A new, interesting, fascinating and simple book on how to read and learn Chinese! I always wanted to learn Chinese but was rapidly discouraged by the complexity of the character and how difficult it was to remember them. This book makes it very easy to do so, easy to understand, easy to learn and more importantly, easy to remember their meaning and how to use them. The stories associated with each of the character often made me smile and made the learning fun. This book, finally gave me hope that I will, one day, be able to read Chinese. Thanks!
The goal of the book is to help you remember everything about a Chinese character—its strokes, pronunciation, meaning, even both simple and traditional versions of the character. I've started using with in parallel with a SRS system that I hope will help me accomplish my goal of being able to read Chinese. It's a very daunting task but I'm more glad than ever to do so with the help of this book. It makes learning Chinese characters exciting. Bravo!
If you really want to learn Chinese, and not waste an indefinite amount of time and energy, this might be your only chance. The problem when you, as an adult, want to learn chinese, is that you are required to do in a single phase something the Chinese do at two different periods of their lives. First, as any child with their extraordinary capacity for learning, they learn the spoken language. A few years later they go to school, and their teacher shows them nice little drawings, a kind of horse, a fish, an arrow up, meaning up, or an arrow down meaning down, etc. The fact is that they already know that this one is ma2, yu2 shang4 and xia4. You have to learn all this at the same time. What are your possibilities ? Learn the language, without the characters. It is quite frustrating, and, for reasons of homophony, it might prove difficult if you try something more than difficult than what an 8 years old child could say. Learn the characters without the language. There are nice books for that, and you can find them on Amazon (Heisig, or Hoenig ; the best one, I'm sorry, is in French "l'Idiot Chinois" by Kyril Ryjik). But you are stuck with the same problem, remembering the sound of each, an arduous task, especially if you consider that some sounds may correspond to a few dozens of characters. There is only one real solution (two in fact, if you do for yourself the very same thing he did for you, but you have to learn Chinese first ...) : understand how the memory works (the semantic memory is essentially wired to work through associations), or recreate by yourself the art of memory invented by the ancient Greeks (read "The Art of Memory" by Frances Yates if you're interested), and confirmed by many findings of the neurosciences. So you'll be able to understand that the method proposed in this book really works. Buy this book, and the eight or nine to follow (the ebook are proposed at a really nice price), and you'll be able to learn in a few months of dedicated work the very same thing that other learn in a few years. And in the process learn a lot about the culture of the other superpower of the XXIst century. This is a summary, and a translation, of a comment I posted on Amazon France. They rejected it. I still don't understand why. I hope this will not be the same with Amazon US