Monday, July 21, 2008

The 3000 most frequently used Chinese characters

Many people shy away from learning Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language because of the Chinese characters. Although there exist more than 47,000 characters, the knowledge of 3000 is regarded sufficient for daily use.
This file here includes these 3000 characters in order of their frequency, depicted in their traditional form and their simplified form, complete with the pronunciation in Hanyu Pinyin. At the end of the file you also find a list of single-character Chinese family names and single-character classifiers (measure words). Very helpful for people who want to learn how to write Chinese, and a useful tool for students whose first language is not Chinese and who want to check the level of their Chinese proficiency! [33 pages; file last edited/updated on Thu, Jan. 1, 2015]
Alternative lists of the 3000 most frequently used Chinese characters:
Traditional characters arranged according to the 214 Radicals [29 pages]
Traditional characters with Hanyu Pinyin [16 pages]
Traditional characters only [7 pages] 
Many dictionaries containing traditional Chinese characters use the so-called 214 Radicals as their classification system. This file here provides an introduction to the 214 Radicals, including an overview plus a detailed list with the Chinese pronunciation of each Radical in Hanyu Pinyin and the meaning in English. [5 pages; file last edited/updated on Mon, Aug. 8, 2016]
Japan's writing system is based on traditional Chinese characters. This file here gives an overview over Japanese characters (Kanji) and the two sets of syllabary (Hiragana and Katakana). The file also includes a comparative table of 201 Joyo Kanji which were simplified in a manner unique for Japan and therefore are different from traditional Chinese characters and simplified Chinese characters as used in the People's Republic of China (PRC). [17 pages; file last edited/updated on Mon, Aug. 8, 2016]
This file here shows a complete comparative list of the 1945 Joyo Kanji with the equivalent traditional and simplified Chinese characters for each Kanji. [21 pages; file last edited/updated on Fri, June 18, 2011]


Jonathan Yeoh said...

Dear Tilman,

Once again I'm appalled by the tremendous compilation of the words most commonly used by the Chinese. I would like to drop a thank you note to show you my appreciation for your work. Indeed such a work should not be mentioned in passing, but instead, you deserve the due commendation for this work.

Tilman, you're really an inspiring sinologist who goes the extra mile in doing more in depth research on the Chinese civilization. Being a Chinese from Malaysia, I am deeply thankful that you have freely shared your contributions to the understanding of the Chinese civilization on the Net.

Once again, keep up the good work. I do hope to see more publications from you in the near future. Your work will not go unappreciated as there are people in this world who value your further insight.

Best regards


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