There are few languages as intimidating for Westerners as Chinese. I would put it up there with Arabic in that looking at the printed words on the screen seems to offer no clues as to pronunciation or meaning. Other Indo-European languages (like Greek and even Russian) give some pronunciation clues once you pick up a few basic rules – like the Russian P has an R sound – even if you don’t know what that word ultimately means. But Chinese has always seemed like an impossible challenge, with thousands of characters to learn.
But I thought that only because I didn’t know how those characters are built. And with the help of the course, “Chinese Made Easy: Understand Chinese in 2 Hours” by Felix Lättman, I now know how simple building blocks get put together to form ideas and concepts, and how there’s even pronunciation clues embedded in the characters to help read.
For example, the Chinese word for “mouth” is kŏu (口) which resembles a square, and also resembles an open mouth. The Chinese word for “to enter” is rù (入) which resembles the legs of a person walking. And so guess what the word for “doorway” is? It is (入口) which is the character for enter and character for mouth together. So Chinese really builds upon itself in that way. If you know a few basic characters, you can combine them together to express more complex concepts. Cool, huh?
Felix’s course, which is FREE on the Udemy platform, is excellent in that it starts with the simple basic building blocks, and then uses those to build more complex words. He’s also entertaining and holds your attention well, so you won’t find yourself falling asleep or forced into boring memorization routines.
I loved this course, and well recommend checking it out. And it’s FREE!