The Way of Chinese Characters

For non-native speakers of Chinese, learning to write Chinese characters can be one of the most challenging aspects of the language. Learners are often asked to memorize characters by simply writing them over and over again, without a basic understanding of their meanings.

The Way of Chinese Characters offers a more holistic approach to character learning that is fun and accessible, yet firmly grounded in academic research on the origins of Chinese characters. Four hundred of the most essential Chinese characters are presented, each with a concise introduction to its classification and evolution. Illustrations of early writing forms help learners visualize the character's evolution, and cartoon drawings serve as helpful mnemonic devices.

General Resources

Supplement to The Way of Chinese Characters

The characters in The Way of Chinese Characters (by Jianhsin Wu) correspond to the glossary of Integrated Chinese, Second Edition, Level 1, Part 1 textbook (by Tao-chung Yao, Yuehua Liu, et al.). In this supplement, the author gives explanations for all the new characters (28 in total) that appear in Integrated Chinese, Third Edition, Level 1, Part 1 textbook.

There are slight differences between the orders of the glossaries in the two editions of Integrated Chinese. For those who use the third edition of Integrated Chinese and cannot find the explanation of a certain character in a certain chapter of The Way of Chinese Characters, please check Character Index by Pinyin, or Traditional Character Index by Stroke Count, or Simplified Character Index by Stroke Count at the back of the book.

With both the printed text and this supplement, certainly you will be able to find explanations for all characters that appear in the third edition of Integrated Chinese in The Way of Chinese Characters.