Chinese Character Flowcharts

Character flowcharts are really useful to refresh your Chinese knowledge. Today I’ll show you the different ways to do them!


Chinese character flowcharts are an excellent way to improve your character writing and recognition. They are really good because they force you to think about really random characters that you may not have written or encountered for a while. They also provide a really good visual way to learn characters by spotting patterns and similarities. 20170201_093009 The way to use the flowchart is to start with any character you choose. I chose “裤子”, trousers. From that character identify aspects of it that can be found in other characters. from trousers I found “袜子”, socks. This is a fairly understandable leap from trousers, however the more obscure and demanding leaps from character-to-character require more thought and attention and therefore, make it more interesting and a good way to learn or refresh characters in your mind. For example, from Italy (意大利 – right hand side) I got banana (香蕉). Another similar example of an obscure leap would be bus stop (公共汽车站 – slightly left of centre at the top) to shop (商店). These steps really help to remember characters and refresh them, whilst also showing how closely linked Chinese characters are.

For an easier challenge, only link characters to other characters with the same radical.This will be far easier for you as if you have limited Chinese knowledge (like me). For example most clothes contain the clothes radical (衤- like in shirt and trouser:衬衣 and裤子). However, for those of you that have quite a good chinese knowledge already, don’t limit yourself to just jumping character-to-character as when you make connections by small parts of the character you will have a broader range of characters. This will allow you to learn and refresh a wider variety of characters rather than just clothes or food.

This can be used for alphabetical languages by linking prefixes like “un” or “dis” but by the time you can start to use it, you need to have studied English for a long time. To give yourself a real challenge, try linking the words by pinyin. This is really good because you will be forced to use characters with different meanings but it is very difficult as sometimes the pinyin does not match well to the sound. Moreover, you would need to know a lot of characters for it to work well.

Hope this helps.