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Chinese Character Writing For Dummies

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2019-07-23
  • Publisher: For Dummies
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Learn to write 100 characters in Chinese

Billions of people worldwide speak Chinese—and now you can learn to write 100 characters in the world’s most-spoken language! Whether you’re taking a course, looking to get ahead at work, or just want to up the ante when you’re communicating with Chinese-speaking family and friends, Chinese Character Writing For Dummies gets you up to speed fast.

This workbook will guide your first steps in learning Chinese characters. It contains 100 basic characters, including 44 simple characters (pictograms and symbols) and 56 composite characters (ideograms and ideo-phonograms). It helps you little by little to familiarize yourself with the pieces of the puzzle most frequently used, as well as some basic Chinese writing rules.  

  • Offers online bonus content that includes instructional videos, downloadable flashcards, and printable writing pages
  • Shows you how to write 100 Chinese characters
  • Provides instruction for beginners, students, and lifelong learners
  • Gives you helpful tips on how to memorize characters
Speaking Chinese will take you far—and learning to write some of the most common characters will only take you farther! Find out how Chinese Character Writing For Dummies can help you today!

Author Biography

Dr. Wendy Abraham is an award-winning public speaker who has taught Chinese language, literature, and culture at universities throughout the U.S. She holds a doctorate from Columbia University, and pursued a PhD in Chinese literature at Stanford University.

Jing Li is a language teacher and researcher at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) in Paris.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Where to Go from Here 2

Chapter 1: Wrapping Your Mind around the Chinese Writing System 3

Appreciating the Complexities of Written Chinese 3

How the Written Word Unifies China 4

What? No Alphabet? 5

Which Way Did They Go? The Direction of Characters 5

Chinese Language Reform 6

Traditional versus Simplified Characters 7

Why Learn to Write Chinese? 8

Strategies for Learning to Write Chinese Characters 8

Set goals 9

Write, review, rinse, repeat 9

Cultivate your inner character whisperer 10

Practice creative visualization 10

Chapter 2: Understanding the Structure of Chinese Characters 11

Simple versus Composite Characters 11

The Six Scripts 12

Pictographs 13

Simple ideographs 14

Compound ideographs 14

Phonetic compounds 14

Reciprocal characters 15

Phonetic loan characters 15

What a Radical Idea! The Incredible Radical 15

Why all the fuss about radicals? 16

How to use a Chinese dictionary without an alphabet 16

Deciphering Strokes 17

Types of strokes 18

Stroke order 19

Chapter 3: Preparing to Write Beautifully 21

From Then to Now: A Brief History of Chinese Writing 22

Carving on bone 22

From etchings to brush and ink 22

Adding bronze carvings to the mix 23

Widespread use of brush and ink 23

Moveable type and word processing 23

The Evolution of Chinese Script 24

Oracle bone script 24

Bronze inscriptions 25

Seal script 25

Clerical script 26

Running script 26

Grass script 26

Regular script 27

The Four Treasures of Chinese Calligraphy 27

Writing brush 28

Ink 29

Rice paper 29

Ink stone 29

Tools and Techniques for the Modern-Day Calligrapher (or Writer) 30

Chapter 4: 100 Chinese Characters 33

Appendix A: The 214 Chinese Radicals 83

Appendix B: Compound Words to Practice 91

Appendix C: Sentences to Practice 101

Appendix D: Blank Grids for Extra Practice 113

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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