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Learn to read Chinese ... with ease! | ShaoLan

37771 ratings | 1233535 views
For foreigners, learning to speak Chinese is a hard task. But learning to read the beautiful, often complex characters of the Chinese written language may be less difficult. ShaoLan walks through a simple lesson in recognizing the ideas behind the characters and their meaning -- building from a few simple forms to more complex concepts. Call it Chineasy. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector
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Text Comments (2259)
机器人.dk (4 hours ago)
If only it were really that easy. Those are very basic characters. Most characters are much more complex and resemble nothing like their actual meaning. If you tried using this method for every character, you would be spending more time trying to make up and remember stories than actually learning the language. Trust me, 我是中国人。
hultonclint (1 day ago)
How is this a TED talk though? Don't basically all teachers of Chinese say something similar? It doesn't really lessen the difficulty of learning Chinese characters and the hard hard work that comes after these basic pictograms run out.
Yu ZHAO (1 day ago)
From a view as a Chinese, the way she teaches is sort of pictogram which is not new. And a lot of explanations are not correct at all (for example "woman") Learning Chinese is a difficult task costing time and effort. If you want to have fun, you can follow her…
Kelcey (1 day ago)
I remember following Chineasy on PopJam when I was younger; I loved the images!
Pinkyradish3 (1 day ago)
I think this is good for the basics of the basics. In this language, u have 4 different pinyins for each character and each sounds have MANY different meanings and characters, some have the same pronunciation but have totally different meaning. To me that is really really difficult. I studied chinese language for my whole life but i cant even fully understand a novel 😭 (it maybe just me) 😭 why are english translations so slowwwww
Sagar Chopra (3 days ago)
Really liked this video Wow!!!!!!! amazing
Numărul 6 (3 days ago)
目黑 means black eye?
Mzaje (4 days ago)
Any chinese who wants to practice english while teaching me chinese.... reply to that comment
Tbro223 (5 days ago)
That ending was funny and I really liked that she could explain it to the viewers that Chinese symbols are kinda like reading pictures!
chii (5 days ago)
My Chinese teacher teaches us like that lol
fatboygallery (5 days ago)
Good to teach Chinese in this way But please note that simplified Chinese character is kinda a shame on traditional Chinese culture and traditional Chinese characters It is a pidgin Chinese
Jessica (5 days ago)
lam lam (7 days ago)
I have no doubt that she show an interesting way of learning Chinese, but when you learn deeper and you’ll find out that it’s not that easy.
Nirav Shah (8 days ago)
Nice outro
There are coloring antistress for learning hieroglyphs. https://stock.adobe.com/de/images/color-therapy-anti-stress-coloring-book-hieroglyph-tree-learn-chinese/205671250 I have not found printed books.
Samy Savard (8 days ago)
As impenetrable as the great wall of China Genghis Khan: Sorry, can you say that again ?
Jj Hsu (8 days ago)
Lotus Tang (11 days ago)
wow I like this video! I’m planning on learning Chinese at home, I can mostly read but I can’t write. So then I can learn Spanish in high school.
Ject Chen (4 days ago)
Lotus Tang any contact way?
Lotus Tang (4 days ago)
Ject Chen sure
Ject Chen (5 days ago)
Lotus Tang I am Chinese, I want to find a partner to learn spoken English,do you want to find a partner to learn spoken Chinese? if yes,I think we could help each other
Gio Midgett (11 days ago)
She is assaulting americans.
MyChineseReading (11 days ago)
In all honesty this isn't a great method for learning to read Chinese. It is great for drumming up enthusiasm but once you start learning, you will quickly realise that this method is not effective. Really, learning to read Chinese requires 2 things: A flashcard system such as Anki and a ready supply of reading material from thechairmansbao.com or hskreading.com . It takes time but after you learn a few hundred common characters, it will all start to come together.
Maik4613 (11 days ago)
She is so cool haha
Alex Friedman (11 days ago)
저는 한국어를 공부고 있어요. 그리고 한자도 좀 배우고 있어요. 제가 한자를 진짜 좋아해요 하지만 중국어를 아주 싫어해요. 이 영상 좋아했어요. I am a Korean learner, but I know about 100 Hanja for Korean ! I will stick to Korean though.
1234 D (12 days ago)
我學了中文三個月了, 所以我會說一點中文還有會寫字
Rhiannon Whitehead (13 days ago)
this is very easy to understand!
K. C. (13 days ago)
in Germany, we did that by ourselves😂 it was fun.
Adrees Mukhtar (14 days ago)
Sister Spooky (14 days ago)
Darn... and I thought learning to read Arabic was difficult. It’s a cakewalk compared to this! 😬
Johnny Tran (14 days ago)
I'm just started Chinese school however the character 木 is actually wood, while 日 means day (sun is 太陽) and 月亮 means moon 月 by itself is month
Kwan Seung Lee (15 days ago)
this talk is deceiving. This kind of interesting mnemonics works only for just tens of characters, and you should know five thousand more to use fluent Chinese. And her explanation is nothing new. Many Asian students set their foot into Chinese characters learning about these. The thing is you just have to memorize a few thousand more characters.
Abner B (15 days ago)
So weird, I received a promotional email from Quizlet advertising ShaoLan's Chineasy and then this video popped up in my YT recommended feed a couple days later. 0.o
CHAN HOI YAN 17S202 (15 days ago)
As a chinese viewing this, it feels like the language i can speak and write just got wayyyyyy cooler
Fatin Sakinah (15 days ago)
sometimes i read it as Japanese haha
Lily saucier (16 days ago)
Wow this is easier then the way my Chinese teacher(who is Chinese) teaches
oguzhn yıldız (16 days ago)
amk çinlileri
Jay BrianK (17 days ago)
3:34 Very funny. A mouth on a tree is "Putin".
gvvviv ayh (17 days ago)
sounds like Japanese
Mila Mikhailova (17 days ago)
This is such a creative, funny, and visual way of learning such a hard language. _Amazing_. A somebody who love languages, I will certainly be checking Chineasy our, thank you!
yuri wang (18 days ago)
it is the method every Chinese learned from their primary school.
Seris (18 days ago)
This book helped me a while back with memorizing Japanese kanji. I didn't know she had a Ted, very cool.
Faizan Ahmad (18 days ago)
Wow this awesome
ざぶとん (18 days ago)
日西ディエゴ (18 days ago)
Ly Dia (19 days ago)
For the most people here saying that Chinese is hard and all... It's not that hard i'm actually learning Chinese , the hard part would be getting the right pronunciation of the tones other than that Chinese is easy .. i thought it was so hard at first too .. but as I started learning Chinese a year ago I always thought that i'll never improve (I mean the pronunciation is hard ,I don't have time since i'm always busy in uni and work , ..Etc ) however I was surprised that even with the slightest effort now I can understand Chinese conversations and even communicate with my Chinese friends and that motivated me more to put extra effort in it ... Chinese is a beautiful language .. u simply need to do the first step which is "start learning " and then everything will get easier
Tenzin Chokdup (19 days ago)
in chinese u have to tink literaly like hello in chiense is the meabning but litearly is saying you good which is weried but is like that .think other way around
kaylaglazz (19 days ago)
I need this for Korean
Pwnsolo Timelord (19 days ago)
That was awesome, I wished it was longer she was a great demonstrator
Alejandra L (20 days ago)
Oh, this is going to be my new favorite Ted talk
Mikey (20 days ago)
She’s so hot. Oh my god.
OvernightCoyote (20 days ago)
Looking at other eastern asian writing systems makes you appriciate how easy Hangeul (Korean) is.
Solax (20 days ago)
A little misleading, but I guess any encouragement to learn a language is good
Гун (20 days ago)
Я б ее чпокнул. И перевода не нужно.
Frisbieinstein (21 days ago)
Those are some mighty tight pants.
I just love how those that wasted soo much time learning Chinese writing system, really believe that those "pictures" look or that they come close to what they are supposed to be.
LanceHenryPT (23 days ago)
How would you say “she’s killing me in those jeans!”?
sopraltenass13 (23 days ago)
Great exit segway.
Damn it! If you'd given her an hour we would've learned the whole language!
agas1993 (24 days ago)
Got the book, it's really interesting :)
Vova Fesun (25 days ago)
Takashi San (25 days ago)
Oh my gawdddd!! This was so good!
ESFitnessSavage (25 days ago)
Still takes watching this video a good 5x while taking notes to catch on
- - (25 days ago)
Yeah but she still can’t talk proper English yu kno lol
Karl A (25 days ago)
This is a great method! But it's difficult to learn on your own. If I know one character, how do I find similar characters? I mean I could try on google translate, first water, then ocean, then boat and so on, but who knows if those particular words have similar characters? That's a lot of testing and it seems a bit inefficient.
Huy Ly (26 days ago)
This method is how I was taught simple kanji in my Japanese elective class in high school (in Australia). For example for days of the week we were taught: Sun-day, Moon-day, Fire-day, Water-day, Wood-day, Gold-day, Dirt-day. Also doesn't wood/tree also mean knowledge so the character for idiot could be considered "talking above/without knowledge"
Anubhava Vashishth (26 days ago)
Awsome way to learn
Simplified for the sake of Art......It only starts to give some confidence......the pronunciation is the most important. That's the difficult part....which could be attained through commitment.
以梦为馬Litianlong (28 days ago)
Alejandro Worldpeace (29 days ago)
How do you write I want her
Deborah (29 days ago)
Xie xie! Very interesting video.
Katiewsk Wong (29 days ago)
Moopy and Bob say Hi (1 month ago)
The problem is the tone. I remember I try to say my name and the country I’m from to my Chinese friends and he says that he didn’t understand a singer word. Wo Jiao Poom Wo shou Taigourin!
Siyanda Makhathini (1 month ago)
Hopefully this is not gonna be patched.
unboxing theboxx (1 month ago)
Thank U Now I Can speak Chinese😊😊😊
SAVUFILMS (1 month ago)
mandelbrotsugee (1 month ago)
こんな簡単にはいかないよ。 へん や つくり で複雑な漢字が出来ていることを知らせるべきだ。
JW (1 month ago)
Many things cannot be represented with combinations of things. That's why Chinese characters are so many. 100K+ letters. You need to memorize them all to be real fluent. Otherwise just ... basic. So, most Chinese people are .. just basic. Actually, instead of "Fire Mountain", Volcano is much shorter. And that's why you need so many movements to write a thing in Chinese.
Beau (1 month ago)
Japanese kanji has the same base concept.
Shardonic (1 month ago)
This is how I learned a lot of my characters as well! (Granted I’m still illiterate but I can identify simple characters like the one for rain, many, and horse)
Nathan B (1 month ago)
I'm learning Chinese and I found that amazing👌
Nathan B (5 days ago)
+Ject Chen an app called hello talk is a language exchange app with other people around the world,I use it and it's good I recommend it maybe you can find me on it.
Ject Chen (5 days ago)
Nathan Bentley I am Chinese, I want to find a partner to learn spoken English,do you want to find a partner to learn spoken Chinese? if yes,I think we could help each other
jason yang (1 month ago)
Two women together is argument, I am not offended but LMAO
Fajar Rahmad Hidayat (1 month ago)
This will no longer work when you face a character with more than 9 radicals. All you get will be confusion.
jojo 1998 (1 month ago)
Poran Tudor (1 month ago)
Why is there no Disneyland in China? No one's tall enough to go on the good rides.
Laowu Wu (1 month ago)
Dalt Za (1 month ago)
—bobatea (1 month ago)
I’m Chinese and I don’t know Chinese at all
mrtcn (1 month ago)
Noooo. This kind of characters are called as "pictographs". It means you can guess the meaning by looking and seeing the picture inside. But there is a misconception. Don't be happy so early. Not all Chinese charecters are pictographs. Only around 5% of Chinese charecters are pictographs. Unfortunately, you have to memorise the remaining 95% of charecters one by one. That is the reality.
Piano RB-PLAYS YT (1 month ago)
奻 ha argument!!
BY 1 (1 month ago)
Phoenix Dawn (1 month ago)
This, while awesome, becomes a lot easier when you know the Chinese culture/context. To a foreigner, a lot of it not intuitive.
John Bugno (1 month ago)
Heather Toomey (1 month ago)
Excellent video! This gives me more confidence and ideas for memorizing spellings in Chinese! Thank you.
Emmathekawaiiunicorn (1 month ago)
That was helpful as frick. I wanna take Chinese more seriously now. And Japanese too. And I'm learning Korean as well. So doing all three together will be a challenge, but this was actually hella helpful! Thank you for this ShaoLan
Ming (1 month ago)
Emmathekawaiiunicorn There are only 4% of all the Chinese characters that are pictographic characters tho
Jenalyn Ysulan (1 month ago)
Best 6 mins. at TED talk
Danny Adames (1 month ago)
Its Shünmi (1 month ago)
Can she make a chinese learning app with these stuff cause this is fun plus you’re learning at the same time
A SH (1 month ago)
She is hot...3:)
Scribble Slinky (1 month ago)
Rippp I wish they had this for Japanese
An1m3 (1 month ago)
This is how I learned some kanji's in Japanese
Caleb Bryant (1 month ago)
Where can I learn some more Chineasy? Im ready :-)
Aashish Verma (1 month ago)

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