I was practising cháng when I looked up the strike order and got confused by the first and second stroke:

series of four images showing the stroke order of 长: a left sweep, a rightward stroke, a downward stroke and a right sweep

Because I learned the stroke order differently like this:


Can anybody explain the difference?

Edit: sorry that was the wrong video. I meant as the second part off this Zhang character: enter image description here
(source: visualmandarin.com)

  • I suggest you watch the video again. It shows the same stroke order as your picture.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 14:33
  • As @droooze said, the stroke order in the video is the same. This is also the stroke order that I learnt.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 14:38
  • also note comment #1 of chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/29812/… esp. 绝大多数汉字应当按照笔顺规则书写。由于汉字结构复杂,有些汉字习惯的写法与笔顺规则不尽一直,天长日久,也就流传和固定下来了。女、火、 ,丑、非等字就是这样
    – user6065
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 15:58
  • Thank you all. I added the wrong source. I added a link to a gif with the actual order I meant. Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 16:49
  • @user6065 that is a great reference if you put it up as an answer I'll gladly accept it as the solution. Though it would be nice to know which version produce the more readable cursive. Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


Just wanna say, it is not very important, as long as you keep the general rule: left to right, top to down.

It is OK however you write it!

  • Chinese brushstroke order is important. To be fair, there is a set brushstroke order in English writing as well. Regardless of the language, the brushstroke order is there to ease production more efficiently.
    – Double U
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 15:34

The correct answer came from user6065 in a comment above. I wanted to make it clear to others as well, it is discussed in detail here:

The characters 女、火、长 ,丑 have a historical stroke order that differs from the current recommended order and are simply learnt.

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