In the wider sense, an alphabet is a script that is segmental at the phoneme level—that is, it has separate glyphs for individual sounds and not for larger units such as syllables or words. In the narrower sense, some scholars distinguish "true" alphabets from two other types of segmental script, abjads and abugidas. These three differ from each other in the way they treat vowels: In alphabets in the narrow sense, on the other hand, consonants and vowels are written as independent letters.
The Chinese writing system is non-alphabetic. It applies a specific character to write each meaningful syllable or each nonmeaningful syllabic that is part of a polysyllabic word. History It is not known when Chinese writing originated, but it apparently began to develop in the early 2nd millennium bc.
The earliest known inscriptions, each of which contains between 10 and 60 characters incised on pieces of bone and tortoiseshell that were used for oracular divination, date from the Shang or Yin dynasty 18th—12th century bcbut, by then it was already a highly developed system, essentially similar to its present form.
By bc the script included some 2, to 3, characters, most of which can be read to this day. By the end of the Zhou dynasty the dazhuan had degenerated to some extent. The script was fixed in its present form during the Qin period — bc.
The earliest graphs were schematic pictures of what they represented; the graph for man resembled a standing figure, that for woman depicted a kneeling figure.
It is now recognized that the system represents the Chinese language by means of a logographic script. Each graph or character corresponds to one meaningful unit of the language, not directly to a unit of thought. Although it was possible to make up simple signs to represent common objects, many words were not readily picturable.
To represent such words the phonographic principle was adopted. A graph that pictured some object was borrowed to write a different word that happened to sound similar.
With this invention the Chinese approached the form of writing invented by the Sumerians. However, because of the enormous number of Chinese words that sound the same, to have carried through the phonographic principle would have resulted in a writing system in which many of the words could be read in more than one way.
That is, a written character would be extremely ambiguous. The solution to the problem of character ambiguityadopted about bc during the reign of the first Qin emperor, Shihuangdiwas to distinguish two words having the same sound and represented by the same graph by adding another graph to give a clue to the meaning of the particular word intended.
Such complex graphs or characters consist of two parts, one part suggesting the sound, the other part the meaning. The system was then standardized so as to approach the ideal of one distinctive graph representing each morpheme, or unit of meaning, in the language.
The limitation is that a language that has thousands of morphemes would require thousands of characters, and, as the characters are formed from simple lines in various orientations and arrangements, they came to possess great complexity.
Not only did the principle of the script change with time, so too did the form of the graphs. The earliest writing consisted of carved inscriptions. Before the beginning of the Christian Era the script came to be written with brush and ink on paper.
The brushwork allowed a great deal of scope for aesthetic considerations.
The relation between the written Chinese language and its oral form is very different from the analogous relation between written and spoken English. A piece of written text read orally is often quite incomprehensible to a listener because of the large number of homophones.
In conversation, literate Chinese speakers frequently draw characters in the air to distinguish between homophones.
Written text, on the other hand, is completely unambiguous. In English, by contrast, writing is often thought of as a reflection, albeit imperfect, of speech.
To make the script easier to read, a system of transcribing Chinese into the Roman alphabet was adopted in The system was not intended to replace the logographic script but to indicate the sounds of graphs in dictionaries and to supplement graphs on such things as road signs and posters. A second reform simplified the characters by reducing the number of strokes used in writing them.
Simplification, however, tends to make the characters more similar in appearance; thus they are more easily confused and the value of the reform is limited.Like English, Chinese is a language that comes with many rules and even more exceptions to them.
In the case of ordering, it’s best to understand this letter writing structure early on. The faster you can get these rules under your belt, the better you will be at memorizing characters. This page contains a course in the Chinese Alphabet, pronunciation and sound of each letter as well as a list of other lessons in grammar topics and common expressions in Chinese also called Mandarin.
Written Chinese is not based on an alphabet or syllabary, so Chinese dictionaries, as well as dictionaries that define Chinese characters in other languages, cannot easily be alphabetized or otherwise lexically ordered, as English dictionaries are.
Download. Download a Korean alphabet chart in Excel, Word or PDF format.. Sample text in Korean (hangeul only) Sample text in Korean (hangeul and hanja) Transliteration.
Modeun Ingan-eun Tae-eonal ttaebuteo Jayuroumyeo Geu Jon-eomgwa Gwonrie Iss-eo Dongdeunghada. In the chinese alphabet, small letters are written like capital letters, and vice versa.
Chinese Letters and Chinese Alphabet: Why Both Terms Are Incorrect. September 20, you will have a basic idea of Chinese writing and will have learned some of these incorrectly named Chinese letters effortlessly, a Spanish-speaker will read “uno,” an English-speaker “one,” and a .