Mandarin Poster: The Evolution of a Vital Chinese Learning Tool

I’ve been a huge fan of Mandarin Poster for a while, but I have to say that the recent website redesign and the expanding line of resources in the past year has taken me by surprise. It has quietly exploded from a simple helpful resource into a website with the potential to change the Chinese language learner’s entire toolbox.

What is Mandarin Poster anyway?

At the core, Mandarin Poster is just what it says it is–a poster for Mandarin. But it had a simple goal: create a study aid for the most basic Chinese characters to help beginners track their progress, while more advanced learners can see how they’re progressing as well as reference back to what they’ve learned before. So it’s a pretty universal tool, with fairly humble beginnings.

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The full poster in all its glory. It’s in an IKEA picture frame, which the folks at Mandarin Poster helpfully let you know which one (spoiler: it’s the NYTTJA ).

So what’s new?

For starters–there’s now two character posters! There’s the original poster, which covered 1,000 characters, and now a second one which covers a further 1,000 characters. Not only that, but they also have a 1,500 character poster now as well. So many fun options to keep your character practice moving!

They’ve also got an Elements of Chinese poster, which contains the most common components of the most common characters. I really like the look of this one, to be honest:

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There’s more to be seen there, what with digital editions of their posters, typography maps, and a radical scroll (with both Pinyin and Zhuyin!). I’d definitely check each of these out if you can!

Summary

I’ve always been a huge fan of Mandarin Poster, so I’m really happy to see all the changes and what the team has been working on. I would definitely recommend them to learners, it’s a fairly priced tool–which also looks pretty awesome on your wall as well!

I suppose my only complaint, if I had one, is that the two 1,000 character posters appear to only be offered in Simplified Chinese now. As I recall, there used to be the option to purchase one or the other. But as it is now, only the Simplified version is available, and I wouldn’t mind seeing the return of the Traditional Chinese version.

Still, these are smartly designed posters that not only look beautiful but are fantastic study aid to guide the learner through Chinese characters and into fluency.

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