Jakob Hirzel, M.A.HSG, LLM: Concept, layout, mnemonics, outlines of graphic designs, programming
In 2006, I spent 2 months in a Chinese sweat shop. I shared the lifes of all the workers. I lived in a simple room, had a cold shower and ate rice 3 times a day. The workers always said:"Hello!", when I passed them. Then they started to giggle. It must have been kind of a test of courage for them to speak to a foreigner. Once i realized how many troubles arise simply because Chinese and Westerners dont understand eachother, I decided to master the Chinese language.
When I learned Chinese characters, I realized that every character is built of one or a few little line-drawings, so-called radicals, and that these line-drawings tell a picture-story which explains the meaning of the character. Yet, I couldn't find a learning-aid, which showed me all the original pictures in todays radicals, the tiny line drawings in a character. Neither did I find a learning aid which told me the picture-story of every character in a most simple way.
While I was learning Pinyin, the Chinese phonetic language, I dreamed of a learning aid in which all Pinyin-letters were explained in a standardized way, with graphic designs of the mouth and the tongue for every Pinyin-letter and simple yet precise explanations of how to pronounce the Pinyin-letters.
When I learned words, I longed for a book, which would present to me the characters of a word, the basic meaning of every character within a word and the English translation of the word. Yet, i couldn't find that either.
When i learned Chinese grammar, I dreamed of a book in which all sentences would be presented in a table in which there is a line with the characters, a line with the pinyin, a line with the basic meanings of the characters, a line with the English translation of the words and a line with a translation of the entire sentence. Unfortunately, I couldn't find that.
So, I built a team of Chinese and created these learning-tools with them. It was long and hard work. Yet, I believe that we have created the most efficient learning-method for Chinese. It is still hard to learn Chinese. Yet, learning by understanding, learning with mnemonics, thinking in pictures, drill-methods and a lot of opportunities to practise enable you to learn most efficiently. I truly believe that you will enjoy this website a lot and that you will become very motivated once you realize how you make progress.
Cathy: Graphic design