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pio_n

"Cracking the Chinese Puzzles" vs zhongwen.com

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pio_n

Could someone please give me advice on choosing between these two? Has "Cracking the Chinese Puzzles" by T.K.Ann any advantage comparing to Rick Harbaugh's book, or any method which zhongwen.com hasn't?

And how can I maybe just use this method with zhongwen.com, instead of reading "Puzzles"? Could mastering every character with its ancestors/derivatives/synonyms-antonyms/collocations following frequency list in zhongwen.com supersede reading "Puzzles"? Or gap between them is more profound?

Thank you!

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hanyu_xuesheng

I use both.

zhongwen.com:

- access via web, easy to query

- more ethymological info

- no mnemonic hints

Ann's "CTCP":

- only as a quite expensive book series

- character access is tedious, you have to use the "Four Corner Index"

- much more mnemonic hints, which makes it really valuable

You may also consider:

(books)

# Wieger: Chinese Characters

# Karlgren: Analytic Dictionary of Chinese and Sino-Japanese

(websites)

# Chinese Characters (chinese-characters.org)

# Chinese Etymology (chineseetymology.org)

And there will be a new book "Remembering Traditional/Simplified Hanzi":

see

http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/miscPublications/Remembering%20Hanzi%201.htm

Preview

http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/miscPublications/pdf/RH/RK%20Traditional-sample.pdf

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Scoobyqueen

There have been some detailed discussions on the cracking one previously here on the forums. You might want to check the thread also.

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Luobot

You can click the "Cracking the Chinese Puzzles" tag that I added at the bottom of this page for a quick listing of some related threads.

Also, there is a major ongoing discussion of various resources at this thread.

If you find a resource that works particularly well for you, please let us know about it.

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querido

Both Ann and Harbaugh are amazing resources, each maybe the best of its kind. So, I would not try to replace one with the other.

I would also not try to equate it to "Remembering..." mentioned above. It is a different type of tool. "Remembering..." offers a technique for ingraining a character which the author says is fine to forget once the character is securely learned. It is OK to forget these mnemonics to whatever extent they are *just* helpful memory-hooks. (I'm not criticizing this.) But Ann is an attempt, within the abilities and knowlege of the author and of our best information about the origins of the characters, at a reconstruction of something resembling the "original" logic used to assemble the character. I understand how arguable this attempt can be. I don't think "Remembering..." claims to try, being more immediately pragmatic. And so, I want to remember as much of Ann as I can for the sake of the cohesion of whatever my character-scholarship should ultimately become. (It is important to me to believe that what I'm learning is as true and consistent as possible.) Also, Ann spends much time on the contribution of a character to multiple-character words, giving many examples.

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pio_n
But Ann is an attempt, within the abilities and knowlege of the author and of our best information about the origins of the characters, at a reconstruction of something resembling the "original" logic used to assemble the character.

Harbaugh also gives etymology, and his verbal descriptions seem to cover Wieger even without showing old seal script pictures.

Can I just read abridged book and then do it on my own with all other characters which it doesnt cover? Or how far can all 5 volumes take me beyond the short version?

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