The English language uses a 26 letter alphabet to construct words. The Chinese language does not use an alphabet. Each word in the Chinese language is represented by a symbol or character. And there are approximately 3,000 characters (symbols.) A typical Chinese character consists of two components, referred to as the radical and phonetic. The radical part often provides some indication of the meaning of the character, while the phonetic part often provides a clue as to the pronunciation of the character.

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