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Chinese Language Learning Pack
First Week in Chinese
Chinese Character Course


Thank you and Welcome

Welcome to the Sensible Chinese Character Course.

First of all I want to thank you for joining me here. This has been a huge project, the distillation of years of study and thinking about the Chinese language.

Learning the Chinese written system is a challenge. Perhaps one of the largest you’ll ever undertake!

But it’s also incredibly rewarding.

This course will make your journey that little bit more efficient and less frustrating. With the knowledge and practical System I’ll be outlining, your progression through the Chinese characters will be vastly increased. I’m therefore very excited to be able to aid you on this journey.

Structure of the Course

The course is split roughly into two parts.

The end game here is to give you a day to day, month to month System for learning the Chinese characters.

Before we can utilize this System though you’ll need a certain level of understanding about the Chinese characters. What types there are, how they are structured, what hints the characters give us as to their meaning and pronunciation etc.

The first half of this course will be focusing on this more theoretical knowledge. This is Section 1, which I’ll be calling the Knowledge Section.

After Section 1, Knowledge, I’ll be going into the System itself. Section 2, the System, will go through setting up the pieces of the Character learning System one by one. Once the pieces of the System have been set up we’ll tie them all together and leave you with an extremely powerful day-to-day System for learning and using the Chinese characters.

As a preview the eventual System looks like this:


This may seem unintelligible at the moment but by the end of this course this diagram will be very familiar. And don’t worry – we’ll be building step by step and you’ll see that the eventual System is actually very simple and easy to maintain.

This content is spread out over 15 individual lessons, as below:

Lessons 3 through 9 deal with Section 1, Knowledge whilst 10 through 15 focus on Section 2, System.

I’ve unlocked all the content for you from the get-go so feel free to jump around and see what’s available. There’s no need to work through one lesson in order to unlock the next but I would highly recommend you work through the lessons in order.

Once you are logged into the course you can use the Course Navigation bar on the right hand side of the screen to move easily between Lessons. At the bottom of the Course Navigation bar is a link back to the main Course Contents page.

navigation_menuOnce you are within a lesson you’ll find a number of videos.

The vast majority of this course is within these videos (rather than written like this Welcome lesson).

Examples of a Video + Resource Box

Sometimes there will also be a Resources box below the video. This will have links to any websites mentioned in the video as well as other articles, books or services that may be of interest to you.

A number of the videos also have useful Checklists for you to use. It’s not enough to just watch these videos – you will need to do some work to setup the System too! The Checklists I’ve provided break down the necessary tasks into easy to follow step by step checklists.

Comments and Support

I’m here to help you learn Chinese characters therefore I want to hear from you about what your difficulties are. The more I know the more I can help.

Each page will have a Comments section below for asking questions. I’d prefer if you ask language related questions directly in the Comments because very likely other people will have the same question as you. The Comments allow for a running dialogue of question and answer that will benefit everyone going forward.

If you have a question related more to customer service/your account/billing etc. then shoot me an email at instead.

Also, if you spot any errors in the video/audio/text please say (either by email or via the comments). Whilst every effort has been made to iron out all the errors it’s inevitable one or two will slip through. There are 7 hours of video (!) here and although I’ve been through several times searching for hiccups a few may remain. If you give me a heads-up I’ll fix it up and, again, everyone benefits.

Downloading the Videos

If you want to download the videos to your hard-drive or your telephone then click the Vimeo logo on the bottom right of any video:


Followed by the Download button on the video’s Vimeo page:


This brings up a list of video formats for you to choose from. Generally the files are small enough in HS 720p for that to be the best format for any device.

Keep in Touch

As well as plowing through all this course content I hope you’ll also join us at for regular blog updates as well as at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Each outlet has a different focus so be sure to check out what’s going on on each platform and see what helps your Chinese the most.

加油 Let’s Get Started!

The very next video is Lesson 2 : Frequently Asked Questions. This video is intended to get everyone onto the same page and answer some of the most common questions concerning the written Chinese language.

Lesson 2: Frequently Asked Questions is the most optional of all the lessons. If you feel your studies have taken you past these early questions then feel free to skip straight onto Lesson 3, where the Knowledge Section of the course begins.