As a wonderful production, Chinese character was brought to us through the 5000-year long history and culture of China. Nowadays, many people are learning Chinese character all over the world.
However, instead of alphabetic system for writing, Chinese characters are ideogram. And each of the Chinese characters should follow their certain structural rules. Since Chinese handwriting is non-trivial, the learning of Chinese character handwriting is neither easy to Chinese people nor to foreigner. And Chinese handwriting education is one of the most challenging tasks in the educational area.
The stroke is the fundamental infrastructure of a character; its existence makes it possible to compose all the characters. There are only 8 basic strokes and 26 combining stokes in total. Just as in English writing, there is a proper order in drawing the strokes of the Chinese characters. This applies not only to the order of drawing strokes in characters, but also to the strokes themselves. For example, the horizontal stroke starts from left and ends on the right; and the vertical stroke starts from top and ends as at the bottom.
The stroke system also appears in many other east Asian languages like Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. Unlike Japanese, both Korean and Vietnamese government officially stopped using Chinese characters in the 19th century. However, many historical documents in Korea and Vietnam still have many Chinese characters. When people search the term ‘strokes’ online, they might find CJKV strokes, which stands for Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.
Some people may find that there are many “types” of Chinese characters, but they are simply the different styles of calligraphy. It is same as the different fonts in English like serif, san-serif and others.
In order to be able to write Chinese characters, one first must know how to write Chinese strokes, and thus, needs to identify the basic strokes that make up a character. The 8 basic strokes, (8 stroke shapes in 5 basic and compound strokes), extract from Chinese character 永([yǒng], eternity), is also shown in the section.
The same section lists the most usual common shapes of the basic strokes and the proper way of writing each.