- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd (10 Mar. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0500650284
- ISBN-13: 978-0500650288
- Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 2.1 x 24.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Chineasy: The New Way to Read Chinese Paperback – 10 Mar 2014
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More About the Author
Chineasy is based on a method that ShaoLan designed to help her two British born children learn to read Chinese. She launched Chineasy after a rousingly well-received TED Talk in Long Beach, California in 2013. Her aim with Chineasy is to help anyone in the world to understand China, Chinese culture and its language.
For her this is also an arts project, as she grew up in an artistic family, being the daughter of a ceramic artist and a calligrapher. She is connecting the dots by going back to her artistic upbringing, and connecting her life's journey through the East and West.
www.ShaoLan.com and www.Chineasy.org
Twitter: @ShaoLan_Hsueh and @Hello_Chineasy
Graphically appealing, illustration-led new system for learning Chinese. --The Bookseller
Fear not, Grasshopper, learning Mandarin just got Chineasy ... may revolutionize the teaching of Chinese around the world ... In 25 minutes ShaoLan's method had done more for me than had two weeks of headaches clutching Collins's Easy Learning Chinese Characters. And that result probably speaks for itself. --The Sunday Times
If you've ever felt the urge to read Chinese but found the challenge overwhelming, help may be at hand. --The Wall Street Journal
Ingenious ... making learning Mandarin Chinese simpler ... fun, eye-catching designs. --The Independent on Sunday
Turns a fiendish world into a visual treat ... shines a spotlight of childlike clarity on the seemingly impenetrable world of Chinese ideograms ... beautifully illustrated. --The Guardian
An approachable introduction ... Chineasy succeeds in making familiar ideas memorable. It gives the beginner, confronted by a seemingly random scrawl of ideograms, somewhere to start in deciphering them. --The Economist
Could soon be unlocking secrets for everyone. --Metro
Filled with delightful illustrations. --Baby & Me
You'll love ShaoLan's Clever interpretation of Chinese characters! --Bored Panda
Easy peasy it's Chineasy! ... Not only does it look fantastic, thanks to the illustrations by Noma Bar, but it really works too. --Independent School Parent
Might be exactly what beginners need. --Travel in Taiwan
Brilliantly simple ... It is truly a very accessible system also for kids and I am already getting the hang of it. Don't miss out on this. Get the book, put it on your night stand and read a few pages every evening. It will give you access to a whole new world. --AllMyGoodness.com
About the Author
Chineasy was created by the entrepreneur, investor, creator and author ShaoLan Hsueh. She launched this project after a rousingly well-received TED Talk in Long Beach, California in 2013. Several months later, she has built Chineasy into one of the most popular methods of learning Chinese across social media with more than 60 thousand+ followers across the Internet.
ShaoLan is an entrepreneur with extensive business experience in both Asia and Europe. At the age of 22 whilst studying for her MBA she wrote four best-selling books on software in Taiwan, which were awarded 'book of the year' after their publication. She co-founded pAsia, one of the major players on Internet in Asia in 1990's, aged 24. After a second masters degree at the University of Cambridge she began Caravel Capital which she founded in 2005 to advise young technology companies.
ShaoLan is active in the arts, education, current affairs and environmental matters.
She is a member of several management and advisory boards of non-profit organisations in the UK, including the Saïd Business School of Oxford University, Asia House, and the New School Network, an organisation backed by the British Government promoting educational reform.
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Top Customer Reviews
One downside to this is that you learn a lot of words that you are unlikely to be using any time soon, such as 人鱼 “mermaid”, 小鬼 “imp” and 公主 “princess”. Moreover, my Chinese friends tell me that a lot of words in the book are archaic, such as 犬 “dog” (which, in that case, I suppose might be translated more like “hound”?), and the book does not always mention this. That said, it is still useful to learn 犬 because the next character that follows is 吠, which is a combination of 口 “mouth” and 犬 and means “to bark”.
So while this character build up is useful, the book seems to miss on some obvious combinations and related characters that are a lot more frequent than, say, “mermaid”. For instance, it covers both 手 “hand” and 机 “machine” but not 手机 “mobile phone”; 酉 “wine vessel” (archaic) and 酒 alcohol (which adds 氵, the radical for water), but not the very common character 西 “west”; it covers both 明 “bright” and 白 “white” but not 明白 “to understand”, etc. In fact, there is very little overlap between the vocabulary covered in Chineasy and the vocabulary from the HSK vocabulary lists (which are organized by frequency).
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this book and it helped me quickstart my character learning. I would recommend it and if a second volume ever came out I would definitely buy it.
What this is, first and foremost, is an art book, something you can admire not just for the beautiful illustrations on the inside, but also for the way the book was put together and laid out. Secondly, if, like me, you are starting out on the nerve-wracking challenge of learning Chinese, this is a great way of demystifying the subject, presenting the logical thought processes behind what may seem like arbitrary and complicated symbols, and giving you an insight into the Chinese mentality. For these purposes, I couldn't recommend this book highly enough, and I've already memorised quite a few of the characters in its pages without applying any real effort.
But you can't possibly rely exclusively on this book to teach you the language. Aside from presenting an extremely small sample of Chinese characters, there's also the fact that they're mostly all traditional forms (most learners of Chinese will want to simplified characters, but even those who are after the traditional characters will find that some of them in here are simplified, as the author/illustrator picks whatever looks best for her purposes). Also, some of the characters (e.g. “argument”, p.47) are extremely rare or archaic forms that nobody uses anymore, as more than one of my Chinese friends pointed out to me when they looked inside. So, great book if you want to appreciate the art or use it as a supplement with real Chinese textbooks, but forget about it if you think it will be an “easy” way to learn the language.
Be aware, though, that it switches frequently from traditional and simplified (but you are told which is which, so you can choose which you prefer) and that the pinyin is written in numeral style, which I am less familiar with but is not a deal breaker.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book which is much better quality paper than i expected. The book had more pages than i expected as well. Altogether a fantastic book.Published 17 days ago by J. R. Gresham
Visually appealing and very colourful, but that doesn't change the fact that I learnt the symbols and translations for Gall Bladder and Bleeting of Sheep without learning the... Read morePublished 22 days ago by tom245
Excellent idea. Good implementation. Cannot teach you Chinese Language but it is a good start.
Mainly for children. It is possible to get some of the ideas of the language. Read more
My brother asked for this as a gift, as he has been learning Chinese via his iPod for a couple of years. Read morePublished 1 month ago by L. E. Metcalfe
This is a beautiful book but it's misleading, and almost to the point of being irresponsible. It's no way to learn Chinese characters and, worst of all, doesn't even provide a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nepahwin