also) yú (fish) yú (fishing) yú (in) yǔ (rain) yǔ (language) yǔ (to give) yù (jade) yuán (primary) yuán (former) yuán (park) yuǎn (far) yuàn (courtyard) yuàn (to hope) yuē (to speak) yuè (moon) yún (cloud) yùn (to move)

Z

zāi (disaster) zài (again) zài (exist) zài (to carry) zàng (treasury) zǎo (early) zé (pool) zhà (at first) zhà (to explode) zhān (to observe) zhān (to glue) zhàn (station) zhàn (to fight) zhāng ('of') zhǎng (palm of the hand) zhāo (dynasty) zhǎo (to try to find) zhě (in process of) zhè (this) zhēn (chaste) zhēn (really) zhèn (Wood) zhēng (journey) zhèng (correct) zhī (prop up) zhī (one) zhī (him) zhī (to know) zhī (to support) zhī (branch) zhí (straight) zhí (value) zhí (to plant) zhǐ (paper) zhǐ (to stop) zhì (aspiration) zhì (to arrive) zhì (to rule) zhì (to send) zhì (to install) zhōng (centre) zhōng (clock) zhǒng (kind of) zhòng (many) zhòng (heavy) zhōu (region) zhōu (prefecture) zhōu (surname Zhou) zhōu (boat) zhū (hog) zhú (bamboo) zhú (bamboo) zhǔ (dot) zhǔ (owner) zhǔ (to cook) zhù (to live) zhù (to halt) zhuǎ (claw) zhuǎ (claw) zhuàn (biography) zhuī (short-tailed bird) zhuō (table) zǐ (child) zì (from) zì (letter) zǒu (walk) zū (to hire) zú (clan) zú (foot) zǔ (grandfather) zǔ (to form) zǔ (to hinder) zuān (to drill) zuì (most) zuó (previous) zuǒ (left) zuò (seat) zuò (sit) zuò (to do)
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