Picture Characters: Learning Characters Through Pictographs


Picture Characters: Learning Characters Through Pictographs

$24.95 $19.96

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Product Description

This book is based on the simple premise that learning Chinese characters doesn’t have to just be about painful, rote memorization. By associating characters with vivid mental images that are easy to remember, this resource provides students new to Mandarin an accessible way to begin memorizing the most essential and important Chinese characters.

Picture Characters introduces students to characters at a manageable pace. Each character is paired with a fun picture and a short explanation on how the two can be related to each other. For instance, what character do you think the image below might represent? photo 2If you guessed “飞,” the character for flying, you were right! Picture Characters contains 200 of these clever memorization tricks designed to make memorization fun.

If you are learning Chinese by yourself and want to start thinking about characters in a different way or a teacher looking for fun ways to get students interested in characters this book is an excellent resource. You need look no further than our reviews for proof.


“Professor Licheng Gu has devised some needed relief: a way to associate characters with mental images that are easy to remember. He is, as we say in Chinese, bringing us charcoal through the snow.”
-Professor Perry Link, University of California, Riverside

“Professor Gu has proven you can teach an old language in a new way. His extensive experience working with students of Chinese at all levels, combined with an innovative teaching approach has resulted in this great new resource for the study of Chinese characters.”
-Professor Zhao Zhichao, University of Chicago


Professor Gu’s presentation at the CAIS (Chinese American International School) Conference for Chinese-teaching Professionals on Picture Characters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_252HZl3HI

About the Author

Professor Licheng Gu is Coordinator of the Chinese Language Program and Professor Chinese language at Northwestern University. He has published two books: Picture Characters and Chinese with Lulu and Maomao.

Additional Information

Weight 2.5 lbs





China Books

Year Published



7.5 x 10.5




English, Chinese


Wire Binding with CD


Licheng Gu


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