20 February 2014

Chinese Stroke Order

Let's introduce the Chinese Simplified Stroke Order. We will learn about the simplified hanzi stroke order, which can differ from the traditional stroke order. This standardization is used in mainland China, except Hong Kong. Taiwan and other countries like Vietnam or Japan have their own stroke order.

There are some rules to follow, but there are some exceptions too. Then we will name this rules as guidelines instead.

Chinese Stroke Order Guidelines

1. Write from top to bottom, from left to right. This is the first and most important guideline to follow the right stroke order.

2. Horizontal before vertical. When horizontal and vertical strokes cross, horizontal strokes are usually written before vertical strokes.

3. Diagonal right-to-left strokes are written before diagonal left-to-right strokes. This is for symmetric diagonal strokes.

4. Center vertical before outside strokes. In symmetrical characters vertical strokes are written before components on the left or right.

5. Enclosures strokes are written before inside contents. Follow the other guidelines, from left to right and from top to bottom. Bottom strokes in the enclosure are written last if present. This enclosure shapes are always written like in the example, remember it. 

6. Dots and minor strokes are usually written last. There are exceptions when these minor strokes are at the top of the character.

Stroke order animations are a free resource from Wikimedia Commons