Learning Chinese Characters Through Illustrations

The Chinese language is composed of characters that have descended from sets of pictograms – stylized, simpflied drawings of the mountains, the sky, etc. into a few key strokes. With this as foundation it grows on to a full set of thousands of character.

It was thus quite interesting for me when I came upon Christoph Niemann’s “The Pet Dragon” work, which tells the story about, well I suppose, a pet dragon. However, unlike other story books, the illustration blends itself with Chinese characters, helping children learn and associate those (potentially) unfamiliar characters with something much more easy to understand – a picture:

pet-book-christoph-niemann

pet-book-page-11

I thought the form-association between the characters and the illustration makes a great bridge for Chinese-language learners, and certainly less boring than simple rote learning (plus, you get a free story to ride along!).

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