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The First 100 Chinese Characters: Simplified Character Edition: (HSK Level 1) The Quick and Easy Way to Learn the Basic Chinese Characters (Tuttle Language Library) Simplified Character Edition Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 067-6251838305
ISBN-10: 0804838305
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The First 100 Chinese Characters: Simplified Character Edition: (HSK Level 1) The Quick and Easy Way to Learn the Basic Chinese Characters (Tuttle Language Library)
  • +
  • Chinese Flash Cards Kit Volume 1: HSK Levels 1 & 2 Elementary Level: Characters 1-349 (Audio Disc Included)
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  • Mandarin Vocabulary (Quickstudy: Academic)
Total price: $33.67
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book really does have the characters you need to know for a basic understanding of Mandarin. I like the fact that it supplies a proper grid, gives you both stroke order and direction, and show the radical for each character. If you're a new person who wants to learn Chinese, I'd recommend this book for your reference." —Hanban.com blog

"Veeeery helpful in learning the basics of Chinese calligraphy and helping understand the order of the strokes. A must for any student of Chinese!" —Goodreads
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Product Details

  • Series: Tuttle Language Library
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Simplified Character Edition edition (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804838305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804838306
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Allan Morrill on February 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book and the sequel, The Second 100 Chinese Characters, are excellent drill (recognition) and (writing) practice books for learning Chinese characters, their use in some phrases, pronunciation (Pinyin), and of course meanings. Rather than filling up all of the practice squares and running out of space to write in the book, cut out each of the pages and place them in clear page protector sleeves in a 3 ring binder. Then use dry erase pens (red or black work very well) with a suitably small point, along with a separate dry eraser with about a 1 inch diameter (Foray Dry Erase Board Cleaner works nicely)to clear your full page shortly after you finish it. This is important because your writing erases more easily on these sleeves if you don't let it linger after moving to another page. Both books' pages can fit nicely in one binder and you can use it over and over.

In addition to the books, I very highly recommend buying Tuttle's business card-sized flash cards Volumes 1-4, which have the numbered companions to each page of these two books. They contain most of the additional information that appears on the books' pages for each character. I bought several cheap camera/cell phone carrying cases from discount bins that are the right size to hold a stack of cards, and carry one with me to use whenever I am waiting somewhere (like in the dentist's office or when standing in a long line) with a few minutes to kill.
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Format: Paperback
I am learning to speak Mandarin but felt I needed more knowledge of the written language to get a more comprehensive feel for the language. I looked around and settled on this one and it was a good choice. It has just enough information for me to learn the character and its meaning as well as some commonly used phrases in which each character appears. It gives ample space to practice the strokes of the character. The characters are also in a type size that makes it easier to read than some other books I've looked at.
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Format: Paperback
This book is most useful for students with no exposure to the Chinese writing system. After a clear and thorough introduction to the history and development of Chinese characters, students are introduced to 100 basic characters - a nice attainable number for the first year of high school instruction or the first semester at the university level. Each entry includes several example compounds (very important for Chinese, in which disparate characters can be combined discretely to form unexpected words) as well as nice, large boxes for practicing. While the Matthews have made a nice introduction to Chinese characters, more serious students of the language will outgrow it quite quickly. Their newer book Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters Volume 1: A Revolutionary New Way to Learn and Remember the 800 Most Basic Chinese Characters provides several hundred more characters (without the practice space) for the more ambitious.

Nathan Dummitt
author of Chinese Through Tone & Color
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really does have the characters you need to know for a basic understanding of Mandarin. I like the fact that it supplies a proper grid, gives you both stroke order and direction, and shows the radical for each character. If you're new to learning Chinese, I'd also recommend flashcards (or make your own based on this book) because constant repetition is the key here.
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Format: Paperback
I would really highly recommend Tuttle's Learning Chinese Characters instead of this book. This book covers 100 characters, compared with "Learning Chinese Characters", which teacher 800 characters. "Learning Chinese Characters" also uses quirky stories to help you remember composite characters and drawings to help you remember basic building blocks. This book "First 100 Chinese Characters" has great information about writing the characters, but that information is almost entirely also available in "Learning Chinese Characters", and when you open this book, you'll see that "First 100 Characters" is about 15% information and the rest of every page is just room for you to the practice the characters, which you could obviously do in a separate notebook if you choose to use the information-packed "Learning Chinese Characters"
Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters Volume 1: A Revolutionary New Way to Learn and Remember the 800 Most Basic Chinese Characters
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Format: Paperback
When I was in elementary school, I hated handwriting class. Tracing letters and then carefully copying letters (and later words) into lined spaces was mind-numbing. Unfortunately, a certain amount of this mind-numbing drill is what is necessary to learn to write properly.

This book follows the same technique, only in Chinese. Each character is presented at the top of the page. This is accompanied by the Pinyin and an English translation. There is a chunk of common words that use the character, and then an identification of how man strokes and the underlying radicals. Some characters also include the simplified alternative (remember, this book is about traditional characters).

Then follows a number of gridded boxes. The first few include a good stroke order (and direction) diagram followed by a few "gray" characters for tracing. The remainder of the page is empty boxes with grids for continued practice. You learn to write by writing over and over. It's mind-numbing, but necessary practice. Along the way, you internalize the stroke order, which would be useful in understanding more advanced texts on Chinese writing.

A few points: the method is pretty obvious. I gave the book 5 stars, but it's really hard to mess this up. I do wish that there were examples somewhere of characters written with pen or pencil. I try to get the shape right, but it's hard to tell because I'm using a #2 pencil. Even a short discussion of this would be wonderful. Finally, I suggest saying the character as you write it, over and over. This helps internalize the character.

This is not a grammar text or a pronunciation text. It is a workbook on writing characters. Within its narrow goal of writing 100 traditional characters, it excels.
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