Are you desperately trying to figure out the mystery behind Chinese alphabet symbols? Read on as we break down the facts for you.
The sudden craze to discover in depth information regarding the Chinese alphabet has swept the internet. Strange as it may sound people are searching about the history and origins of the Chinese alphabets. The most interesting thing behind this search is that no one ever finds the Chinese alphabet because no such thing exists.
This is not a joke. The Chinese language makes use of alphabet symbols rather than alphabets in the sense that we understand them to be. In the Chinese language each alphabet consists of letters ranging from 20-50 that represent the sound values which are used in spoken language.
Then the spoken language is written down using the letters of the alphabet. But as mentioned earlier the Chinese language is free from any letters or alphabets. Rather the Chinese writing system makes use of a variety of symbols that represent entire words directly.
Understanding Chinese Alphabet Symbols
There is a certain relation with regards to symbol and pronunciation but in general Chinese alphabet symbols are such that cannot be broken down or simplified into smaller parts in order to use them for the construction of another word.
The way the words are written in the Chinese alphabet system originated some 2000 years ago. Much of the Chinese writing we find today makes use of the same ancient alphabet symbols to represent words and this is what makes up the Chinese writing system.
Comparing the Chinese alphabet symbols to the western alphabet would be absurd because there is such a vast difference of numbers that one is likely to become overwhelmed. If you were to read a novel in the Chinese language it would be required of you to at least possess working knowledge of 3000 Chinese alphabet symbols.
This is why the academic pursuit of Chinese as a language is considered to be a very tedious and difficult task. A student who manages to complete his masters degree in the respective language is expected to have committed around 7000 Chinese alphabet systems to his memory. Chinese alphabet symbol dictionaries however contain up to 60, 000 characters.
Hence if we were to clarify the understanding of the Chinese writing system we could say that it is made up of a large number of symbols that are used to represent different concepts.
There is no alphabet per se as according to the western concept and understanding. Basically the Chinese alphabet symbols are different from the letters in the western alphabet in the sense that they are not taken for their phonetic value.
The bulk of the alphabet symbols or characters that are in use today date back to over 3500 years ago. The passage of time has brought about some changes in their shapes which have moved towards further simplification but their basic structure remains the same and so has the meaning.
At an average a Chinese speaker is expected to be well versed in at least 4000 character symbols in order to read and write in the language. Around 90% of modern day Chinese writing is based upon the use of 3000 alphabet symbols.