Top 11 Christmas Gifts to get the Chinese Learner in your Family

Top 11 Christmas Gifts to get the Chinese Learner in your Family

Mom, print this out.

Everyone today has a person in their family who is learning Chinese.  Maybe it’s your immediate relative and every year at Christmas it is too hard to figure out what to get them.  You don’t speak Chinese and you probably don’t understand why your family member or relative is interested in speaking Chinese.  But you want to get something for that person who is learning Chinese or is interested in China.  So here is the list of 11 Christmas gifts to get the Chinese Learner in your Family:


11.  A Handbook for Analyzing Chinese Characters (Chinese Edition)

This is truly an amazing book.  It’s huge and exhaustive.  The author has put the Chinese characters in 5 categories, 1 being the most important to learn and 5 being the least important to learn in the book.  This is the best, at home, dictionary you can get for learning Chinese.  The examples for each word also contain pinyin!  The best thing about the book is that it’s so darn big it will last for two years of Christmas so next year you don’t have to get them another gift!

10.  Chinese Character Refrigerator Magnets

I found these online at some point.  It’s a great idea.  I love fridge magnets and I love Chinese.  Combine the two and you’ve got a great product.  Use your fridge as a great way to study Chinese!  These are good for you too.  You can arrange the magnets and then ask your family member to tell you what it means!

9.  Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy

Back in January I read that John DeFrancis had passed away.  Thankfully each article about his passing had links to his books.  This looks like a great gift for any Chinese learner.  Especially those who want more.  This is also good for those who don’t know anything about Chinese, like you, and you might just learn a few things!

8.  Sapajou: The Collected Works

For those who love Shanghai and cartoons this book looks great.  The beautiful black and white line work of this cartoonist has entertained readers for years.  A bit pricey from Tales of Old China. A site that has TONS of other books that any Chinese learner or lover would want.

7.  Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy

Another great buy.  Another monstrous book.  This would satisfy any student, serious or not, to learn Chinese philosophy.  This is not some brief overview.  This is exhaustive.  From Buddhism to Zhuangzi it has it all including many many others.  Just like number 11 this one is so big it will last for two years!

6.  The Chinese Calligraphy Bible: Essential Illustrated Guide to Over 300 Beautiful Characters

This looks like a great book that will allow anyone interested in Chinese Calligraphy to become an expert.  Even if you don’t know anything about China or Chinese this is still a beautiful book.  Go ahead, just look at the pictures!  Your relative will do the work!

5.  Learn Chinese with Free Podcasts

That’s right.  Chinese Class 101 is a great way for students to get a great foundation in Chinese in a fun and exciting way.  Take a listen to some sample shows and only pick the shows that interest you.  You’ll be speaking Chinese in no time!!

4.  Large Chinese BEGINNER Calligraphy Set with Free Paper (#SH11XXL)

This goes well with number 6.  You can use the free paper and practice what you learn in the book.  Just make sure you get a good teacher to make sure you are doing everything right.  Calligraphy is hard so don’t laugh at your relative when they try their hardest.  At least the paper is free.

3.  Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Detective Stories)

I read one of Van Gulik’s books back in college and really really enjoyed them.  If a couple things on the list are too expensive, you can find some of these books used on Amazon for pretty darn cheap.  Take CSI, Sherlock Holmes and 7th century China and combine, mix well and you’ve got a Judge Dee novel.  It’s all in English so anyone can read it.  But don’t start it before your relative starts it, these book are too hard to put down.

2. Remembering Simplified Hanzi: Book 1, How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Chinese Characters

I’ve read so much about this book recently on other Chinese learning blogs and I would love to get into this book.  Is it possible?  Can I really remember so many?  Would I forget them right away?  After a month?  Ask me next Christmas!

1.  When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order

This book of course is to justify why your relative is studying Chinese.  Martin Jacques tells a frightening prediction about how China will surpass America and the west and usher in the new world order.  Maybe you should start taking Chinese lessons from your relative!

Merry Christmas!


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  3. ChineseQuest

    Re: Remembering Simplified Hanzi, I’m doing a “漢字 Sprint” during Christmas break. I’m attempting to finish all of Remembering the Kanji, plus all the characters from Remembering Traditional Hanzi that aren’t included in RTK, and blogging about it at every day until I finish. Follow me there and see how it goes!