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Chinese Writing & Chinese Characters
There are as many as fifty thousand Chinese characters in existence (listed in the 18th century Kangxi Dictionary), of which five to eight thousand are frequently used, while around three thousand are adequate for everyday situations like reading a newspaper.
Each Chinese character is made up of components that follow a specific stroke order and rules of formation. When learning Chinese writing, it is essential that characters are selected systematically according to their structural composition, so the rules that govern the writing of Chinese characters are reflected. Thus, it is logical that the simplest components be taught first, progressing to the more complicated components and whole characters.
Chinese characters cannot be read phonetically, hence the need for Hanyu pinyin learning.