How To Draw Like Nick Sharratt Lesson

Ni hao! Welcome to my little chinese course!

Please imagine if I were Chang from the northern capital in the middle country, in Chinese they say:
from Bei-Jing to Jung-Go.
How, you don't know that? Yes, you know that, but you name it: Beijing in China.

Are you a philatelist and have difficulty distinguishing stamps from China, Japan and Taiwan? Then I will make it easier for you and have prepared a few tables for you.
Oh, you are not a philatelist? Then I am also very pleased that you are interested.
With a few basic knowledge, you will find it easier to look up a character in the dictionary or, for example, to copy a series of characters. If you know which groups of lines to look out for, it doesn't happen to you that the characters are turned upside down, as is often seen.

In this course, of course, I cannot explain the 5000 or so characters that you might need to read a newspaper. But you will learn about strokes, stroke groups, character structure, proper names, and that will surely help you.
You can only read texts in Latin or Arabic script if you understand the language in which the text is written. It's different with us.
The people in northern China speak very differently from those in eastern China or Hong Kong or Singapore, but they all understand my characters.

Look :Our Chinese characters always fit into small imaginary boxes. You think of a box for each character. The characters then look like a wall made of even stones.
(Extract from a newspaper, 186 KB, view here)

Characters = pictures? When people say our signs are actually pictures, that is almost true, but not entirely. There are some things that you can't draw, e.g. B. happiness, peace or friendship. But you can draw a picture and a mark in addition that it is only meant symbolically, then the mark has 2 parts. There are other such aids and therefore signs that consist of 1, 2, 3 or 4 parts. The parts can stand above, next to or below each other, but all parts must fit together in the imaginary box.
A modern lexicon knows 186 different such "parts", which is similar to the European letters.
If a character has several parts, one of them is the "main part" and in a lexicon the characters are sorted according to the main parts.

Sign = word? When people say every character is a word, that's not entirely true either. There are also difficult words, for "People's Republic" you need 2 characters, for others 3 to 4 characters. But every sign is a syllable and very many words have only one syllable. Examples: a, ai, an, ang, ao, ba, bai, ban, bang, bao, at .........
The full list of syllables is on the next page.

Numbers : Many stamp collectors have problems with our numbers. I would like to explain that: you sometimes write "1000" in digits and sometimes "thousand" in letters, especially when nobody is allowed to change anything. We also have simple numerals for daily and difficult numbers for the safe "official" notation. On this page you learn the numbers.

Letters? I am often asked: "Does the Chinese script also know letters?"
The answer is "no". We never write single letters, but always whole syllables.

The directionthat is written in is not so important. In the past we liked to set the signs among each other, and you can see that often today. The columns of characters used to follow from right to left. That was the case in Hong Kong and Taiwan a few years ago. In the PR China and Japan, the direction was changed from left to right as early as 1950.

First reading exercise: Jungle - Go, that means "middle - country", so: China - the country in the middle.
China can be said to be halfway between Japan and the infinite sea on one side and the desert and mountains on the other.
Jungle - Go has two syllables, so we need 2 characters. The writing is jungle = "middle" with a target that was hit by an arrow. It doesn't matter whether you write the disk round or square, whether the arrow is in it or on top.
The sign Go = "Land" consists of a border line that was guarded by an armed hand in the earlier spelling:

China = jungle go or: or: or:

Abbreviation: 1956 one has in the PRC about 2000 characters simplified and so-called "abbreviations" were introduced.
The symbol Go = Land looks different today as an abbreviation. It consists of a border line and inside is the symbol for "jade stone", which also means "noble".

Second reading exercise: Postal Administration of the Chinese Republic (this is interesting for the philatelists):
China republic post administration