I found a table of characters (about 3000) in which most popular characters go first. Here are first 20:

我的 高的 是的 目的 的确 不    不是 人    在   有   他   这 中 大   来 上 国 自个    到   说 道 子 为 和

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and I would like to learn them is this sort/order but I know that it's better to learn a language by phrase examples not just by lonely words.

So my question is: are there sources for phrase sets in which list of phrases itself sorted by frequency of usage of the characters used? Thank you.

  • Can you provide the list so we can take a look?
    – wuyefeibao
    Aug 4, 2014 at 16:25
  • @wuyefeibao please see added info about source. Aug 4, 2014 at 22:16
  • 1
    I don't think I have a source listed in order of the frequency but I would suggest that you try looking at Jukuu.com for sample phrases involving these characters. Then you could just paste the new phrases into a new column that you add to the source information (assuming you've made a copy in a spreadsheet program).
    – Tommie C.
    Aug 5, 2014 at 13:39

2 Answers 2


The simple answer is: yes.

For a language learning aspect, this way(remembering words) may be boring and result in giving up unless you learn for an important test/exam. If find this boring, try a textbook or an app that let you learn it like a first language.

Update: The links below contains lists for frequently used Chinese word.

The official Commonly Used Characters in Modern Chinese(2500+1000), this is published in 1988 and discontinued in 2013, since it has only 2500 characters, it may be still useful(covers 99.48% characters in daily use): http://hanyu.iciba.com/zt/3500.html

The official General Standard Chinese Characters(8105): http://xh.5156edu.com/page/z6211m4474j19255.html

The official Commonly Used Hanja(1800), selected by South Korea: http://wenku.baidu.com/view/e1e306649b6648d7c1c74636

The commonly used characters list for elementary school grade 1-6 students, selected by New Oriental, the largest education group in China:

from grade 1 to 6







  • Thank you, I thought about such a textbook - first language, but I would like to be recommended what exist. Aug 5, 2014 at 1:22
  • 2
    this is not an answer...this should be a comment if anything
    – Mou某
    Aug 5, 2014 at 4:55
  • To make this a better answer, please supply one of more sources in answer to the question "are there sources for phrase sets in which list of phrases itself sorted by frequency of usage of the characters used?" - Your answer seems to taper off into recommending a textbook or app but misses the point regarding frequency of usage.
    – Tommie C.
    Aug 5, 2014 at 13:42
  • 1
    To @user3306356 and Tommie C.: I do found some tables/lists that sorted by frequency, but they are not for foreign learners. The one he provide is the best fit for now. I'll add them to my answer anyway.
    – wuyefeibao
    Aug 5, 2014 at 18:48

I needed the same thing, so I sorted the sample sentences on Tatoeba.org and posted some on my Google code site.

These sentences are from Tatoeba.org, and they are arranged with the most common characters first. As your vocabulary increases, you should be able to read farther down the list. Hover over the gray box to see the English translation of each Chinese sentence. Some Chinese sentences have a "Speak" link next to them that will play a recording of the sentence. The source code is available at donkirkby.googlecode.com.

If you want to remember your place, click on one of the "Link here" links and bookmark the page. Those links will also tell you the rank of the rarest character in that sentence.

A related project is my set of Mnemosyne flash cards for the 500 most common characters and words.

  • Thank you for your contribution. Your flashcards application for Windows also works under Wine in Linux. That made me happy and it's one more +1. Aug 6, 2014 at 1:35
  • Actually, @RuslanGerasimov, Mnemosyne will run natively on GNU/Linux. Check out their site or look in your package manager.
    – Don Kirkby
    Aug 6, 2014 at 1:51

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