Category Archives: Learning Chinese


An interview with translator Carl Gene Fordham

By  Customer Service

This month, Cypress Books caught up with Carl Gene Fordham, an Australian translator currently based in Xiamen, Fujian province. After learning Mandarin Chinese in primary school, Carl was lucky enough to enrol in one of Australia’s first Asian language immersion programmes back in 2000. He’s passed HSK Level 6, and wants to one day play his part in sharing the wisdom of ancient Chinese philosophy.

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Feb 17

From big-character posters to award-winning calligrapher: An interview with calligrapher Xu Jianchu

By  Customer Service

At the age of 13 Mr Xu Jianchu, calligraphy teacher at Guanghwa Books, first got involved in the painting of big-character posters during the Cultural Revolution.

Flash forward to 2016 and after numerous awards and international exhibitions, Mr Xu is now President of the UK Chinese Poetry Calligraphy & Painting Society, and Honorary Principal of the “Yancheng Shifu” Art College of China. Continue reading

Dec 16

An interview with James Trapp, Primary Network Coordinator for the UCL IoE Confucius Institute

By  Customer Service

James Trapp was 14 when he sighted a small bronze figure of a seated leopard that was excavated in Hebei province from the tomb of a second-century BC princess.

It was this visit to the Royal Academy Chinese art exhibition that had him hooked on all things Chinese, especially Chinese art. For James, it proved a gateway to what we know as a fascinating culture and civilisation.

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Oct 16

Mandarin for Primary Schools – Teacher Development Event

By  Gigi Chan

mandarin-for-primary-posterWe are delighted to invite teachers to the Mandarin for Primary Schools event, which will take place on Saturday 1st Oct 2016 at SOAS , University of London.

This one-day event will focus on teaching mandarin in primary schools, including the following four sessions:

  • Starting Young: The Challenges of Teaching K1 and K2,
    Lik Suen, Deputy Director, London Confucius Institute SOAS
  • How to Use Chinese Teaching Materials and Resources for KS1-2 Students
    Hui Ju, Senior Editor & Chief Trainer, Higher Education Press
  • Introduction to Programme of Study (Video Presentation)
    James Trapp, Primary Network Coordinator, IOE
  • Teaching Chinese in Primary Schools
    Sharing and discussion, chaired by Lik Suen

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Sep 16

Interview with Steve Bennett, organiser of London Mandarin Learners

By  Customer Service

Steve Bennett, orgaimg_3018niser of the London Mandarin Learners group on, estimates he knows between 1,000 and 2,000 characters.

Though judging by his insights into the nuances of Mandarin Chinese and the texts he reads with his group, it’s probably far more. He’s been learning Mandarin Chinese at a steady pace for nine years, having enrolled in his first language classes when he was in China for a conference.

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Sep 16