A logogram is a single written character which represents a complete grammatical word. Most Chinese characters are classified as logograms.
A good example of modern western logograms are the numbers - 1 stands for one, 2 for two and so on; the ampersand & is used for and, while @ sometimes stands for at.
Compared to alphabetical systems, logograms have the disadvantage that one needs many of them to be able to be able to write down a large number of words. An advantage is that one does not need to know the language of the writer to understand them - everyone understands what 1 means, whether they call it one, eins, uno or ichi; likewise, people speaking different Chinese dialects, or even Chinese and Korean or Japanese, cannot understand each other in speaking, but sometimes can in writing.
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