Simplified course

The simplified course is one of the two courses here at HanziHero. In it you will learn thousands of simplified Chinese characters along with their components, sounds, and some helpful words.

Let’s go over what simplified characters are, as well as outline some important aspects of our simplified Chinese character course.

Simplified characters

Simplified characters in their modern form have been around since the 1950s. They were created and adopted for the sake of improving literacy within China. While simplifications for characters have existed for centuries, it was only under these efforts by the PRC that they become standardized into a uniform and consistent character set.

During simplification, many characters remained unchanged from their earlier traditional forms. For example, the character 好 hǎo is the same in both traditional and simplified.

There are thousands of simplified characters in use. The official list of simplified characters published by the PRC lists over 8,000 characters! However, most literate Chinese will only be able to actively recall around four to five thousand of these characters.

Our simplified course teaches over 3,000 of the most common simplified characters. When you complete the course, you will be able to recognize nearly every character you see on a given Chinese newspaper page!

HSK ordering

The HSK is the standardized Chinese proficiency test of China. Though the test is from China, it is used across the world as the standard test of Chinese proficiency.

The HSK lays out an order of Chinese characters from the most basic and essential to the more difficult and rare. There are around 9 HSK levels as of 2021, and your HSK level is partly determined by the characters you know. In order to pass the 7th level of the HSK, for example, you will need to learn all characters in HSK levels 1-7.

Our course character order is derived from this order set forth by the HSK.

Many educational resources and apps for Chinese all use the HSK to communicate to the user how difficult certain sections of material will be. Since we teach in HSK order, you will be able to easily use these applications as you wish at the appropriate difficulty level.