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I strongly recommend an online dictionary 汉典. It may be the most professional online Chinese dictionary even for native speakers. For every entry, you can refer to the section "字形分析" to know the classification of the character. For example, the character 强 is classified as compound ideographs (会意), which is shown in the picture: The dictionary also ...


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Kindle books in Chinese, and Clavis Sinica texts, already have pinyin and English available as electronic look-up. Both formats have a good variety of things already available. Furthermore, even a low-tech computer user like me can learn to make Kindle files, or Clavis Sinica files, from pretty much any Chinese text you find on-line. So you can use this ...


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If you want to have a quantitative answer you can look at the commulative character frequencies of larger Chinese text corpora. If compiled a list of the most common Chinese characters here (using this code). There you can see that if you know the 100 most common characters, you can recognize one third of the characters on Wikipedia. If you know the most ...



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