Chinese characters are represented as pictograms which are based on the shape of objects. If you feel even slightly disheartened that you will have to memorize each one of them, then do not worry. Just as the English language learning system is based on alphabets (A, B, C, etc.) which are a set of characters that represent the phonemic structure of the language; similarly, Chinese learning has about 250 basic and radical characters. Remember that you can combine these Chinese characters or break them in order to easily read, write and understand them.
How must one learn the basic characters?
This book is written to help you understand the origin and usage of each character. Now you can recall instead of memorize. To remember means to strengthen the synapses which connect your brain cells. Synapses can be strengthened by stimulating the five senses - smell, hearing, taste, vision and touch. When multiple senses are used together, the memory lasts longer. Better results can be achieved when such stimuli is coupled by unforced repetition. One good way of strengthening the synapses is to repeat the same stimulation. This book expands on the basic character by adding parts that give new meaning in a radical form. This means you are exposed to the same basic character multiple times.
Learning that can be used immediately
By learning how these Chinese characters came to be, you can also learn how adding a certain component changes the meaning. For example, the character “色[sè]” meaning ‘color’ depicts a person(⺈) on top of another person(巴) in the act of sexual intercourse, which causes one to flush in excitement. Once you know that origin, you will be able to understand why “色[sè]” also means ‘lust.’
Kun Ho Park
The co-author of this book PARK, Kun-Ho, is a professional who was born in Korea but studied in Japan. When he returned to Korea, he worked as a resident employee for a Japanese company, and began teaching. He taught Japanese to the executives of conglomerates, and has authored various Japanese textbooks. He experienced his students having difficulties in learning Chinese characters (kanji), and researched how to learn Chinese characters easily. He patented his Chinese character learning text in 2013, in which he described the creation principles of Chinese characters in a chart. He wrote over 30 books in Chinese characters, including “Bunhaejoripsik Hanja (Disassembly and Assembly of Chinese Characters)” and “Funfun Hanja (Fun Fun Chinese Characters).”
Kyung Yong Kong
The co-author of this book is KONG, Kyung-Yong. Although he was born in Korea, he is the 78th descendent of Confucius, and due to his family, he was familiar with Chinese characters since youth. He was a bookworm who perused over the Britannica Encyclopedia when he was just a boy. He conceived of writing a book with the idea that Chinese characters with form and sound can be easily learned if meanings are given to the sounds. His experience reading encyclopedias and countless books helped him assign scientific or social meanings to the sounds. He is a professional publisher active in the publication field, participating in diverse activities such as writing, editing, and consulting governmental agencies or universities.
Dr. JIANG, Yong (蒋勇) - Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
"The authors of this book have conducted extensive research on Chinese lexicology, etymology, phonology and grammar, and now share their expertise with Chinese language learners. Learning Chinese characters takes more time and effort for those whose native language uses alphabetic writing systems. The authors solved this problem by reinterpreting some of Chinese characters in their own imaginative ways. This extends readers’ horizons and helps them to make sense of the structures of Chinese characters through the use of interesting stories and fascinating cartoons. The characters in this book are organized around topics such as people, life, nature, etc. for the sake of easy recollection. The book helps learners to build their Chinese character and vocabulary base by grouping relevant characters and their associated words and phrases in a family in a systematic way. This book is an indispensable aid for people who want to master basic and commonly used Chinese characters and vocabulary within a short time. It is also a very useful reference book for Chinese language teachers."
Joshua K. Park - Juris Doctor
"Learning Chinese is a daunting challenge for new learners, both in speaking and writing. While the challenge of listening to and speaking a new tongue is common to all languages, written Chinese presents a challenge on a whole different dimension. While most languages require just the memorization of an alphabet to learn the basics of how to read, Chinese seems to offer no such tool. It seems like an impossible task to memorize how to read and write hundreds of characters, and many give up early on. In that regard, this book offers a unique tool. It provides almost an alphabet-like tool that makes it unnecessary to memorize each character individually, from scratch. It also makes it possible to guess at the meanings of characters that you have not even learned—making vocabulary-in-context learning of the Chinese language also possible. And its insightful commentary regarding the shape of each character adds appreciation for this beautiful language. I would highly recommend this outstanding tool to any new learner of Chinese."
Su Hyon Pak - Language Instructor
"Playful cartoons and amusing storytelling may deceive serious students at first glance, but this comprehensive collection of 800 of the most frequently used Chinese characters will allow the reader to move past pinyin and learn to fully understand and appreciate the ancient language still in use today. Make use of this new and exciting way to undertake the seemingly impossible task of memorizing Chinese characters! Characters are broken down by fun explanations, quick references, examples, and color coded notes that piece together puzzle-like parts to create a whole picture of understanding.. Several learning tools such as dissection of pictograms, stroke order, and vocabulary lists are included, to name just a few. Ideal for foreign students beginning to learn basic characters as well as for students preparing to take the HSK or Chinese Proficiency Test, this text will assist readers to further understand the meaning of all Chinese characters!"
Wenqing Zhang - PhD
“Language is among the most important elements in a culture, and Chinese is no exception. Increased interest in China from those outside has led to a corresponding interest in the study of Chinese as a foreign language. As one of the world’s oldest and most complex language, however, Chinese may have already scared off many prospective learners whose native tongue is English or other languages. Chinese speaking feature a daunting array of variety and diversity, ranging from Mandarin to Cantonese and many minor dialects. People may suggest learners to start with a practical form of speech before proceeding to the more diverse forms. On the other hand, written Chinese is another story. Whether you agree with the idea that speech is primary, writing secondary or verse versa, what really makes Chinese hard to learn is its various characters. Note that Chinese characters have the longest history of continuous use. Learning Chinese characters poses different challenges for adults compared to children. Children usually have stronger phonological processing and vocabulary memorizing skills. They can memorize many Chinese characters without truly understanding the meanings of them. However, for adults, it could be a problem handling abundant Chinese characters without understanding them. This book tries to decompose each Chinese character and, as a result, helps readers to understand the origin and usage of each character. With the logic exposed, it will be easier for readers to make sense of parts in each character. This book will be of great use to both academics and regular learners interested in how to manage the complexity of standard written Chinese.”
User Guide 08
Human body 14
Head | 亠1 京2 高3 亥4 亡5 页6 首7 彡8 而9
Face | 面10 目11 直12 见13 艮14 良15 口16 可17 奇18 古19 囗20 音21 言22 欠23 舌24 牙25 自26
Body | 身27 心28 骨29 歹30
Hand | 手31 才32 爪33 又34 史35 ⺕36 聿37 隶38 ????39 寸40 付41 寺42 廾43 其44 关45 勹46 包47 匃48 勿49 攵50 支51
Foot | 足52 止53 正54 疋55 夂56 各57 舛58 癶59 彳60 辶61 廴62
人 | 人63 内64 亼65 今66 佥67 ⺈68 尔69 亻70 儿71 兄72 元73
大 | 大74 头75 夬76 央77 夭78 立79 尢80
Shape of a person | 疒81 己82 乙83 也84 㔾85 令86 卬87 匕88 旨89 尸90 尺91
Inherited | 巳92 厶93 去94 子95 女96 母97 父98 氏99 耂100 者101 长102
Social | 辛103 士104 壬105 臣106 卧107 王108
Weapons | 弓109 弋110 矢111 至112 戈113 戊114 戋115 矛116 殳117 斤118 刀119 召120 干121 平122 并123
Transportation | 车124 舟125
Ceremonies | 示126 卜127 卓128 兆129
Necessities of life 305
Clothes | 衣130 巾131 纟132 文133 白134 青135 黄136
Food | 食137 米138 禾139 豆140
Shelter | 宀141 穴142 广143 户144 门145 互146 阝147 厂148 冂149 向150 里151
Land | 土152 圭153 田154 甶155 由156 申157 火158
Tools | 力159 方160 㫃161
Containers | 酉162 畐163 斗164 网165 用166 凵167 亅168 冖169 西170
Land animals | 羊171 犬172 犭173 豕174 牛175 马176
Other animals | 鸟177 隹178 只179 喿180 非181 羽182 釆183 虫184 鱼185 贝186 辰187
Animal by-products | 毛188 皮189 韦190 角191 肉192 阜193 禸194
Natural scenery 438
山195 谷196 石197 玉198 金199 工200 水201 氵202 氺203 气204 雨205 冫206 艹207 生208 丰209 木210 东211 林212 几213 丬214 片215 竹216 册217
Heavenly bodies 484
日218 昜219 昔220 月221 夕222
一223 且224 丁225 二226 云227 井228 八229 九230 十231 丨232 丶233 丿234 小235
A concluding remark 525
Hanyu Pin’yin index 528
Index of Base Characters 535