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Chinese Character Counter

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Welcome to our Chinese character counter and Chinese word counter tool!

To get started, simply start typing in the text-box above. The number of Chinese characters will display in the top left box.

The total characters will display in the top right box. The total characters include anything that is a character, so Chinese characters, characters from other languages, symbols, numbers etc. are all included.

On the left, or on the bottom for mobile, there is a box that displays a running count of spaces, estimated words, English characters and numbers.

The space count includes any whitespace character, so newlines (enter key) counts as a space.

Find the word count of a Chinese text using our Chinese word counter

The word count represents the estimated number of Chinese words. The way we estimated the Chinese word counter works is by taking the Chinese characters and multiplying them by 70%.

The English character count is simply any letter of the alphabet A-Z in upper or lower case.

The number count displays the count of numbers.

Once you are done typing, click the green "COPY TEXT" button to copy all the text inside the text-box. This makes it convenient to then paste into whatever document you are using.

If you make a mistake and want to start over, click the red "CLEAR TEXT" button to delete all text within the text-box. Warning: Only click this button if you are sure you want to delete everything.

Overview of Chinese characters

The Chinese writing system is largely hieroglyphic. In the beginning, each character was a tiny picture. Later on, the characters have grown less "picturesque", but some are still intriguing to look at.

The character 豳 is a good example. It's made of one 山 and two 豕s. 山 means "mountain" and 豕 "swine". So 豳 is likely a place where there are lots of wild boars. Historically, 豳 was a capital of the early Zhou people.

Chinese Alphabet

Due to its hieroglyphic origin, Chinese doesn't have an alphabet. Its basic unit is a character. Each character is unique, composed of radicals or strokes. Characters form phrases, and phrases form sentences.

How many characters are in the Chinese language?

It's said that there are more than 100,000 characters, but in daily life, a 3,000 character vocabulary would make you literate, a 5,000 one would make you well-educated, and an 8,000 one would make you learned.

For small Chinese kids, copying and memorizing characters is great torture, as much as conjugations are to French children. Even after they grow up, encountering strange characters or mispronouncing characters might still cause them daily headache.

In terms of structure, a character can be semi-encircled, like 区, or completely encircled, like 囚. It can be "one-piece", like 人, or a composite of multiple radicals, like 猫 and 孬.

How to guess what a Chinese character means

In some cases, if you know the rules, you can guess the pronunciation or meaning of a character.

For instance, the left radical of 猫 is 犭, indicating that the character is relating to an animal; the right radical is 苗, whose pronunciation is "meow". So you'd instantly figure out that 猫 refers to "cat".

The character 孬 is made up of two other characters: 不 and 好. As 不 means "not" and 好 "good", 孬 very likely means "not good". It does indeed.

However, the guess rules don't work in all cases. For example, you'd presume the pronunciation of 裸 is "guǒ" due to its radical 果, but it actually is "luǒ". The two sounds are close, but still different.

Even native speakers sometimes make such mistakes, mispronouncing 墅 for 野 or 侪 for 齐.

What are Pinyins?

Pinyins, which were developed by economist Zhou Youguang, were invented as a way to note down the precise pronunciations of characters. Imagine learning Chinese, a language with no alphabet just through listening alone. Pinyin is a representation of Chinese characters with the Latin alphabet.

Pinyins have vastly increased literacy throughout China; eased the classroom agony of studying Chinese; and facilitated the rapid entry of Chinese on computer keyboards and cellphones.

Parts of a Pinyin

The pinyin of each character has three parts: initial, final, and tone. There are 23 initials and 24 finals, which are represented in Latin alphabet, and a total of four tones, which are represented by the signs:ˉ, ˊ, ˇ, ˋ.

Pinyin Examples

Let's take "shù", the pinyin of 墅, for an example. "sh" is the initial, "u" is the final, and "ˋ" indicates the tone.

Here is another example of the four basic pitched tones using Pinyin.

  • First: mā – high and level
  • Second: má – starts medium in tone, then rises to the top
  • Third: mǎ – starts low, dips to the bottom, then rises toward the top
  • Fourth: mà – starts at the top, then falls sharp to the bottom

The pitch in which a sound is spoken affects the meaning. For example, if you say mā with a high tone it means "mom", but má with a rising tone means "numb".

Chinese characters can form riddles

Like alphabet-based languages, Chinese characters also make funny riddles. One of my favorites is "虫二". 虫 is the core of the character風, and 二 is the central part of 月 with its outer frame removed. Both 風 and 月 are romantic symbols in Chinese culture. So the answer to this riddle is 風月无边 (boundless romance).


Thanks for using our Chinese character counter. We hope this is useful to you in giving you a Chinese character count and Chinese word count.

Good luck writing and please feel free to contact us if you have a question or just want to say hello. And by the way, if you want to say hello in Chinese, you would say 你好, the pinyin for that being Nǐ hǎo. Or an even more basic way of saying that (albeit slightly less accurate) would simply by "knee how".

If you need a character counter with more features, including English characters please use the one on our home page.

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