Friday, September 25, 2009

Five Reasons YOU Should Learn to Read and Write in Chinese

1. Your curiosity has gotten the better of you.
Admit want to know what all those neon street signs say. You want to be able to read the menu, instead of looking at the pictures. (The latter is far more likely to impress your date!) You're not illiterate in your native tongue, nor would you likely learn to only speak French or Italian."Oh", but you say, "Chinese is different!" You might not believe it, but trust me...

2. It's not as hard as it looks.
Take a look around you, and say to yourself, "If they could do it, so can I!" Of course, having learned as children, they had something of an advantage, but on the other hand, with technology where it is now, you don't have to tediously copy characters dozens or hundreds of times (like they did). YOU can...

3. Learn to type, (not handwrite) characters
It's a hundred (if not a thousand) times easier to recognize a character when it's in front of you than it is to recall if from memory and re-create it stroke by stroke. You could, of course, learn to painstakingly handwrite characters if you're a purist (or a masochist)...but why, when it's soooooo much easier to type, using a phonetic system, either Pinyin or BPMF, to input the sound, and then choose the character (or compound word) you desire from a list.

4. Literacy opens up your study options
Once you can read and type, suddenly so many more study avenues are open to you. You can keep keep a diary, write letters, and go online to find a ton of websites, online dictionaries and newspapers... CSL (Chinese as a Second Language) is really starting to emerge as a field of interest, and it's only going to get more popular as more and more people study what is destined to be THE language of the 21st century.

5. It's not all work...
Texting, MSN, chatrooms, blogs - once you can read and type, you can communicate in Chinese! Whether texting your language exchange buddy to ask what time your lunch date is, reading (and replying to!) an interesting blog, or chatting with someone next door (or half a world away) on MSN, once you are literate you can be a social butterfly! (Or a Don Juan!)

How to get started:
Granted, if you can't read a lick of Chinese it might seem a bit daunting, but I have a plan for you! Read this!


  1. Great post - but should there be a link at 'Read this' at the end of the text?

  2. Took me a while to figure out how to link!