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Last Updated: 27th January, 2020

Chinese Alphabet

Chinese alphabet does not have any letters, it has components that are combined to form Chinese characters.
A Chinese character consists of two component parts, as the radical and phonetic. The radical part provides of the meaning of the character, while the phonetic part provides a clue as to the pronunciation of the character.

Chinese Alphabet and letters

How many letters are in the Chinese alphabet?

There are more than 100,000 different Chinese characters,impossible to count them all precisely. The number of useful characters, is "only" between 3,000 and 6,000.


How many letters and vowels are in the Chinese alphabet?

There are no letters and vowels in the Chinese alphabet, because there is no Chinese alphabet.

Chinese is written in ideograms. Each character has a meaning and a pronunciation.


Is Chinese a phonetic language?

Chinese is a pictorial language. Its "alphabet" is a series of pictographic symbols that have specific meanings for words. These pictures tell you a little bit about the pronunciation, but not everything.

How to learn Chinese and memorize characters?

For each word, you need to memorize multiple things.

  • Chinese Character (radical/strokes/how to write it)
  • Pronunciation (ye)
  • Tone (4th tone)
  • English meaning
  • Chinese cultural context

About Chinese Characters

All 26 letters of the alphabet. In the chinese alphabet, small letters are written like capital letters, and vice versa.

  • A    诶    ēi
  • B    比    bǐ
  • C    西    xī
  • D    迪    dí
  • E    伊    yī
  • F    艾弗    ài fú
  • G    吉    jí
  • H    艾尺    ài chǐ
  • I    艾    ài
  • J    杰    jié
  • K    开    kāi
  • L    艾勒    ài lè
  • M    艾马    ài mǎ
  • N    艾娜    ài nà
  • O    哦    ó
  • P    屁    pì
  • Q    吉吾    jí wú
  • R    艾儿    ài ér
  • S    艾丝    ài sī
  • T    提    tí
  • U    伊吾    yī wú
  • V    维    wéi
  • W    豆贝尔维    dòu bèi ěr wéi
  • X    艾克斯    yī kè sī
  • Y    吾艾    wú ài
  • Z    贼德    zéi dé