Things Beyond Z – Essential Links

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6 thoughts on “Things Beyond Z – Essential Links

    1. Thank you! That’s what I’m doing now, but I didn’t set out to do that. Basically, combining the two interests (inspired mainly by the book on the Kangxi radicals by E. Fazzioli) just turned out to work well for me and turned into a postive feedback loop.

      There’s a bit more to it–I exaggerate my obsession with writing systems somewhat to have a gimmick, but it’s quite real. Just never turned out all that much that’d be suitqble to put on the blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, but your Blog might lead to something. My young nephew has been learning to speak Chinese. I would like him to learn to recognize and write the letters too. We get overwhelmed with the idea of having to learn 2,000 characters, but I find it interesting and the letters are really a work of art. GREAT JOB! I’m learning from you.

        Here’s a nice book I came across:


      2. Thanks for link! I like that a lot. Probably gonna feature the link soon.

        About the characters: It’s true that eventually you need 2000 (more probably) in order to be reasonably literate, but it’s kind of misleading. It’s easier in many ways than that makes it sound, but also… best I give an example: 火=fire, 山=mountain, 火山=volcano, 山火=wildfire. So memorizing the characters doesn’t even mean you can read all words that they are used in (it’s not usually quite as intuitive as in that example, amd often not at all), but when you learn these two characters you can learn the two-character words pretty easily. Basically, don’t sweat it. Just focus on spoken language and pinyin (!) at the start, and dabble in the characters a bit for fun or pick a small selection.

        For instance, something like learning to be able to read the YCT level 1 vocabulary would be ambitious as a goal, but not totally overwhelming, I think.

        (Also, learning some small sets of characters (or even some individual ones) can already be useful, or least rewarding. Learning 14 characters or so is enough to read dates. Learn a couple more, including a few country names and such and you might be able to hazard a guess what a Chinese newspaper article is about.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah… Thank you for sharing so much information and the Link too. I was talking to someone who had been studying in China. He said nowadays if you have a Chinese lettering keyboard for your computer you start recognizing and being able to write that way.

        Sounds like having a pen pal might be good idea too.

        I liked the children’s book link I sent you, because that fellow, by creating a story and than translating it into Chinese was learning the letters in a fun way. I believe he is an illustrator, so it was a fun project for him.


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