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Angle 3: Number of Strokes in Chinese Characters

Knowing the number of strokes used to make each character is important, especially when it comes to looking them up in a dictionary, as you'll read about in Angle 6.

Characters themselves vary in number of strokes from one to thirty.

And does it frighten you to know that there are over 20,000 Chinese characters to choose from? It did me when I first heard that. But fear not: Even knowing just the most commonly used 2,000 will more than make you functionally literate.

The following illustration shows a random example for each number of strokes. See if you can count them all.

number of strokes in Chinese characters 1 to 30
Have you ever wondered how Chinese characters first came into being as a writing form, or who wrote the first Chinese character?

Sorry, probably no one has the definitive answers to those questions, but here's a page that comes pretty close.

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