Basic Written Chinese


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This beginning-level course in written Chinese employs a revolutionary new method designed to have you quickly reading and writing simple, connected Chinese sentences. It teaches you to recognize the 600 most basic characters and 1,000 words used every day by millions of Chinese speakers. It explains the history and development of the writing system over many centuries, teaches you how Chinese characters are built up from more basic elements, and how to use those elements to write them, read them and remember them. All the characters presented in the lessons correspond to those in "Basic Spoken Chinese"--the companion volume which helps you acquire rapid proficiency in speaking the language. Each lesson introduces six new characters together with common words that are formed with them. Learning just a few characters and words at a time allows students to create a sense of accomplishment and build up their knowledge incrementally. The structure and etymology of each new character is explained in detail to aid recognition and recall. Commonly confused "look-alikes" are discussed and contrasted to help you distinguish them. Sentences illustrating the usage of the new characters and words are provided, as well as conversations, readings and class discussions. This book emphasizes practical understanding and everyday usage over theory and pedagogy, building up a knowledge of written Chinese and an ability to use it that is immediately useful for foreigners planning to live and work in China. For example, early lessons cover such practical matters as reading and writing telephone numbers, personal names, addresses and other everyday tasks involving written Chinese. Simplified and traditional forms of the characters are presented together in this book. Learners can elect to learn just the simplified or the traditional versions, or both at once. (To read Chinese proficiently, sooner or later you need to become familiar with both.) It also presents handwritten and printed versions of the char

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