5 of the Most Difficult Chinese Characters to Write

5 of the Most Difficult Chinese Characters to Write

Learning Mandarin

Learning to write Chinese can be an extremely daunting process and, although it’s said you’ll only need to know 2-3,000 characters to read a newspaper, there are over 80,000 Chinese characters in total. Despite the challenge, learning to write Chinese can be extremely rewarding. Why not study our 5 most difficult Chinese characters to write? They’ll certainly be ones to impress your Chinese friends and teachers with!

The Most Difficult Chinese Characters to Write

  1. 羴 – shān – flock of sheep

We love it when Chinese just ‘makes sense’. This is another case of that in which a flock of sheep is three sheep characters together to form the group. Note the stroke that curls away if you practice writing this one.

  1. 齉 – nàng – stuffy nose

If you didn’t have one already, you’re likely to give yourself a headache trying to write the character for ‘stuffy nose’. A 36-stroke monster!

  1. 鱻 – xiān – fresh, new or delicious

Three fish characters make up the character for fresh, new or delicious. The character was originally created for fresh, raw fish… hence the make-up!

  1. 麤 – cū – rough/coarse

Three deer characters make up the word for rough/course, in the context of being rough with someone.

  1. Biang – from Biangbiang noodles. This one’s too tricky for our computers to type!

The ‘biang’ from bangbiang noodles has 62 strokes and is, in our view, the most difficult Chinese character to write. It’s so tricky that you can’t even type it on a computer, because it would just appear as a mess on the screen. No, really!

Biang is one of the most difficult chinese characters to write

Oh my Biang!

Notice a Pattern?

Did you notice the pattern of three characters joining together to make a new character? This practice is very common in Chinese and it can be really helpful in deciphering unknown words. Another example below:

木 – mù – wood

林 – lín – woods

森 – sēn – forest

森林 – sēnlín – forest

Which are your most difficult Chinese characters to write? It would be great if you could let us know on our social media channels!

Enjoyed this blog? Why not learn about the most common Chinese loanwords in English?

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