Chinese Character Package – Outlier Linguistics

A total character and pronunciation solution!

A complete package to help you learn Chinese characters and pronunciation more effectively!

Scroll down for more info about each product.

Did you know that the drop-out rate for Chinese is FOUR TIMES HIGHER than for languages like Spanish and French? And that the two most common reasons given for dropping out are 1) the characters are hard to learn, and 2) pronunciation is difficult.

Our course bundle is designed to fix those two problems! You get a total character learning and pronunciation solution:

  • 1) a course teaching you how characters work and how to learn them effectively
  • 2) a dictionary that lets you look up the characters you're learning and find out exactly why they look they way they do
  • 3) a PDF poster to help you review the most common semantic components
  • 4) another course that teaches you how to develop a good, clear accent in Mandarin by learning pronunciation the right way

Bundle Price:

Sold out

Discounts will be applied on the next page. If you don't have a discount code, sign up for our free webinar to get one!

The Chinese Character Masterclass

Become an efficient, independent learner of Chinese characters

"Changes the way we learn Chinese"
-Dr. David Moser

A 90-day online video course with supplemental material to teach you how to learn Chinese characters.

We've been teaching a course about how to learn Chinese characters at ICLP—one of the world's most prestigious Chinese language schools—for years. Now it's available to the public for the first time as an online course!

You'll get lifetime access to over a dozen video lessons about Chinese characters (simplified and traditional) and how to learn them, plus you'll learn:

  • ◆ 300 characters, specially curated to teach you how characters actually work
  • ◆ all about functional components in characters
  • ◆ how to learn new characters more efficiently
  • ◆ how to recall characters you've learned more reliably
  • ◆ tips for learning vocabulary
  • Curriculum:
  2. Unit I: Intro and Foundations
  3. Week 0: Intro to the course/what to expect
  4. Week 1: Rules of Memory
    Week 2: Three Attributes of Writing/Three Functions
  5. Week 3: Deep Structure, Surface Structure, and Stroke Order
  7. Unit II: Functional component types

Week 4: Form Components
Week 5: Meaning Components
Week 6: Sound Components
Week 7: Sound series (characters with the same sound component)
Week 8: Empty Components
Week 9: All about character meanings

  1. Unit III: Learning new characters and recalling learned characters
    Week 10: The "IME Method"
  2. Week 11: Spaced Repetition
  3. Week 12: The Pipelining Strategy
    Week 13: The Minimalist Strategy

The Outlier Dictionary
of Chinese Characters

        • The Expert Edition
        • Our dictionary is an add-on for the free Pleco dictionary app, which covers both Simplified and Traditional characters.
        • It contains "Essentials" Entries for 2000+ characters (plus regular updates until we reach 4000). Essentials Entries contain:
        • ‣ A form explanation: why does this character look the way it does?
        • ‣ A component analysis: what are the character's functional components and how do they function?
        • ‣ Meaning tree for every character: how are all the meanings related to each other?
        • ‣ Stroke order for both PRC and ROC standards
        • ‣ Ancient forms for all semantic components 
        • The Expert Edition also contains "Expert" Entries for about 150 characters (plus regular updates until we reach 4000).
          • Expert Entries contain extensive information about the character's origin, evolution, and other interesting historical information.
          • In short, it contains everything you need to know to master the characters you're trying to learn!

The Mandarin Pronunciation & Accent Masterclass

Develop a good, clear accent in Mandarin at any stage of learning


  1. In this online video course, you'll learn how to improve your Chinese pronunciation, how to develop a more native-like accent, and by the end of the course you will have mastered the art of acquiring a good accent—in any language!

    You'll get access to 1-2 videos per lesson (15 lessons in all), plus supporting PDF and audio materials.

    You'll get lifetime access to all 15 lessons about Chinese pronunciation and how to improve your accent. You'll also get:

    • ◆ methods that actors use to learn new accents and dialects
    • ◆ methods that conference interpreters use to improve their accent, diction, and fluency
    • ◆ drills for improving your tones—both pronunciation and hearing!
    • ◆ tips for learning to understand different accents with less difficulty
    • ◆ tips for acquiring a more native-like feel for grammar and sentence patterns
      ◆ and more!
  3. Unit I: A "Sound" Foundation
    Lesson 1: Building a “sound” foundation
    Lesson 2: What to prioritize
    Lesson 3: Stages of accent development

    Unit II: Mandarin Pronunciation & Romanization
    Lesson 4: Tones
    Lesson 5: How to improve your tones
    Lesson 6: The initials
    Lesson 7: The finals
    Lesson 8: Multi-syllable words I: Tone Change Rules
    Lesson 9: Multi-syllable words II: Tonal Interaction
    Lesson 10: Regional accents

    Unit III: Developing your accent & fluency
    Lesson 11: Chorusing
    Lesson 12: Rhythm and intonation
    Lesson 13: Grammar and sound patterns
    Lesson 14: Shadowing
    Lesson 15: Developing fluency

This course is aimed at all levels and does not require you to own or use any other products—it's entirely self-contained!

  1. Each Semantic Components poster PDF contains:

    • 50 common semantic components, beautifully handwritten by calligrapher Harvey Dam
    • explanations of their form and meaning(s)
    • pronunciation in Hanyu Pinyin (and Zhuyin Fuhao for the traditional poster)
    • stroke order
    • important additional information about the component, including related components
    • variant forms
    • a Chinese name or description of the component (so you can talk about components with your Chinese-speaking friends!)
    • a few example characters using it as a semantic component.


    These are hi-resolution, A1 size (59.4 x 84.1cm, 23.39 x 33.11 inches) PDF files available with both a simplified and traditional character focus (2 posters each), though both versions will contain both sets of characters.

Chinese Character Semantic Components Poster PDFs

Outlier Materials are used and recommended at:

What our customers are saying:

"I bought this. It has helped me recognise and even pronounce characters I have never seen before thanks to my recognition of patterns from the explanations."

Soroush Torkian (Canada)

"After a lot (really a lot) of failed tests with different books, apps and methods, the only way that the hanzi sticks in my mind is ODCC's brief, concise and REAL explanation!"

Alessandro Agostinetti (Italy)

"This project is exactly what i was wishing for since i started learning Chinese with Pleco years ago."


Wieland Schultz (Germany)


"Every so often a really good resource comes along. It's The Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters."

-Prof. Victor Mair
University of Pennsylvania

"I feel like I have a virtual 1-on-1 Chinese teacher, giving me a better sense of how the writing system functions."

-Dr. David Moser
Yenching Academy, Peking University

"They have put a lot of thought into how foreigners learn Chinese, and they’ve come up with a better way to learn characters."

-John Pasden
AllSet Learning & Mandarin Companion