Fundamental Written Chinese: Second Edition

Paperback: $28.00
ISBN-13: 9780824894146
Published: September 2024
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Additional Information

480 pages | color illustrations
  • About the Book
  • Like its predecessor, the second edition of Fundamental Written Chinese places importance on a clear, systematic, and graduated introduction to written Mandarin. The authors continue the tradition of separating the teaching of written and oral skills, leaving the instruction of vocabulary and grammar exclusively to Fundamental Spoken Chinese, also in its second edition. The lessons in the two textbooks, however, are keyed to each other in terms of vocabulary and grammar, so they may be used simultaneously, or the parallel written skills may be introduced at a later time.

    Fundamental Written Chinese begins by educating readers on the basics of the Chinese writing system so they are well-equipped for the practical application of Chinese characters. Chapters include lists of vocabulary items, exercises, charts explaining the characters’ usage, mnemonics and memory suggestions, supplementary texts, and space for writing practice. This textbook teaches comprehension of written Chinese by methodically focusing on structural regularities such as radicals, phonetic components, and stroke order. The lessons are organized so students begin with simple independent characters before moving to the more complex compound characters.

    Audio, exercise model answers, and other resources for Fundamental Written Chinese may be accessed at

  • About the Author(s)
    • Margaret Lee, Author

      Margaret Lee taught Chinese at the tertiary level for more than thirty years and was a senior tutor at the University of Auckland.
    • Jiayan Lin, Author

      Jiayan Lin is a learning advisor at Massey University.
    • Robert Sanders, Author

      Robert Sanders was a professor of Chinese language and Chinese linguistics for thirty-five years at universities in the United States, New Zealand, and Japan.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • The essence of the Fundamental Chinese textbooks that distinguishes them from all others widely used today is their focus on building a Chinese language acquisition foundation in the learner’s linguistic mind—one that will enable them to acquire native or near-native proficiency. This approach formed the basis of some very successful textbooks produced decades ago by teams of truly bilingual-bicultural linguists from both sides of the English-Chinese divide. These pioneers achieved native proficiency in their second language and knew intuitively how to guide students on the path to effective language acquisition. Fundamental Spoken Chinese and Fundamental Written Chinese are a synthesis of their tried-and-true methodology with twenty-first-century innovations.
      —Vivian Ling, former director of the Chinese Flagship Program, Indiana University
    • The Fundamental Chinese books are original, innovative, and replete with insightful observations on language and culture. The lessons are systematically laid out and include rich and varied exercises. Together the spoken and written volumes form a complete package for both self-study and classroom instruction.
      —Zheng-sheng Zhang, professor of Chinese, San Diego State University