Languages are fascinating, if a bit difficult to learn, especially when the characters are completely different. Here in Aruba, there are many Chinese people, and they operate various businesses, including restaurants. Each December they give away calendars for the new year coming. An example of a particularly nice example is seen below:
Calendar with Chinese characters.
That’s a nice looking hand out that serves the usual purpose of keeping the days of the week. But you can also use it to learn Chinese characters for months, days, and numbers. Take a closer look at the numbers here:
Chinese and western style characters on a calendar.
The western style numbers and Chinese equivalents are side by side, giving you the opportunity to see and learn them easily. Not that it is all that easy. You have to write them regularly to make them stick in your mind. Here’s a close up of more:
Detail from a Chinese calendar with western characters as well.
By trying to write the characters and pick up a few words in the course of a meal, you’ll be surprised how much you learn. Plus, it’s lots of fun. Not to mention, it would come in handy depending upon where you travel and who you encounter along the way.