Format: Softcover, 185 pages, 186mm x 258mm
Shipping Weight: 480g
Language: Simplified Characters, Pinyin, English
This fascinating book uses cartoons by Tan Huay Peng to illustrate the origin and development of Chinese characters to their present form. The historical background of the script is given, as well as information on the type of stroke, stroke sequence and Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation. Days, months and numbers in Chinese are also provided in the Appendix, making this book invaluable to anyone starting to learn Chinese.
A Chinese script of one form or another has been in existence for over 5,000 years. Although it has continued to develop, the basic form of the writing was already established by 200 A.D. This makes it not only a very interesting aspect of Chinese life, but also one of mankind’s greatest early achievements.
Chinese script consists of characters, which range from simple pictographic representations of objects, to complex compound characters. These are built up from root characters, or radicals. Of the 214 radicals, some can function independently as characters, and are then contracted when they appear in combination.
This set of cartoons illustrates how some of the radicals, and their associated characters, have evolved over the years. They make a useful introduction to the Chinese language and also provide a fascinating insight into the Chinese sense of humour. Useful information and basic knowledge is provided on the origins and development, as well as the types of stroke and stroke sequence of 369 commonly used characters introduced in the book, which will help those learning Chinese characters and their written forms. Also, the Chinese words for numbers, days and months are provided in the Appendix. In addition, the Index, arranged in the order of pinyin (the phonetic transcriptions of Chinese characters) syllables, provides great convenience for finding the meaning of each character for readers.
All the cartoons in the book were drawn by Tan Huay Peng. In publishing this bilingual edition we have received great help from Federal Publications (S) Pte Led, Singapore who supplied us with the English text and cartoons published in the book WHAT’S IN A CHINESE CHARACTER in 1998. Therefore, with the publication of this bilingual edition, we express our heartfelt thanks to the author and the original publisher. We sincerely hope that this book will help readers savour the inexhaustible charms of Chinese characters and enjoy the fruits of learning through leisurely reading.