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What are Radicals? Why are They Important?

Chinese languages use characters to represent words and phrases, and radicals are the special graphical parts of these characters. Radicals play an important role because they make learning Chinese languages, such as Mandarin and Cantonese, easier to learn. Here’s how:

It’s Easier to Break Down Word Meanings

Being able to understand the meaning of words is essential for knowing which characters to use when you’re writing. One of the best ways to do this is to break down individual characters with the help of radicals. When you understand radicals, it’s easier to break down the meanings of words. Since radicals are part of Chinese characters, you can tackle learning each part of the word at a time instead of trying to understand the meaning all at once. This simplifies the learning process and can even make pronouncing words more effective.

You’ll Be Able to Use a Chinese Dictionary

Chinese dictionaries typically require an understanding of radicals. Much of this due to the fact that radicals are used to search for and index characters. With an understanding of radicals, you’ll be able to identify the section of the dictionary linked to that radical, count its strokes and find the pages that have the characters that contain the radicals.

You’ll Be Able to Identify Characters Faster

When you study radicals, it’ll be easier to quickly recognize characters. That’s because radicals are grouped in a logical system organized by the number of strokes radicals have. That means you won’t have to jog your memory to understand the thousands of individual Chinese characters when you have a base understanding of radicals. This will make it easier and faster to master Chinese characters.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re learning Chinese for the first time or brushing up your skills, understanding radicals provides tons of benefits for learning the language more effectively. You can also take advantage of helpful resources, such as the ones provided by Pandanese, to help you along the way. By taking the time to understand radicals, you can enhance your ability to learn Chinese and accelerate the process.

This article was published by the Pandanese Team.

Pandanese is a SRS based learning system specifically made for Chinese Mandarin learning and much more. Visit Pandanese now!

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