In this article, after a brief introduction, you’ll find a table with 150 characters that will help you begin learning Chinese on the right foot.
Stephen Krashen, an American language teacher appreciated throughout the world and also in China (Chinese name: 史蒂芬·克拉申), famous mainly for the affective filter theory and for the hypothesis on acquisition and learning, is also known for being one of the biggest supporters of the importance of vocabulary in place of syntax.
One of his famous phrases says: “when one travels they don’t carry grammar books with them; rather they bring a dictionary”.
The abovementioned quote is emblematic of the importance that Krashen attributes to vocabulary and acquiring it. Acquiring vocabulary means perceiving a word and placing it in our semantic memory to be able to recall it in a few milliseconds when it is needed.
The purpose of this article is to provide the most commonly used characters that you will need for making your very own vocabulary book, that is to be able to form words from characters that are already known: using as a suffix the character 店 (which indicates a place where an activity is done), for example, I know that I can make many words like 鱼店 (fish market)，水果店 (grocery)，商店 (shop)，饭店 (restaurant)，书店 (bookstore) and so on.
Mastering the following list, we can also develop a very important ability: the ability of circumlocution or glossary. These abilities allow us to illustrate the meaning of a word that we don’t know or for various reasons we don’t remember (the famous lapses): if I don’t remember how to say “bathing suit”, I can just as well say “the suit that we wear to swim in the sea”, just to give an example.