Is there a table like this for Chinese characters, that lists which Chinese characters are taught for each year of primary school?

(I'd like to learn Chinese, so this would be a great source of information about what characters to learn first.)


This list roughly groups the 5568 most common characters over the nine years of compulsory education in Taiwan. You didn't specify if you were looking for simplified or traditional, but since I only know of this one source and it's traditional, that's what I will recommend.

It should be noted that this isn't an official list of what pupils should learn, but rather the result of doing some statistics on textbooks and reading materials. I don't know what you want to use the list for, but as a learner of Chinese, the first seven levels are definitely useful and probably the eighth as well. The ninth level contains a lot of proper names and characters that aren't all that useful in my opinion.

  • I'm not sure about traditional vs. simplified. The traditional characters certainly look aesthetically more beautiful than the simplified ones (I'm from Italy and I was never exposed to this kind of characters, so it's just my personal opinion looking at them). Are traditional characters much harder to learn than simplified? And, considering that I also have an interest in learning Japanese, which is more similar to Japanese kanji: traditional or simplified Chinese characters? – Mr.C64 Mar 14 '14 at 12:23
  • Another thing: it seems that Japanese people are required to learn circa 2000 kanji (and the Kyoiku Kanji table I linked in my question contains circa 1000 kanji, that are 95% most common kanji found in newspapers). Are Chinese people supposed to learn much more characters than Japanese ones? (You cited circa 5500 characters!) And thanks for the link! – Mr.C64 Mar 14 '14 at 12:27
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    And you mentioned that there are 2000+ kanji being used in Japan nowadays, and the vast majority Japanese use Kanji in their names, however, 2000+ is NOT the number of kanji required by every Japanese, actually most Japanese know much less kanji that that number, but they use kana. and it's required for every Chinese to know 3000+ kanji to be able to communicate with others in daily life without any problem. 5500 is a number for a professor or researcher only, I think. – j5shi Mar 14 '14 at 12:41
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    Today people in the mainland (except HongKong, Macau, Taiwan) use simplified Chinese ONLY! There's an regulation in press, television, newspaper that it's required to use simplified Chinese instead of traditional Chinese. so you will see traditional Chinese on products which are imported outside the mainland, including TV program...from which you can learn traditional Chinese a lot...but it's the truth. – j5shi Mar 14 '14 at 12:47
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    @j5shi "the simplified Chinese was initiated in 1950s on the mainland, before that there's no simplified Chinese" is a wrong statement. Please check wiki for the history :) – Stan Mar 14 '14 at 14:50

This (simplified Chinese) table with Pinyin might be what you want.

  • Do you know what's the pinyin-ish text? It's not pinyin, because there's "ÿ" and pinyin doesn't have that. – Ming Mar 14 '14 at 2:07
  • I agree with you, and I don't think that's standard Pinyin, so I updated the link to another table, HTH. – j5shi Mar 14 '14 at 5:21
  • Thanks for the link. It would be great if there was a table like the one I linked in my question, with the characters, their "romanization" (pinyin?), and their English meaning. – Mr.C64 Mar 14 '14 at 12:29
  • There's no such a table, if it exists, then I think the current textbook should be replaced with that table. Oh, there do exist such a table, that's the Xinhua Dictionary... But, as an alternative, you can get the meaning of a character (as well as the English meaning) here – j5shi Mar 14 '14 at 12:57
  • I don't think this table for kanji replaces any textbook. Isn't there even a table with simplified Chinese characters grouped by school grade (similar to what @OlleLinge posted for traditional Chinese characters taught in Taiwan)? – Mr.C64 Mar 14 '14 at 23:00

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