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[LIVE] How to Read a Chinese Menu 101


The live hangout below is all about how to read a Chinese menu.  The practical benefits of learning how to read a Chinese menu are obvious - particularly if you live in China or planning to visit (or live anywhere near a Chinese restaurant).  But it's also a great way to illustrate the logical way Chinese characters work, and how easy (and fun) it actually is to learn to read Chinese.  

We can teach you how to decode a Chinese menu without having to memorize thousands of characters, or the name of every Chinese dish.  That's because Chinese characters are like building blocks, and learning to identify a few key components and characters can give you a TON of information about most items on the menu... even for dishes you've never heard of before.

It feels liberating to not be limited to restaurants with pictures, sheepishly pointing at something that looks good and hoping that there are no surprises!  You can actually be adventurous and try new dishes, without ordering completely clueless about what is going to come out of the kitchen.

Check out the hangout:

If you had some good ideas for mnemonic images to help remember characters, share them in the comments below!

Hopefully after watching this Hangout, you can see how fun and fascinating it is to learn Chinese characters.  The way Chinese characters work is like building blocks, so that learning to read gets exponentially easier as you acquire more characters.  With the most common 300 characters, you can actually form 64% of all written Chinese.

The method of using mnemonic images to memorize characters is what we use in our Chinese Character Course.  You can actually go through the first two units for free, so check it out.

We also have two Units in our Beginner Conversational Course all about eating and drinking, with all the important vocabulary and grammar, and with lots of examples and clear explanations, so you can actually use what you are learning in a real conversation.  

Unit 14 is all about drinking:

And Unit 15 is all about eating:

For cultural insights (plus a lot more vocabulary, with audio samples recorded by Yangyang), we also have a TON of great blog posts on food and dining culture in China:

Here are the menus we used in the hangout:

We hope you enjoyed the hangout, and we hope you'll try learning Chinese characters with us.  Subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you don't miss the next hangout!  :)