Better understand modern China and discover the secrets of more efficient language learning.
Authors Stewart Lee Beck and Katie Lu first connected as struggling student and language professional over ten years ago. They collaborated on this book to share their many entertaining experiences and insights gained along the bumpy road to Mandarin language proficiency.
The China Simplified book series explores and demystifies the country and its people for the rest of the world. By shifting our collective attention beyond the 1% (hot-button issues in the mass media) to the other 99% (relevant conversations about language, history, business, and more), the China Simplified team hopes to raise cultural awareness and increase mutual understanding.
PRAISE FOR LANGUAGE EMPOWERMENT:
“I suddenly feel as if the scales have been lifted from my eyes.”
— Carol Potter, Executive Vice Chairman at Edelman
“I wish a book like this existed when I moved to China.”
— Dan Washburn, Chief Content Officer, Asia Society; author of The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
“Ridiculously funny, uncomfortably accurate and totally memorable!”
— Grant Horsfield, Founder, naked Group
“It’s not a textbook; it’s just stuff you should know.”
— John Pasden, Founder and CEO, AllSet Learning
— Christine Ng, CEO, BBH China
“A lively and original approach to navigating the bottomless mysteries of Chinese language and culture.”
— David Brooks, Chairman, Coca-Cola Greater China & Korea
“Reveals insights that many teachers and textbooks overlook.”
— Olle Linge, Mandarin Language Educator, Founder Hacking Chinese
“For someone with a thirst for learning about things Chinese, the China Simplified series is a great entry point.”
— Joe Tatelbaum, former Vice President Li & Fung; China resident since 1982
“They’ve cracked the code: China Simplified demystified Mandarin for me, and now many of my clients.”
— Mary Rezek, Founder & Principal Consultant, Saatori, Ltd.
“Weaves together rich cultural and linguistic background information of the Chinese language with practical implications for daily communication.”
— Michael Volz, Chinese Program Coordinator, University of Missouri
“Having lived in China for nearly 20 years, I found myself nodding in agreement throughout the book.”
— Mark Secchia, Founder, Sherpa’s Food Delivery Company
“Language does indeed offer a key to the gates of China. This book makes people feel like an Old China Hand in a flash!”
— Rudi Messner, Partner/Director, Zotter Shanghai
“This book should be required reading for every foreigner before getting on the plane to China.”
― Miao Jun, former HR Director, Asia-Pacific, Milliken Inc.
Writers who influenced this book:
The authors wish to acknowledge the following writers and encourage you to consider their work.
The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
Language Evolution by Morten Christiansen and Simon Kirby
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language by David Crystal
Sinosplice blog by John Pasden
Hacking Chinese blog by Olle Linge
Language Log blog by Victor Mair
China in Ten Words by Yu Hua
My Life Story by Zhou Youguang
The Languages of China by S. Robert Ramsey
A Billion Voices: China’s Search for a Common Language by David Moser
China: A New History by John King Fairbank and Merle Goldman
Chinese History: A New Manual by Endymion Wilkinson
The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think
Differently and Why by Richard Nisbett
The Architecture of the Language Faculty by Ray Jackendoff
Postcards From Tomorrow Square by James Fallows
The Third Ear by Chris Lonsdale
Speak Like A Native: Professional Secrets for Mastering Foreign
Languages by Michael Janich
Origins of Chinese Names by SK Lim and Chunjiang Fu
Popular Chinese Idioms by Jeffrey Seow and Yang Liping
A Chinese-English Dictionary of Chinese Idioms by Pan Weigui
The Pocket Linguist: A Practical Guide to Learning any Language by Gregg Miller
This book is intended to assist readers who want to...
• better appreciate the origins of Chinese culture
• gain confidence and more fully enjoy China travel
• decide whether to study Mandarin part-time or full-time
• pick up an improved understanding of Chinese grammar
• discover a fun substitute to boring Chinese phrasebooks
• get the basic differences between simplified characters and traditional characters
• become familiar with Chinese dialects such as Cantonese, Shanghainese and Hokkien
• explore the future of language and the looming battle between English and Mandarin
China Simplified hopes you enjoy Language Empowerment!