China is a country with a long history and massive population with the Chinese language being among the most widely used languages and one of the oldest in the world. It is a form of expression. The form and meaning of the characters are closely interrelated. When you get to know more of the creation, structure and development of the Chinese characters you will find Chinese characters fun, interesting and easy to understand. In the meantime you might wish to find out more about its culture and customs.
The development of Chinese characters was the fruits of our ancestors' endless efforts. It was the creation of their collective wisdom. Early development of Chinese characters started 6,000 years ago. The basic structure was formed 4,500 years ago and reached its maturity more than 3,000 years ago. It underwent three major stages of improvement:
Phase 1: the pictograph stage
Phase 2: simplifying pictographic characters into a more linear order
Phase 3: shaping characters according to specific strokes such as dot, horizontal line, vertical line, slanting strokes downward toward right or left, uplifting stroke, hook stroke, breaking stroke, etc.
Undergoing these major improvements, the elegant Chinese characters, with square shape features, are thus formed.