An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Chinese Language and Script

With 1.5 billion speakers, the Chinese language is the most spoken language of the world. It is nevertheless one single language that is spoken in the same form in all parts of China, nor has it been unchanged over time.

The script by which the Chinese language is written is an ideographic script embedded into clouds of mystery. It is an obstacle for education and literacy and has nevertheless been used for a vast treasury of literature. And is has provided an example for the scripts of neighbouring states.
This part of the encyclopaedia provides an introduction into important aspects of both the Chinese language and the Chinese script.

About the Chinese Language
The Chinese Language
Classical Chinese (wenyan 文言)
Topolects ("Dialects")
The Guangyun 廣韻 rhyme system
The she 攝 rhymes
The fanqie 反切 system
The homophony (zhiyin 直音) systems
The qieyin 切音 transcription systems
The Ladingxua sin wenz 拉丁化新文字 transcription system
The Gwoyeu Romatzyh 國語羅馬字 transcription system
The Zhuyin 注音字母 transcription system (Bo-po-mo-fo)
The Hanyu pinyin 漢語拼音 transcription system
The Wade-Giles transcription system
Wade-Giles to Hanyu Pinyin conversion table
About the Chinese Script
Chinese script
Character simplification
The radical systems
The sijiao haoma 四角號碼 "four corners" system
Lin Yutang's two corners instant index system 上下形檢字法
Liu Dah-ren's left-top speedy radical system 左上文快檢部首
The guixie 庋擷 Harvard-Yenching indexing system
The Cangjie 倉頡 system
Computer codification and input systems
Derivates of the Chinese script
The Khitan script
The Jurchen script
The Tangut script
Japanese Kanji
Japanese Kana
The Vietnamese Chữ Nôm script
Other scripts and languages used in China
The Türkic script (Orkhon script)
The 'Phags-pa script
The Manchu script
Nü shu, Women's script