With the socio-cultural rise of China and India over recent years, we are constantly being told that sooner our later the gap between east and west will need to be bridged. A new project by entrepreneur ShaoLan Hsueh and illustrator Noma Bar is setting out to do just that by helping non-Mandarin speakers pick up some of the language’s basic building blocks. ShaoLan and Noma developed a set of easily recognisable illustrated symbols which both individually and in conjunction with each other help learners create a set of words and phrases.
This week sees the launch of an ambitious one-month Kickstarter campaign to raise £75,000 for a Chineasy book, which it is hoped will open up this innovative approach to language-learning to a much wider audience. Whether they make it or not (and we sincerely hope they do) it’s great to see illustration harnessed for such potentially significant ends.