Taiwan

Chinese for Kids: 10 Easy Ways to Learn Chinese

Chinese song for kids: Xiao bai tu

When it comes to Chinese for kids, parents are always looking for resources. Learning Chinese can be challenging for kids, and finding good, quality learning materials can be even more of a challenge. With that in mind, we’re always trying to make learning Chinese for kids as simple and accessible as possible. To help you in your quest to learn Chinese, here are ten quick ideas you can use to regularly improve your student’s Chinese:

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Chinese Characters: Simplified or Traditional?

For people who don’t have a background in Chinese, the distinction between simplified and traditional forms of Chinese characters may be unclear. In fact, many people don’t realize that Chinese characters have these two forms of standard writing. So for those contemplating studying Chinese or just starting out, which version is best to learn?

Simplified vs. traditional Chinese characters

It’s important to first note that this can be a very sensitive cultural and political issue for many people, so it may be best to avoid debates around simplified and traditional Chinese. In this post and on this site, we aim to completely avoid taking any side and simply want to provide information to our readers. In fact, our game app Chinese Fridge features both simplified and traditional Chinese characters because both are used by millions of people and have their own desirable aspects.

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Explaining Chinese Writing to Kids: It’s Not an Alphabet

Cover page of the Shuo wen zhen ben, a dictionary dedicated to etymological descriptions of Chinese characters.

Author’s Note: If you’re looking for a Chinese alphabet that resembles English, check out our article explaining Pinyin.

Many parents who visit our website are looking for a guide to help explain written Chinese to kids, often searching for information about a “Chinese Alphabet.” But while English speakers are used to writing using a phonetic system, written Chinese is not an alphabet, but instead a vast set of distinct characters that have an assigned pronunciation (or sometimes more than one pronunciations, based on usage and meaning).

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Happy Chinese New Year 2013

Red Envelopes for Chinese New Year

It’s that wonderful time of year again — Chinese New Year 2013 is coming February 10!

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the centuries-old tradition celebrating the new year in the Chinese lunar calendar. It begins with the first day of the first month in this calendar, and continues until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the holiday. With so many days involved, it’s easy to see why this is the longest holiday in Chinese culture.

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Chinese Alphabet for Kids Misconception

Author’s Note: If you’re looking for a Chinese alphabet that resembles English, check out our article explaining Pinyin.

We’ve heard parents ask about a “Chinese alphabet for kids” a lot, and each time we have to clarify that Chinese traditionally doesn’t really have an alphabet. But while Chinese people don’t really use an alphabet, there are two predominant phonetic systems that are basically alphabets, but Chinese people never use these to communicate — they’re seen as a learning aid for foreign people and small children. Instead, Chinese people read and write using Chinese characters, which are often comprised of shared base elements known as “radicals”.

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