China Simplified | Untangling the noodles

The easiest way to get up to speed on China

China Simplified: Language Gymnastics

"A lively and original approach to navigating the bottomless mysteries of Chinese language and culture."
David Brooks, Chairman Coca-Cola Greater China & Korea

"Compact, conversational and punctuated with funny illustrations...highly recommended."
Ashley Ng, Brisbane in Asia

"A delightfully insightful speeding up of a topic everyone should know something about!"
Andrew Ballen, CEO/Founder at AVD Digital Media

“ You get the fascinating things, while sideswiping the rote tedium.”
William Hund, co-founder Tradesparq

“Each chapter taught me something cool...things I never knew after 20 years of studying the language.”
Kevin O'Connell, been in China forever


1 - The Sound of Somebody Falling Down

Why Mandarin is the easiest (and hardest) language in the world.

2 - A Picture’s Worth Ten Thousand Words

The mystical origin of characters and East/West perspectives.

3 -Embracing the Ambiguity    [Click here for a FREE chapter]

Exploring the hazy space between what is said and meant.

4 - Sorry, There Is No Chapter Four

Chinese superstitions at play in our daily lives.

5 - A Lifetime in Four Characters

Using idioms to capture an idea’s essence in an instant.

6 - Fish, Pearl, Coral & Ocean Go Swimming

The high stakes challenge of choosing the right name.

7 - Never use the F-word

How to become more fluent than you ever imagined.

8 - We Let the Boss Die First

Stirring up trouble with dialects, topolects and slips of the tongue.

9 - The Lingua Franca of the 22nd Century

Will we all be speaking Chinese in the near future?

The Authors


Stewart Lee Beck
has conducted business in China since the early 1990s, with diverse experiences ranging from product marketing and financial services to TV acting. He founded Grassroots Productions in 2008, specializing in documentary and corporate video production. Stewart refers to his Malaysian-Chinese wife as "the crazy woman who keeps me sane.”

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Katie Lu
is a native Chinese who dreams in English. She runs PITT Services, a Shanghai-based language translation and training business. Since 2001, she and her team have taught hundreds of struggling and genius students alike from diverse cultures. Katie is married to a British guy, and living in a fish and chips-meets-spicy tofu world.

What Others Are Saying...

"Required reading for any Westerner planning a visit or a move to China."
Michael Colozzi
17-year China veteran

"The authors' wit and banter certainly carried me through until the very last page of the book."
Amanda Tedjamulja
Chinese Language Student

“Reminds me of what I love about the language.”
Elizabeth de Gramont
Group Account Director Jigsaw International

“It shows how language does indeed offer a key to the gates of China.”
Rudi Messner
CEO, Cedar Essentials

“You get the fascinating things, while sideswiping the rote tedium.
William Hund
co-founder, Tradesparq

"Their book is an easy short read which will leave you with an appreciation of the pleasure of the language and the process of learning it."
Fiona Cameron
Market Researcher, 15 years Asia Experience

“ You and your team have cracked the code…China Simplified demystified Mandarin for me and now, many of my clients. Thank you!”
Mary Rezek
Founder & Principal Consultant, Saatori, Ltd.

“Language Gymnastics delivers an insightful account of Chinese language learning and immersion in a delightfully witty and honest way.”
Li Wen
Consumer Insights Manager China

7.5 reasons this book is for you...

1. Demystifying China

You’ve been waiting forever for an enjoyable, fast-read book on China to come along and simplify the country and its people. Let us untangle the noodles for you!


2. No learning required

Our goal isn’t teaching you Mandarin. Instead we explore Chinese and show how language is an ideal window into the culture. For those so inspired to study, we’ll show how getting started is much easier than you think.


3. Discover hidden meanings

Spoken Chinese contains plenty of delicious ambiguities, intriguing superstitions and charming idiomatic expressions. Gain insight into the subtleties of the language.


4. East/West collaboration

Chinese teacher Katie Lu and her struggling, long-time student Stewart Lee Beck join forces to share stories along the road to Chinese language nirvana. Trust us, if Stew can become a decent Mandarin speaker, anyone can.

5. Environmentally friendly

No trees were harmed in the creation of this digital content. No trees were hugged either, but that’s beside the point.


6. The ideal gift

Nieces or nephews learning Chinese? Grandparents interested in China? Birthdays fast approaching? Put a smile on someone’s face with our Play it Forward promotion -- you buy the e-book, give us a comment and we deliver free audiobooks to you AND a friend.


7. Available now

Download your e-book in seconds from Amazon, iBooks, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords or Scribd.


7.5...because you like us.

(we hope you like the book too)

Play It Forward promotion

For a limited time only!

Our language e-book has plenty of enjoyable illustrations, but what about those who want to hear the language? We want everyone to experience the sound of our book, so we came up with this special offer:

1. Buy an e-book version of China Simplified: Language Gymnastics. It's currently selling on Amazon and other online stores.

2a. Read the book (that's the fun part!) and give us a comment on the site where you bought the e-book.

2b. E-mail us at to let us know you've posted a comment. Please include your name & e-mail, as well as your friend's.

3. We send a FREE audiobook to both you and your friend! You two will each receive an e-mail with a download link for the mp3 files.

Promotion ends 30 June 2014.

Thanks for listening!
The China Simplified Team

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