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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

most common Chinese characters in Chinese

Learners of Korean who visit this blog are surely aware of the importance of learning Chinese characters while learning the Korean language, but just as a reminder I point the esteemed visitors to a site which lists simplified Chinese characters in order of frequency (tip via Language Hat)in the Chinese language. The list has been compiled by Patrick Hassel Zein, who tells the following of the compilation:
The list was created using statistic list of Chinese characters and a number of thick dictionaries. All characters are presented in falling statistical order. Pronunciations are specified according to Pinyin and for some characters a number of different possible pronunciations are given. Examples of common words are given for most characters, however with no guarantee that all the most common words are listed or that the given examples are particularly common words. Some of the listed pronunciations for some characters are less used than other pronunciations for the same character, and in those cases translations and examples may lack. Some additional comments are given.
The following are the 10 most common characters in Patrick's list. Most of these are of course essential parts of Sino-Korean vocabulary, but the use often differs especially due to grammar. For example the first character in the list, 的 (Kor. -chôk/-jôk), appears most often as a suffix making a noun into an attribute (sahoe, society; sahoejôk, social).
Seq.num.CharacterPronunciations and explanations
1[de] <grammatical particle marking genitive as well as simple and composed adjectives>; 我的 wǒde my; 高的 gāode high, tall; 是的 shìde that's it, that's right; 是...的 shì...de one who...; 他是说汉语的. Tā shì shuō Hànyǔde. He is one who speaks Chinese.
[dì] 目的 mùdì goal
[dí] true, real; 的确 díquè certainly
2一(F壹)[yī] one, a little; 第一 dì-yī first, primary; 看一看 kànyīkàn have a (quick) look at
[yí] (used before tone #4); 一个人 yí gè rén one person; 一定 yídìng certain; 一样 yíyàng same; 一月yíyuè January
[yì] (used before tones #2 and #3); 一点儿 yìdiǎnr a little; 一些 yìxiē some
3[shì] to be, 是不是? shìbushì? is (it) or is (it) not?; 是否 shìfǒu whether or not, is (it) or is (it) not?
4[bù] not
[bú] (used before tone #4); 不是 bú shì isn't
5[le] <verb particle marking a new situation or a completed action>; 你来了! Nǐ láile! You have come! 我累了! Wǒ lèile! I've gotten tired! 那好了! Nà hǎole! That's OK (now)! 我只请了一位客人. Wǒ zhǐ qǐngle yí wèi kèren. I invited only one guest.
[liǎo] end, finish, settle, dispose of, know clearly, to be able, 了解 liǎojiě understand, comprehend; 你卖不了! Nǐ mài bùliǎo! You will not be able to sell (it)!
[liào] (=瞭 liaò) to survey/watch
{Compare with 子 zǐ child}
6[rén] person; 人类 rénlèi humankind; 有人吗? yǒu rén ma? Is there anybody here?
{Compare with 入 rù enter}
7[wǒ] I, me, my; 我们 wǒmen we, us
{Compare with 找 zhǎo seek}
8[zài] at; 现在 xiànzài now; 存在 cúnzài exist
9[yǒu] have, there is; 没有 méiyǒu haven't, there isn't; 有没有? Yǒuméiyǒu? Is there or isn't there? Have (you) or haven't (you)?; 有的 yǒude some
[yòu] (=又 yòu) again, both... and...
10[tā] he, him, his, (she, her, it, its), (=其他 qítā) other
[tuō] (in classical texts) someone else, something else

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