My apologies for not writing in a long long time, but I was really busy with many things. One of them was getting a copy of Shaolan Hsueh's Chineasy. Because I was convinced that after the release they wouldn't sell out that fast I didn't pre-order a copy. Big mistake because the book was sold out online! I tried to find a copy everywhere but I could only order one from Amazon. I was really lucky I stumbled on a copy yesterday when I was in our capital city. Long story made short, I am going to introduce Chineasy today.
Chineasy is a book which states to read Chinese in a whole other way. An very easy and fun way. I was very interested because it covers basic Chinese characters which can also be quite convenient for Japanese learners to know, since most of the basic characters are the same.
The author, a Taiwanese woman residing in the UK, had difficulties with teaching her own children Chinese with current existing books and methods so she created her own. As a result came Chineasy. The books is based on building blocks to quickly learn several hundreds of characters. If you have studied Chinese characters or Japanese Kanji it is likely that you are already familiar with this technique. But born as the daughter of a calligrapher and a ceramic artist, Shaolan Hsueh grew up immersed with art which has a great influence in the making of Chineasy. She worked together with an graphic artist Noma Bar who made the characters come to live visually. Honestly, I have to say that the bright illustrations and the interesting descriptions really caught my attention and made me smile while reading.
Although the technique is good, the illustrations are great, and the descriptions are interesting some of the links between the illustrations and words were pretty far-fetched.
As I continued reading, the end of the book contains some sentences which are build upon the words we have learned so far. Although some of the sentences are useful for daily life, others are really odd for such a book; 'The rich girls stinks', 'The mermaid Princess burst into tears'. I think I wouldn't use both ever.
At the very end there even is a short story which is kind of hard to grasp, even with the great visuals.
Overall I think it's a great book. If I got children I would enjoy to teach them Chinese words from this book. And even if your a businessman or student, this book will give you an insight into Chinese language. As I explained, there are some negative points about the book, but overall it is fascinating to read. I would recommend beginners who have not studied Asian characters before to give it a try.
I hope you enjoyed reading, have you bought Chineasy already?
~ Mei mei