Best Way to learn to write Hanzi

Hello There,

Unfortunately in Singapore the test center only has paper based test for L1-L4. While I’ve written to them on possibility for an online test, what would be your best suggestion(s) to write and remember 汉字?

I found a cheaper app than Skritter called “Chinese Writer” which has both tracing and stroke order. I also have a PDF of a book called Reading and Writing Chinese Characters HSK 1-6 but this one explains what each radical or word means and how to visualize it for example, Tian or 田 is to be understood as a field split into 4 parts. While this sounds interesting it is difficult to make sense when using them in words or phrases.

Is the good old HSK writing sheets with stroke order the only best way out? Any suggested resources?

1 Like
  1. Radicals. It does not matter if you learn to read or write the important thing is to start breaking down characters into their building blocks. Once you can write the building blocks everything else becomes easy. From your example 田 is a very rarely used word unless you are into rice farming, however learning the radical is very useful. For example you will need 男 (man/male) a lot. When you break 男 down into its two radicals it consists out of 田 (rice field) and 力 (power).
    And suddenly you can remember what a man was to the ancient Chinese: the power on the rice field (someone who works hard on the rice fields).
    Chinese Radicals // All 214 Radicals (with FREE Video, PDF & Quiz)
  2. Learn the stroke order first and get used to write that way from the beginning.
    Chinese Stroke Order // 11 (Vital) Rules You Should Know
  3. For Apps, use Pleco handwriting function to look up characters.
    Pleco Review (2021) // Updated Review For The Best Dictionary App
  4. For Skritter suggestions have a look at
    Skritter Review (2021 Update) // Should I Download It?
  5. Get into calligraphy. It’s a very interesting part of Chinese culture and helps a lot with hand writing
    Chinese Calligraphy (AKA 书法) // Your Ultimate & Complete Guide
    If you book a 1on1 class on Flexi you can ask the teacher to teach you. Make sure you write it in the Notes when booking so your Flexi Teacher can prepare.

And most importantly check out this brand new blog post on how to learn to memorize Chinese characters by this forums very own @Marco_Mandarin-HSK_4

Marco any further suggestions from you?

One way to definitely NOT learn how to handwrite quickly is the endless hand writing of a single character one endless pieces of paper. I did that at university and it’s a huge waste of time. Your wrists get arthritis before they learned enough characters to pass HSK 4. Use your brain not (only) your hands.