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Chinese Radicals

Suggested Difficulty (Elementary, Intermediate etc): ____
Video or Audio: ____
Lesson Idea: Hi @Constance_Fang and Team,

I was wondering if Chinesepod would be willing to open a new learning section that would teach Chinese radicals to us. I feel like the more we better understand and recognize radicals, the easier it will be to retain Chinese characters as a whole. There are around 214 Chinese radicals, and these could easily be separated into 200 lessons or less where the teacher discusses the radicals and gives many examples of characters with those radicals.


Just replying to make this request active again. I’m making an effort to learn written Chinese and think that becoming familiar with radicals would help me more quickly “see” the characters with a high stroke count.

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One year later and I’m still hoping they would open this new learning section. ChinesePod support team, if you’re there, I hope you’ve gotten the chance to read this thread and consider this. Any response would be greatly appreciated.

Hey! I love that! We are wanting to expand more than what we offer now. Thank you for expressing your interest we hear you!!

I think this would be a good lesson series, you could definitely put a few radicals into each lesson. If not, I’m having trouble finding a good resource where you can easily check what radicals mean, I use pleco but it doesn’t seem to have all the radicals. Any suggestions?

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Have you tried the Outlier Dictionary?

I haven’t found anything definitive either, perhaps because there is much disagreement about what “all” the radicals even are.


Another idea might be Skritter. CPOD and Skritter were linked in the past, but are separate now. Fiona, a past CPOD host, is there now and does YouTube videos for Skritter and they’re all about Chinese characters.

Skritter has hundreds of the radicals in neat lists of 30. They include a flashcard app and each characters history is detailed. You can do their intro offer and download radical lists to your account and, if you chose not to continue with Skritter, the whole deal would be free and you could continue to study with them. Skritter’s Android app is a serious memory hog, but it has a cool character writing app.

I use the CPOD Android flashcard app almost daily. If you want to make your own list for Pleco, which CPOD links from its own app, here is a cool link. All the radicals are there ready to download, Apple and Android. Pleco Forums


Actually has been pretty good for me. Each character you can break down into radicals (I suppose if someone has decided to come up with the radical decomposition to add to whatever database mdbg uses). There’s also, which sometimes will have a different breakdown than

And very useful (imo) for helping remember the meaning of a character based on its radicals is, which provides something of an “etymology” for the character. That site is a little more friendly towards traditional characters – for example searching by simplified character doesn’t work unless it’s the exact same in traditional – so I often type in the pinyin and then try to find the traditional character that probably corresponds to the simplified one I’m looking for. :smiley: Sometimes seeing the traditional character also gives a different window into understanding the character.

(Most of these sites I found out about through


Thank you for this suggestion—I totally agree! Being able to break down characters into their radicals is similar to knowing some Latin and Greek to help with English vocabulary — it gives some context and sense to the words and therefore helps one to remember them.