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The Preface for "Chinese Character Canon"
Dr. Daniel B. Wright


Dr. Daniel B. Wright is a Senior Advisor to Treasury Department's Special Envoy for China and the Strategic Economic Dialogue. For information about Dr. Daniel B. Wright, please refer to the web site: NBR News, About Dr. Daniel Wright, and the article in GuangMing Daily"The Eighth is Dang Xing" .

From my own experience, Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world. Chinese characters have little to do with phonics, and it's quite difficult to remember the characters. As a non-heritage learner, I began learning Chinese in the mid 1980s during my university years. I continued at several universities in China, studying Chinese at the Beijing Language and Culture University and Beijing Foreign Studies University, and then studying Chinese literature at Beijing University. In the early 1990s I served as a translator at the Chinese Literature Press of China's Foreign Language Bureau, translating Chinese short stories into English for publication. Since that time I have used my Chinese language skills in both professional and social settings, in both China and the United States.

I am very impressed by the efficiency with which "The Chinese Character Canon" is organized, as well as the deep cultural truths it conveys. The 4,000 characters used cover almost 99% of modern Chinese. They cover 50 fields of knowledge, like a mini-encyclopedia. I believe students learning Chinese would benefit from this text book, and will thoroughly enjoy the rich cultural background and stories behind each sentence.

I am only sorry that I did not have access to "The Chinese Character Canon" during my student years. Fortunately, my four children are now using the book to learn Chinese. The rapid progress they are making is truly astonishing.

I am happy to see that The Miktam of Chinese International Inc. has begun to promote "The Chinese Character Canon" in the US, and wish them every success.

Daniel B. Wright, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor to Treasury Department's Special Envoy for China and the Strategic Economic Dialogue




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