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The 3000 most common Chinese characters in order of frequency

I found this online PDF, which lists the ~3000 most common hanzi characters, in order of frequency*. Each listing provides simple, traditional and alternative character spellings, explanations of their meanings, and examples on how the words/characters are used.


I think this list can be extremely helpful to have when learning hanzi. As you progress, you can check this to make sure that you know the first 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 etc. Also, when you encounter a new character, this could give you an indication on whether it is worthwile to spend time memorising it right away, or if it could wait while you focus on the more frequent ones.

  • There are some holes in the list when you get beyond 2000
June 10, 2018



Nice ! I might even make a vlog series of learning all those 3000 to learn them well and if it would be useful for someone else as well. Thanks for the link.


Please if you do the blog let me know, thanks


those are lot of languages


That could potentially help a lot of other learners. Great idea!




Thanks! This is an excellent source, and other interesting things can be found here.


This is really useful. Thank you.


Thanks so much, this guide is now my bedside book.


Feichang xiexie nin






I'll be referring a lot to this, thank you so much!!!


Thanks for sharing this content with us!


Yes, a wonderful site! Thanks for sharing it, karasu4.


Thank you very much!


What a great reference! Thank you!


thanks for the words


Any chance I can find it also for Japanese with Kanjis?

"As a Japanese kanji, it has several more meanings than the Chinese hanzi. Again though, despite these differences, most of the time the meanings are the same or very similar, leading me to say that hanzi and kanji are generally the same writing system."

Despite that I just want to know if I can find one for Kanjis.


How about this?


It isn't as comprehensive and detailed as the chinese one above, but looks nice. I'm not so much into japanese, but it seems to me that this lists the different readings in kana, and provides translations, which is surely the most important.

From what I've heard, you're 'only' required to learn a fixed set of around 2200 kanji in order to read japanese. Therefore it shouldn't be too hard to find good lists to follow. Perhaps the best is to look for some books about it, though.

I'm sure you'll find learning kanji very rewarding and fun, if you have a good source to help you along.

Good luck!


thx, i need that.


Thank you very much. I am a beginner.


What a great find, thank you! I'm glad it shows both traditional and simplified hanzi characters together, it helps to have the reference for folks looking to expand from traditional Chinese to simplified and vice versa.


summary in english.:"I have found a new method for learning the meaning of many chinese characters.I use them for writing and reading my own language.. i combine this method with the spaced repetition of flashcards.since the chinese pronounciation of the characters is not necessary for understanding them I postpone the hard work of learning how to pronounce the characters.the concept of "silent literacy" accelerates the process of learning .but it is no help in learning characters that are used to express grammatical functions.it only works for charakters whose meaning can be defined . Ich habe eine neue methode viele der chinesischen schriftzeichen zu erlernen erfunden.Ich benutze sie um einzelne wörter oder wortkomponenten in meiner eigenen sprache zu schreiben und lasse sie mir auf diese weise durch einen mir bereits bekannten deutschen kontext auf gut deutsch erklären..diese methode funktioniert aber nur bei chinesischen schriftzeichen die eine klar definierbare bedeutung haben.bei schriftzeichen deren bedeutung sehr unklar ist oder die grammatische funktionen erfüllen funktioniert sie nicht. wo es möglich ist ordne Ich dem chinesischen schriftzeichen eine und nur eine einzige deutsche alphabetische lesung zu.wo dies nicht möglich ist setze Ich das schriftzeichen oder die schriftzeichen in klammern um anzudeuten dass sie nicht alphabetisch zu lesen sind. mit dieser methode gelang es mir viele schriftzeichen in kurzer zeit zu erlernen und nicht wieder zu vergessen .allerdings erlerne Ich sie ohne ihre chinesische aussprache nur aufgrund ihrer bedeutung...ihre chinesische aussprache erlerne Ich dann irgendwann mit duolinguo,chinesischen filmen mit untertiteln oder mit einem online lexikon. ausserdem mache Ich mir vokabelkarten und sortiere sie nach dem erlernen in verschiedene körbe ein die jeweils den wortschatz für ein bestimmtes thema enthalten. auch bei den vokabelkarten mache Ich mir nicht die mühe die chinesische oder japanische aussspache zu erlernen,weil Ich sie nicht falsch erlernen will.


wonderful...thank you very much for loading


Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu!


You, sir, are a saint! Thank you so much for this!


Thank you so much for this!


It’s in French!



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