Chinese Characters Piece by Piece
- 2.5 hours on-demand video
- 16 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Master 150 fundamental high frequency Chinese characters and gain the essential building blocks for continuing you studies.
- At the end of the course you should be in a good position to tackle the dialogues in first term, or even first year, Chinese textbooks.
- You do not need to know any Chinese or Chinese characters to begin this course. However, if you are completely unfamiliar with how the pronunciation of Chinese words is spelled out in our familiar roman alphabet (the pinyin transcription system), I suggest you do a web search and spend an hour or two familiarizing yourself with the basics.
- The course is suitable for absolute beginners.
This course is for absolute beginners taking their first steps in learning Chinese characters with the ultimate goal of reading popular modern Mandarin language materials, including books, newspapers, magazines, and of course, on-line materials. Even more specifically, it is geared toward those who may believe that Chinese characters are just to visually complex for them to ever master or for those who may have tried to learn characters in the past and failed. We focus on character recognition (rather than writing) and capitalize on the fact that Chinese characters are *not* each individual pictures, but are instead composed of repeating components that recur over and over again. By learning to identify these elements, we are able to break characters down into their parts, making the task of remembering them far simpler. In fact, by giving these components names, we actually change the problem of reading Chinese from a visual task into an essentially verbal one! In this first course, we'll be learning 150 fundamental high frequency characters and components (in their modern forms as used in the People's Republic of China).
The course is organized around 15 video lessons that each teaches 10 characters and their components. Every lesson also has an accompanying .pdf file that both summarizes the lecture and provides additional hints and information. While a highly motivated learner could complete the entire course in 15 days by tackling 10 characters a day, there is absolutely no reason you must proceed that quickly. Most students will probably want to spend about 3-4 weeks completing the program. Once you have finished this first course, you should understand the characters typically found in most first term, or even first year, Chinese textbooks and have an excellent foundation for continuing your studies either in our subsequent courses or on your own.
- This course is for absolute beginners taking their first steps in learning Chinese characters with the ultimate goal of reading popular modern Mandarin language materials. It is specifically geared toward those who may believe that Chinese characters are just to visually complex for them or for those who may have tried to learn in the past and failed. However, if you already know many characters and find learning them quite easy, it's probably not for you.
- Please note, this is not a course in grammar or spoken Chinese. You'll need to tackle that elsewhere.
This BONUS video was originally intended as the course introduction, but it wound up running far too long. Nevertheless, it does contain a good deal of useful information on the history and development of the course, its historical sources, my original motivations in developing it, and many other topics. While I later decided it was better to go with a short intro and then dive right into the lessons, I've chosen to include this original intro here to serve as a sort of FAQ for students who would like more background information or might have any lingering questions. So, if you're wondering about any aspect of the course, give this video a look, and there's a good chance your questions will be answered. Of course, you can also contact me as well!