How to Write Chinese Essay

Posted by Carrie Gong on Jan 18, 2016

how to write Chinese essay

It is obvious that Chinese "writing" is different from Western writing. First, of course, is that Chinese characters are pictographs as opposed to using an alphabet to form words. Yet, in terms of narrative structure, Chinese differs in writing pattern, sentence length, clauses, etc. Following are some examples and explanation to help you follow Chinese logic. Master these and you will be able to write in Chinese without a problem.

1. Bottom-up pattern in Chinese writing

In China an article or story often begins with a small problem with the most important elements placed at the end. In the West, however, it is the reverse, especially in news reports. The most important information comes at the beginning of the story with details following and information of less importance at the end. The same approach holds true, as well, for business writing, from email to letters to reports.

2. Short sentences in Chinese writing

It is common to find long sentences in English, particularly in academic writing (yet in journalistic writing shorter sentences are the general rule). Here is an example: "Interest in historical methods had arisen less through external challenge to the validity of history as an intellectual discipline and more from internal quarrels among historians themselves." But translated into Chinese, the sentence will become a few sentences, instead of one: "The validity of history had met external challenges. Therefore, interest in historical methods had arisen less. Internal quarrels among historians has arisen more. "

3. More semantics in Chinese writing

Here is an interesting observation on the difference between East-West language structure: "Sentence structure, the language of the West, is the rule of law. Chinese language is the rule of man." As long as there are no errors in structure, many meanings can often be expressed in one long sentence. Chinese text is the opposite. Every word has its own structure (because it is actually a picture, not a word) and meaning. So each will express different meanings in different sentences.

Language cannot be separated from culture, and each culture has its own logic for sense making. Therefore, learning Chinese language is also learning how Chinese think. Once you can understand Chinese logic, you will have no problem in Chinese writing.

About The Author

Carrie Gong

Carrie Gong is a Chinese Learning teacher at Hanbridge Mandarin. She believes that the best way to teach Chinese is to tailor her teaching to the unique needs and desires of each student. Her educational object is France German Japanese Korean American Australian etc.

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