Chinese made easy

With Chineasy, ShaoLan created a groundbreaking visual way to learn Chinese by blending Chinese characters with storytelling and visual design. She simplifies the learning process by breaking the characters down into a series of building blocks, then pairs them with engaging illustrations. What becomes a fun and engaging way to learn a new language is also an immersion of sorts into a new world.

Now a popular and engaging way for learning Chinese in over 30 countries, Chineasy has revolutionized how people understand and interact with ShaoLan's native country. All while, as she says, "bridging the gap of understanding between East and West" and penetrating the Great Wall of Chinese language.

"I hope this is something people can appreciate—not just the language, but the culture," says ShaoLan. "Language is the secret to learn the culture. Everybody should care about learning another culture, whether or not you want to learn the language. With cultural understanding we can build more personal connections."

ShaoLan developed Chineasy because she wanted her British-born children to learn her native language.

"When my children were really little, they would respond when I spoke Chinese to them," she says. "But then, when they got a little older and realized that everyone around them spoke English, they started refusing to communicate in Chinese—they played dead."

It didn't take long, however, for her kids to become inspirational and invaluable partners on a journey that's been an enriching experience for them all.

"Every time I have a new design idea, I discuss it with MuLan and MuAn (her daughter and son)," says ShaoLan. "They help me refine the illustration, and to them it's a game. But the magical thing about it is that they're also learning about their heritage. Most importantly, it’s a wonderful way to engage my children with my mission I believe in.

"When we have fun as a family it will be even more fulfilling. I saw this as a family project and now it’s turning into something much more than that. It’s a work in progress. I would love for them to be fluent, I would love for them to understand Chinese philosophy. It’s an endless journey."

"Passion is important for everything. It’s important for our attitude in life, everything you do. Being passionate about learning, you can explore a lot of joy."

— ShaoLan

Screenshot of Chineasy storytelling app


Learn Chinese through storytelling

Exclusive to Microsoft Store, the Chineasy Story Builder app for Windows helps everyone—from children to the forever young at heart—tell their unique stories using beautiful Chineasy illustrations. After choosing backgrounds and stickers (such as trees, buildings, snow, and clouds), storytellers can incorporate hundreds of iconic Chineasy characters to create and share their stories. The app also uses drawing and speech functionality for an even more engaging experience to spark creativity and learning.

Using Chineasy's award-winning methodology—building blocks and visualization—the app helps you recognize essential Chinese characters and phrases. You can also learn the etymology and pronunciation for each character, as well as how to write the characters with the correct stroke order.
The Chineasy Story Builder app was designed to foster new ideas and experiences, while reinforcing social, emotional, and developmental skills. The magic happens when you get creative and have fun. Creating and telling stories encourages confidence for expression, while engaging with storytelling and storymaking activities creates a culture of communication, confidence, collaboration, understanding, and respect.

Game pieces from Chineasy tile game
ShaoLan, founder of Chineasy

ShaoLan's world

Learn more about what she's up to, from her insightful blog posts to the latest news on her Chineasy Cards app.

Pig character from the Chineasy app

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