TeX helps you learn Chinese character meanings

Alan Hoenig
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I’ve recently used XeTeX to typeset and maintain a manuscript which develops a mnemonic technique for remembering the meanings for the 2000 most common Chinese characters. Following a brief introduction to this method, I discuss how painless XeTeX makes it to typeset Chinese and English together, and how TeX makes it (relatively) simple to implement this memory method in a handbook such as this. Some concluding comments emphasize aspects that are familiar to old TeX-hands, but may be overlooked by newer users. Because TeX source is ASCII text (or its Unicode extension), it’s easy to manage and maintain the information in these source files in a straightforward way via Perl or any other scripting language. TeX coding often becomes simpler, as it’s possible for Perl to make some decisions (not typesetting ones, to be sure) for you, so your TeX macros have less work to do.