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.
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.
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:
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