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Chineasy: The New Way to Read Chinese

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 5:00am

How Clever Design Can Help You Learn Chinese

140421_EYE_Chineasy1 Chineasy by ShaoLan Hsueh uses pictograms to help you learn Chinese.

Courtesy Chineasy

Learning to speak Chinese is a daunting task. There are tens of thousands of characters that take years to master. But Taipei-born, London-based entrepreneur ShaoLan Hsueh wanted to find an easier way to help teach 200 characters required for basic reading comprehension to her own English-speaking children.

She deconstructed frequently-used Chinese characters into key building blocks, creating a visual roadmap of the language that allowed non-Chinese speakers to more easily recognize characters and combine them to form compound words and phrases.

Her book Chineasy: The New Way to Read Chinese—the result of her popular 2013 TED Talk and successfully overfunded Kickstarter campaign—was published last month by Thames & Hudson and is also available on iTunes. Winner of Wallpaper Magazine’s 2014 Design Award for “Life-Enhancer of the year,” it is currently one of the nominees for Design of the Year at London’s Design Museum.

140421_EYE_Chineasy book8 Two Chinese characters for "people" side by side form the verb "follow."

Courtesy Chineasy

Chineasy features playfully drawn pictograms by Israeli-born, London-based illustrator Noma Bar. Cleverly designed, it's a visually driven method for unlocking the mysteries of written Chinese that offers glimpses of traditional Chinese culture along the way.

For example, the character for “woman” is one of the key building blocks of the language. Writing two characters for woman together creates the symbol for “argument.” Three women together? "Adultery."

And ShaoLan explains that “good” is written by combining the characters for “woman” and “boy,” reflecting the belief that a woman’s goodness was long defined by her ability to deliver a son.

140421_EYE_Chineasy book2 The Chinese word "good" is spelled using pictogram-enhanced characters for woman and boy in Chineasy by ShaoLan.

Courtesy Chineasy

ShaoLan is at work on her second Chineasy book, due out this fall. To learn more, visit the Chineasy Facebook page or watch ShaoLan explain it herself in the video below:


video


http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2014/04/21/clever_design_that_takes_some_of_the_pain_out_of_learning_chinese_chineasy.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5FNvW19GbA#t=112

https://www.facebook.com/ShaoLanChineasy

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missunfoolish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote missunfoolish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 5:14am
this is so cool lol
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 5:35am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hauteshellbi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 6:26am
Ooh I like it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MsBMW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 7:42am
This is awesome!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote melikey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 8:50am
Cool!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GoodGirlGoneGr8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 9:07am
I lovvveeee this!! Thank you tatee!


**chants: we want more, we want more!!**
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nemesis1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 9:32am
So neat!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lonisha87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 10:23am
Oh that's cool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guidette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2014 at 11:32am
They have something like this on memrise its helping me learn it.Thumbs Up
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