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The Principles of Writing Mandarin Chinese Characters

It is essential for learners study in China to know some rules and principles of writing Chinese characters after learning Chinese. In this essay, some writing rules will be learned according to the rules settled by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP).

The rules come the first is that of writing the numbers. For the figures in the statistical charts should be written with Arabic numerals. Those figures can be negative and positive integers, decimals, percentage, fractional numbers, proportion, etc. Students study Chinese should know that the numbers functioned as morphemes in the phrases, idioms and acronyms should be written with Chinese characters.

What’s more, abbreviations are not allowed for the number to express the year. For instance, “1900” can’t be “九0年” or “90”年. When you learn Chinese language, you will see some historical register for the year before the Qing Dynasty. They should be written with characters and the corresponding Gregorian calendar should be noted with Arabic numerals. For instance, “秦文公四十四年(公元前722年)”.

The lunar calendar and the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches in the Chinese Lunar Calendar should also use characters to express. For example, “丙寅年十月十五日;腊月二十日;正月初八”. For students wholearn Chinese in China should also write the numbers from one to ten with Chinese characters accordingly such as “一个人; 五个百分点”.

When attending to school to study Mandarin, teachers will teach you more rules. The figures written with Arabic numerals can’t be interrupted. To express the range of the figures, we should use “~” to connect like “2500元~3000元”. We also use characters for two conjoint numbers expressing approximate numbers like “二三米” as well as those with “几” like “几千年”. Arabic numerals are used for the numbers of the military units, documents and certifications. Characters are needed when writing vertically.

There are also principles to write Pinyin, which is familiar to students learn Mandarin. Pinyin of Chinese books mostly capitalize the initial, or capitalize all letters if necessary. For instance, “湖北招生考试Hubei Zhaosheng Kaoshi or HUBEI ZHAOSHENG KAOSHI”. What’s more, the period, question mark, exclamation mark, comma, pause mark, semicolon and colon can’t be positioned at the beginning. The quotation marks, bracket and punctuation marks can’t be separated in two lines.

Another point that learners should pay attention to is the words. The first mistake students often make inMandarin learning courses is the malapropism, which is caused by misunderstanding the words meaning. And different words are used in various contexts. For example, we can’t replace “权力” with “权利” in the sentence“我国的最高权力机关是全国人民代表大会”的不能使用”.

Besides, there are also many abnormity words in Chinese language. About these words, you can see “也作某某” or “同某某” in Chinese dictionaries. But we’d better use the first option. For instance, “宏图:远大的理想、宏伟的计划。(宏图大略 大展宏图)弘图:同“宏图”;鸿图:同“宏图”. In practical use, “宏图” is our first option.

Most teachers teach Mandarin language by telling students that it is better to use the full name in the first appearance and acronyms can be used later. That’s true, but some words are not allowed to omit. For instance, “省人大常委会主任” can’t be abbreviated as “省人大主任”.

Among all items in Chinese characters writing, the title is a very important point to learn when you attend toschool in Kunming to study Chinese. For those titles with few characters, you can add some blank spaces in order to keep them in Balance. One blank space is proper for two characters and no blank space for titles more than six characters as well as the subtitles.

When the length of the title is more than four fifth of the whole line, it should be turned to another line, with the same form of the first line. Teachers in Chinese language school always emphasize that whether it should be turned to the second line is decided by the length of the titles. But no matter what form it is, you can’t separate the meaning of the words when doing it.

After learning the rules of writing Chinese characters, the learners can standardize their forms when writing to make it looks comfortable. 

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