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Importance of learning Productive Components


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The importance of learning Productive components say for example 夬. It can form Chinese Characters when added with Radicals. If we know the meaning of this Component it is easier to form mnemonic and remember it’s meaning. 

I think they are roughly around 1000 characters, @alantin had shared the great link.



They have used the name Productive Components. Do we have any other Unique name for this? 


I have searched one Anki deck which has around 1800 characters. Too many. Then I thought first learn the words for current examination.


Does any one attempted to learn all Productive Components? Any ideas to share?



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Heisig and MBM have methods that teach you the characters by introducing a new component first and then combining it with components taught before already. They rely on mnemonics and always build on previous knowledge so in my opinion the most important feature in these is the order in which the components and characters are learnt.


Most of them are also characters on their own right so you'll learn them anyway while studying characters.

Remembering Simplified Hanzi 1: How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Chinese Characters

Heisig only gives you a keyword for each character and component that tries to encapsulate the main meaning and then it takes you to creating a mnemonic for writing it out. You can find a sample here: https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/en/files/2013/11/RH-S1-sample.pdf

There are also lots of Heisig Anki Decks for review. It's main lack is that it does not address pronunciation.


The Mandarin Blueprint Method

Two western guys living in China took the same idea as Heisig's and created a whole systematic framework for creating mnemonics for them that take into account the main meaning, writing and pronunciation. They also provide you with graded reading material as you progress through their course. They also offer SRS for review. It used to be Anki, but I think they've moved over to something else since. Many people have great success with them. Others take issue with their marketing and maybe the fact that they are not free. I think it's awesome that instead of making it into something half-a**ed, they set up a company to provide a complete package with support and everything and made developing and marketing MBM their full time jobs. They employ native Chinese people for content creation and the quality of their work is very good.



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On 2/12/2022 at 3:43 AM, phoneticsem said:

The importance of learning “one character component of Chinese words” say 夬. It can form Chinese word  when added with Radicals. If we know the meaning of this Component it is easier to form mnemonic and remember it’s meaning. 


夬 is used as a phonetic component, not a semantic one, so learning its meaning is next-to-useless (unless you're reading the 易经 I guess).


Learning that it's pronounced "guài" is much more useful than learning that it's one of the 64 hexagrams. That way, you have a hint at the pronunciation of 快、块、决、诀, etc.

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Thanks DD. when I re-checked 夬 it was not in productive components list. It appears as character in zero words, and it appears as a component in 16 chacters as per it’s meta data.


  1. 夬 is a very uncommon character.
  2.  has 1 dictionary entry.
  3.  appears as a character in 0 words.
  4.  appears as a component in 16 characters.


Once :
 => No glyph available, 
Radical :
 => No glyph available,  (line), (human)
Graphical :
 => , , 

Pinyin & Meaning:

  1. guai4 - decisive

Pronunciation Clues:

  1. Pronunciation clue for 夬 (guai4): The component 丨 is pronounced as 'gun3'. It has the same pinyin initial.

Appears In:

 also appears in:




Noted that it is Phonetic Component.


If we learn the Productive Components in their order by usage,  Given in the link will help to focus on which Productive Components to learn first.






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I am learning my Semester Vocabulary. Here I am learning Productive Components  in the Order I encountered and not only Productive Components but all the components of Semester Vocabulary. 


If I had learnt these Productive Components earlier, my learning time would have been reduced for this Semester Vocabulary. So I am grouping my vocabulary in Pleco under Productive Components

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