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Chinese children take 10 years learning how to read and write. And they already know how to speak. If you don't have a decade to spare, you should try something different. 


A Solution to Dramatically Shorten the Time to Chinese Language Proficiency

Have you tried to learn Chinese characters? Did it sometimes feel like you were memorizing barcodes? No wonder, because characters are taught as if they were random graphic patterns, to be mastered through rote memorization.

Mingbai is different. Finally, learning characters not only makes sense; it's also much faster and easier, thanks to a brilliant combination of two powerful ideas:

  • Characters are not random patterns
    As anyone learning Chinese notices after a while, characters are made of little parts that keep coming back. Well, its official now: all Chinese characters can be assembled from about 300 basic components. It's like Lego.
  • Characters were designed to be easy to remember
    Yes, you are reading this correctly. Almost all characters have a built-in memory aid. Unfortunately, most of this information was lost during 3000 years of history. Through a unique research effort, lasting more than five years, this lost information finally has been recovered.

By the way: Mingbai means to understand.


Dr. Jan Burggraaf: Anaestesiologist, Software  Developer, Hospital Innovator, Artist, Linguist, Entrepreneur

Born in the Netherlands, I moved to Berlin as a young doctor where I practiced anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine for almost 20 years. In the early eighties there was no hospital resource management software that ran on the PC; so I taught myself object-oriented programming and wrote the application. The software was so highly sought after by other hospitals that I co-founded and managed Cortex, a software company, now owned by Asklepios, Europe’s largest private hospital operator. 

After German reunification, I relocated to East Germany to help rebuild an underdeveloped hospital in which I designed, staffed, and managed a large ICU. By necessity, I developed and pioneered the use of closed-loop, data-driven quality control and prognostic scoring software, resulting in measurably better patient outcomes. After retiring as an MD, I fulfilled a long-standing desire to become a painter, and now my works are collected throughout the world. Simultaneously, I began learning Chinese, soon realizing how tedious and frustrating it was to memorize thousands of Chinese characters, inspiring me to find a more efficient and effective method, which resulted in Mingbai.


  • “Amazing. Deeply authentic. Good for the serious learner."

    Partner, Sutter Hill Ventures, Palo Alto
  • "Very good for people learning by themselves. Good for the individual learner. Go for it!"

    Head, East Asian Studies, Stanford University
  • "Even if it would not speed up things, finally learning Chinese characters is not boring anymore. Mingbai makes it interesting and fun."

    Chinese Instructor, German Foreign Service


Let's show that it really works. And you can be part of it!

The initial reception of the Mingbai method both in the US and Europe has been overwhelmingly positive. Now it's time to validate: to show that it works for everyone and to find out exactly how much faster character learning can be. If you're excited about the idea that learning the Chinese script can be interesting, meaningful and much faster than before, then you're invited to participate. 


Mingbai is not in the App Store yet. You will receive a private link to download the test app for free. You will also receive a short manual, and as much individual support as you wish.


Ideally, you would use Mingbai for four weeks. You don't have to do it every day; five times a week is fine. Study time: 20-30 minutes a day.


The app is written in plain and easy English. You don't have to be a native English speaker to participate: everybody is welcome!


The test app is written for the iOS operating system. It runs best on an iPhone (4s and up), but you may also use an iPad. After downloading no internet connection is required.


The test app covers a beginner's vocabulary. Ideally, you would't know many characters before you start using Mingbai. 


The test is strictly about memorizing the meaning of characters; you don't have to learn their pronunciation. Maybe you don't even want to learn Chinese and are just curious!

Ilsenburger Strasse 35
10589 Berlin

Phone: +49 (178) 230 1048

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