Learning Chinese with pictures

Chineasy’s goal is to allow people to learn to read Chinese easily by recognising characters through simple illustrations. The magical power of the Chineasy method is that by learning one small set of building blocks, students can build many new words, characters, and phrases. Master a few sets of building blocks and your learning will accelerate to a whole new level. With very little effort, learners will be able to read several hundred Chinese characters and phrases and gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural influences behind the vocabulary. Even though there are tens of thousands of Chinese … Continue reading Learning Chinese with pictures

LIFE IS A JOURNEY: An animated metaphor

In Metaphors We Live By (1980), George Lakoff and Mark Johnson introduced the idea that human beings think metaphorically. The basic idea is that we tend to systematically conceptualize abstract and complex things in terms of concrete ones — that is, in terms of things we perceive and experience thanks to the way our bodies function. This idea is sometimes called “embodied cognition.” One of our central conceptual metaphors presents goal-directed activity in terms of a journey toward a destination. Charles Forceville (co)wrote several academic papers on how this JOURNEY metaphor works (see http://muldisc.wordpress.com/). Continue reading LIFE IS A JOURNEY: An animated metaphor

The enchanting music of sign language

Artist and TED Fellow Christine Sun Kim was born deaf, and she was taught to believe that sound wasn’t a part of her life, that it was a hearing person’s thing. Through her art, she discovered similarities between American Sign Language and music, and she realized that sound doesn’t have to be known solely through the ears — it can be felt, seen and experienced as an idea. In this endearing talk, she invites us to open our eyes and ears and participate in the rich treasure of visual language. Continue reading The enchanting music of sign language