The First 100 Chinese Characters is the best book for beginners to start learning how to write Chinese characters.
Tuttle says “It’s the quick and easy way to learn how to write basic Chinese characters.”
And, they are right.
100 Characters for Beginners
There are thousands of Chinese characters. You need to know about 2,000 characters to be able to read a newspaper. You don’t need nearly that menu to order on a simple menu, read Chinese street signs, or go shopping.
And, that is the premise of this book. They have 100 characters for beginners to learn. I flipped through every single character in this book and I can confirm they are characters that are useful for day to day life.
So often books, tutors, even the HSK exams teach you useless language that you’ll never need when actually living in China and just communicating your basic needs.
How should I use this workbook?
An excellent way to study and remember Chinese characters is by writing them. This book has dedicated space to help you trace over characters and eventually write them on your own.
An even better way to secure these characters in your brain is to know the meaning behind the character. You’ll soon start to see patterns between sounds and characters and begin to decipher what elements mean what.
Plus, stroke order is super helpful too. Get that memorized into your brain to make learning new characters super quick and easy.
Especially if you’re a kinesthetic learner or somebody who learns through movement and action, you wanna write the characters down.
Never be confused by stroke order again
I like this book for that reason, is has light grey characters that you can trace over. It shows you arrows for each stroke so you’ll never get confused. There is definitely enough space, and the squares are large enough for beginners to start getting to grips with writing characters.
They were clearly thinking about beginners when they crafted this book as every single character has a list of simple words that include that character, helping you to understand the character more clearly and start to expand your vocabulary.
About 80% of the words are useful for everyday life. This is a way higher percentage than other books I’ve reviewed.
Why should I buy this book?
✅Purchase book if you’re not already using a textbook.
If you already have a textbook that you’re studying from consider purchasing the accompanying workbook as they go hand-in-hand better with the content you’re learning.
❌ If you’re looking to specifically study for HSK characters, this will not prepare you for that. This book does overlap with HSK content but doesn’t cover it completely.
Or other things you’d like to learn? Leave a comment below.
Do you want to master Chinese tones?
If you want to be confident that your tones sound good when you speak Mandarin, and you want strategies to effectively learn Chinese on your own, then I’m here to help you! 🙌🏾
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A quick and important disclosure:
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful.