Simplified Chinese Radicals List – Free Printable Reference

by Chris | 19th February, 2012 | Resources, Web |

Greetings travellers,

We’ve created a new resource for your bag of Chinese study tools – a one-page printable reference of the Simplified Chinese radicals list. We couldn’t find a decent list of simplified radicals organised like this, so we made it ourselves.

Simplified Radicals List

When studying Chinese, most students, at sometime or other, encounter or become interested in learning the the various Chinese radicals (部首) that make up, or are contained within, Chinese characters (漢字).

In my opinion, learning the radicals is by no means essential, however, at times they can prove to be useful aids in creating mnemonics so as to better remember the definitions of characters. They also help you to remember how to write characters by hand. It can also be quite fun exercise to see what elements exist in a character and whether or not they can be linked to the actual modern meaning. Chinese dictionaries also usually offer a radical index, so by knowing the radicals you’ll have another way to look characters up.

The problem is that the most commonly referenced set of radicals – the Kangxi list (from the so named 康熙字典), is old and more useful for learners of Traditional Chinese.

Simplified Chinese Radicals

For Simplified Chinese we have the CASS (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) list, which is found within a lot of simplified dictionaries, give or take a few entries. Though it’s difficult to find information about the CASS list and most information on radicals is geared toward the aforementioned Kanxi list. Here we’ve made an attempt to make a simple and clear radical reference list that is useful for simplified learners. This list is based on the CASS list, though has been altered in a few ways:

While the CASS contains all of the radicals and their variants, each variant is a seprarate entry. In our new list the variants have been grouped together to save space, which is more along the lines of the way the Kanxi list is organised – with different ways of writing a radical being a variant and not a distinct entry in the list. We have also ordered the radicals by the simplified stroke order of the most common variant. For example 讠 was deemed more common than 言 and so you will find this entry along with other 2 stroke radicals. In addition, a few less-frequently seen variants have also been excluded because we felt they weren’t as useful.

The reference is organised as so:

Finally, the pronunciation is not included because that is not the point of this list. Think of it more as a mnemonic guide/template to help you remember and get a better feel for certain characters. If you wish to know the know the pronunciation then you can check out our other free self printable radical poster, or check online.

We will be editing the list over time so suggestions are more than welcome.

Download the Simplified Chinese Radicals List – Free Printable Reference (hosted on MandarinPoster.com)

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Chris

A Scottish computer graduate turned Mandarin addict, Chris (currently a level 67 Frost Mage) has been learning Chinese for the last 3 years while living a free spirit existence in Taiwan. When he’s not pondering over radicals and stroke order, he’s making character frequency lists for fun or illustrating his web comic Horse Dragon Fish.

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Tags: #Chinese #Download #list #PDF #radicals #radicals list #Reference #Simplified #Simplified Chinese Radicals

6 Comments

  1. This is awesome, thanks! Any chance of making one available that’s larger than this?


  2. This is perfect, just the right thing for me to bring along to my next class. Already planning to pester my teacher to use this to practice writing Chinese characters, should be a blast!


  3. Cheers for the kinds words, makes all those hours adjusting the layout and scouring radical dictionaries worthwhile :)


  4. Dil

    Good works! One thing that I would really like that I can’t seem to find is the common names for radicals like 三点水 sāndiǎnshuǐ. Really helps if you’re trying to explain a character to a Chinese person.


    • Actually I’ve started adding this information to notes section for each radical in our database at http://mandarinposter.com/radicals/

      Also trying to think of a way to pack more useful phonetic information into this one page printout, so watch this space!


  5. I downloaded the pdf and found that some of the characters were incorrect. They have similar glyphs but the unicode is not in the right range.

    For example, the character used for the radical 厶 is actually the Zhuyin / BoPoMoFo character for the syllable “si” rather than the radical character (厶, U+53B6, or ⼛, U+2F1B as a radical specifically).

    Please check your character encodings against the list on Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kangxi_radicals

    Thank you.

    – nello