The Chinese Characters

There are various legends about the creation of the Chinese characters. One of them tells how Cāng Jié, a minister of the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di), observed the footprints of birds and animals. He noticed that each one was different and distinctive. Inspired by it, he started to draw pictures of objects, and simplified them by reducing the numbers of lines. And these were the first pictographs, called Xiàng Xing.

Some objects can be very well represented by pictographs, for example日:

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There are characters which represent abstract concept. They are called Zhǐ Shì (ideographs), for example:

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As time passed, the need for the new characters has grown too, and another type of characters was invented. They are called determinative-phonetic, or Xíng Shēng. These characters have a determinative part, to express the meaning, and a phonetic part to indicate pronunciation, for example:

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The last type of the characters is called Huì Yì (ideative). They usually consists of two different characters to express an idea that ‘combines’ the meanings of the constituent characters, for example:

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photoAbout Lena: I currently teach Mandarin from home in Cambridge. I gained my certificate in Teaching Mandarin as A Foreign Language from Middlesex University in London in 2010. I have taught at several schools including Cambridge International School and Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies, as well as private students.

I have taught students from all ages, from as young as four through Chinese games, to a 70-year-old who is learning Chinese to sharpen the brain. I have taught GCSE and A-Level students who achieve top grades in their Chinese exams.

In the first lesson I discuss with my students their preferred ways of learning and through observation I then design the lesson to suit the individual learner. I ask each of my students what their learning goal is and do my best to help them achieve it.

After I graduated with a Business Administration Degree, I found myself standing on the crossroad with many possibilities. I didn’t know what I could do or what I was good at, but I knew I like helping others and meeting new people. After five years of being a Personal Assistant I felt something was missing in the work I did. After some soul searching and discussion I decided to become a teacher, and I haven’t looked back.

Each student gives me an understanding of different aspects of teaching and learning, and I often feel enlightened by them. It’s a highlight for me to see my students achieve or even go beyond their goals and it gives me motivation to become a better teacher.
I believe that every student has great potential; it’s my purpose to help them open doors and see themselves in a new light and have fun doing it.

 
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