Hanzi are ancient Chinese characters. After thousands years, they have developed from oracle bone inscriptions, inscriptions on bronze, seal characters, official script, regular script, cursive script and running script to the simplified characters used today.
Different from western phonetic characters, Chinese characters have their own unique rules and principles of word formation, which we call "Chinese character theory". However, few people pay attention to this point today. They just think that Chinese characters are a kind of character symbol. It cannot said to be a mistake, but at least it’s not accurate.
In addition to its own symbolic nature, Chinese characters have a very important significance behind it. They are the crystallization of the labor of ancient Chinese for thousands of years, the embodiment of wisdom and the carrier of the soul of Chinese culture.
How many Chinese characters are there?
Analysis of Character written by Xu Shen in Han Dynasty is the earliest dictionary in our country. It records 9353 early Chinese characters. In ancient China, there was a special "primary study", which was a knowledge focusing on Chinese characters learning.
As for the number of Chinese characters, many people today have purposely done some statistics. However it is still difficult to get an accurate number. Roughly, the number is 100,000 or so. My personal statistics is more than 85,000. Even our experts and professors can't master so many Chinese characters, let alone children.
So how to study Chinese characters?
How can more foreign friends learn Chinese characters more easily?
To change these, we must take the basic theory of Chinese character creation as the foundation, combine with China's own traditional culture to understand the ancient Chinese thought of character creation and turn it into the way we learn Chinese characters today. Generally, there are two ways to know Chinese characters today. First, how to write the word, how to read it and what it means-- it is to impart knowledge. Second , why that is to teach wisdom. You need to introduce stories behind Chinese characters-- it is a process of arousing ancient memories in the brain and of opening up children's wisdom.
The latter is the better way to learn Chinese characters.