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  5. Can I write 語 like this?


Can I write 語 like this?

I like to draw the little square thing as circles. Is it okay? I do the same with 中.

(PS: This is a genuine question. Downvoting it won't give me any answers, so if you think the answer is "no" then just say it, instead of downvoting my question. That's why I asked it :)

May 29, 2017



No, in writing you cannot write characters using circles, it is not the proper form. You have to draw all the strokes, and actually you should be drawing them in the correct order (e.g. start at the top left).

If you were making a fun poster or something then stylizing the characters like this would be ok, but if you use circles in your everyday writing then it will look like a child's handwriting.


Okay. I was wondering because I saw "中文“ written in this style somewhere, so I thought it was acceptable. Thanks.


yes, you can write this. But you lose the basic in your charaters so yeaah..


Nice try, but no, this is wrong. There are multiple errors and you will have other problems, when you do not learn how to write the Kanji accurately.

In writing Kanji, you have to care about the stroke count, the correct order and form of the strokes and the resulting forms (and later the 'balance' of the parts in the whole Kanji). The Kanji 語 has a stroke count of 14, and you have to write them in a certain order, to build the correct forms.

Your example has only 10 keystrokes, two circles (which does not exist, as far as I know) and some strokes in the upper right corner are crossing each other where they shouldn't be crossed. This is important, because a Kanji could be a completely different one by only a small change.

Please compare these two Kanji: 日 and 曰 If you want to write the kanji for 'day' the second one is wrong.

The form in the upper right corner of the Kanji together with the circles is completely wrong. It should be a small form of the Kanji for 'five' - have a look and compare your form to it: 五

The circles should be squares or quadrats (口) written by 3 strokes each. Together with the four stroke 'Five' (五) and the four horizontal strokes at the upper left corner, the stroke count is 14 and correct then. There are some rules about the stroke order, but for now it is enough I think. ;-)

Knowing the correct stroke count is important to lookup a particular kanji in a Kanji dictionary. You should know, from which so called 'radicals' (smaller and more simple entities written by one ore more strokes) a Kanji is made of and how many strokes the main radical has. There are 214 of them and you will know the most important of them quickly, because they are often used to build more complex Kanji.

As for the stroke order, writing more about 'radicals' is too much for now.

A famous and well known online Kanji dictionary with multiple possibilities to search is at

Jim Breen's WWWJDIC

where you can search Kanji over stroke count, radicals, multi radicals, romanized japanese (rōmaji), japanese kana (kun yomi), sino-japanese (on yomi), English meaning and more. In example you can find the Kanji 語 there easily with the multi-radical search and the information of the whole stroke count (14) and two main radicals, the three stroke 口 and the four stroke 五 and if you want, you can limit the search result to the jōyō (about 2000 common Kanji tought in school) and jinmeiyō kanji (additional over 2.000 more complex Kanji commonly used for Japanese names).

Other dictionaries wants you to know the main radical of a particular kanji and then you have to know the remainder of the stroke count minus the strokes for the main radical.

Sounds complicated, but there are so many of different Kanji, that they tried to organize them and there exist different methods to organize the Kanji. But when you are familiar with keystrokes and radicals, you will memorize them more easily.

And last but not least a hint: In handwritten texts, the first stroke in the upper left corner is written slightely differently, then the other three horizontal strokes. The left side of this stroke is a bit higher than the right side. Have a look at the following websites

Kanji alive

Different writing styles

But Kanji are beautiful and fascinating, so keep on please! :-)

Edit: For German learners I would suggest the following sites:

Japanisch-Deutsches Kanji-Lexikon von Hans-Jörg Bibiko

Japanisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch


Another reason why correct stroke order is so important is that when Japanese write quickly, they tend to slur the strokes together into a cursive form. If you don't follow the correct stroke-order, your cursive characters will be completely unrecognisable.

This said, if you substitute a circle for the square-form in Kanji, the resultant character will probably be recognisable, but it will look strange. It might be comp&red to substituting &n &mpers&nd for e&ch letter "a" when writing English.






if yourself sure, for official things, for example: writing a paper please don't do it. unleash if it is a friend


No. Also, if you need to look up the stroke order, the meaning, or the pronunciation of a kanji, I recommend Jisho.org for this. To find the kanji information, you can type the character and "#kanji" after it.


In actual Japanese and Chinese handwriting, the squares look like a hastily written 12, like in this 回:

Circles are fine only if you're going for heavily stylised geometric shapes. Handwriting is the direct opposite of that.


I don't really think so. It might mean something else.


I doubt it, as i haven't seen any character resembling a circle. They tend to have more angular forms.



But you never know~

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