I speak Chinese, English and French. People love to say that English is easy because of its grammar, French is supposed to be difficult largely because of its complicated grammar. Now here comes Chinese that has an easy or similar grammar like the English and it doesn’t have the French verb conjugation or the tense. So Chinese is quite easy, at least is not as hard as its reputation tells.
First, how to read Chinese: Roman letters + four tones. Most people are already familiar with the 26-letter alphabet, it is like half of the mission is already accomplished before you even start it. Secondly, how to write Chinese: some strokes, that’s all. There are 8 main strokes existing, by being a little bit creative, you will understand other strokes in no time, basically, the other strokes are just some combinations of the 8 main strokes. Until now, if you are still not convinced that Chinese is simple, mainly that’s because this language is so different in typing and in pronunciation, this is exactly the third reason why Chinese is so easy for everybody except Japanese(as far as I know): you don’t mix it up with other languages! I was so confident in my English spelling until I started to learn French(for example, address? adresse?)
For anyone who wants to but not so committed to learning Chinese, there is a good way to start. Also, this way is excellent for children, I did this with my own ones. We lived abroad, there is no need nor urge to learn Chinese, I introduced one Chinese character and one prononciation game to them, in this way, if one day they decided to dive into this beautiful language, they would find themselves more than ready, both in writing and speaking. That character is 永，and that prononciation game is get a syllabe, with or without meanings, practice it in four tones.
That Chinese character is 永, means forever.
For learning written Chinese, this character is forever practical, forever applicable, and forever useful.
That prononciation game is to find a syllabe to read it out in four tones, let’s take the name of Kate for example: