Dr Gunther Von Haagens (Bodyworld’s) Teaches Me Chinese Reading System On Plane

By admin / July 15, 2006
By: Sam Beatson
Category: Creativity

On a trip back from Beijing in 2005 who should sit next to me on the plane, but the inventor of plastination and owner of anatomical specimens which have been plastinated, Dr. Gunther Von Haagens - BodyWorlds, or just BODIES exhibition. I was delighted to strike up a long conversation with him and tried my best to make a friend out of this impressive self-made marketer and medical doctor. He told me that on aeroplane flights he always works on a system for learning how to READ and WRITE mandarin Chinese. I was immediately intrigued. He has developed a system which does not so much involve monotonous repitions of words, such as that is taught in the Chinese schools, but descriptive ways of explaining how each character is written out of a number of different strokes. For example, the strokes for the number 1 in the Von Haagen's system is HORIZON. This is because it is a horizontal straight line stroke which could be interpreted as a symbol of a horizon in the distance. When you look out to sea and see the horizon, that is what the horizon looks like - a horizontal straight line. So to remember how to read and write the Chinese symbol for the word 1 (ONE) the sentence is... ONE HORIZON. - the first word of the sentence is always the actual translation of the character and tends to make sense (there is only one horizon generally in the distance). Let's look at a two stroke (but still very easy) character. The number 10. The Chinese character for the number 10 (TEN) is similar to the PLUS SIGN (+). In other words it is a vertical line intersecting a horizontal line. Von Haagens explained to me that the way in his system for learning to write Chinese for reading or writing the number TEN 10 is to remember the Western sentence coming up below. Of course, Dr. Von Haagens native tongue is German so he was in fact slightly vexed by getting the perfect translation of his system into English, a task for which I was only too eager to volunteer to do! Notice that the symbol for the number 10 involves the HORIZON again (horizontal line) and there is a vertical line straight through the middle. Von Haagen's calls this the POLE line. Therefore to remember the Chinese character for number 10 the sentence in Western speak is: TEN POLES ON THE HORIZON (+) Of course there is only one pole, but to remember that the meaning is TEN (10) the ten is the first word of the sentence. In this way, Dr. Gunther Von Haagens has created sentences with a meaning (sometimes humourous) from which can be constructed more than 2000 Chinese symbols. The author, Sam Beatson gives you reprint rights to this article provided that this resource text is kept intact. http://www.chinesesym.com and http://ambatchdotcom-seocontest.chinesesym.com



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