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[expat] Indian publishes Chinese learning booklet
Latest Updated by 2006-06-08 09:14:11

RUPESH KEDIA, 35, has written and printed 2,000 copies of a Chinese-learning booklet by himself, and given away 1,400 copies to expats free of charge.

Kedia came to China from his native India in 2003, without knowing even the simplest Chinese. "I cannot even say 'Ni Hao,'" he said. He tried libraries and bookstores, but couldn't find a single book that could help him learn Chinese quickly.

Now his hobby is the Chinese language. Kedia can write about 200 Chinese characters and read some 700 to 800 of them. During the National Day holidays last year he came up with the idea of compiling a booklet on learning Chinese. He decided to include the most commonly used words and characters in the booklet, in English, Chinese characters and pinyin.

He finished the 30-page booklet, entitled "Easy guide to Chinese Speaking and Reading While You Stay in China," in March 2006. During that period, Kedia wrote down every useful word he came across while traveling and talking with native Chinese speakers. He also asked Chinese people to check the contents of the booklet for him.

Kedia has not marked the tones on the pinyin as he thinks it will confuse foreigners anyway. "This book is not to make a master of Chinese, but help foreigners to communicate well in China," he said, adding that foreigners can correct themselves after many repetitions.

Kedia spent 4,000 yuan (US$500) on printing the booklets. He is willing to distribute it to all foreigners in Shenzhen. "I have a full-time job and don't want to earn money from this. If anyone wants to pay, he can send comments and suggestions to me so that I can improve it," he said.

With the booklet becoming very popular, Kedia is preparing a bigger Chinese-learning book, with words and phrases in English, Chinese and Hindi. He plans to ask each embassy in China to distribute his new book to visitors for the 2008 Olympics Games.

Again, he doesn't want to charge any money for the new book. "It didn't cost me any money to learn Chinese. A lot of Chinese friends helped me to learn it. Now I want to give back to the society," he said.

Editor: Wing

By:Sally Wang Source:Szdaily web edition
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