Some years ago I sat down with a Chinese teacher for a few hours. The goal was to find an effective way to learn and memorise the language. It is possible to save a lot of time by memorising the pronunciation, meaning of words, and other things, such as grammar. But I found no good way to memorise Chinese. I just got a headache (which I have not had for several years). Chinese characters are the worst I have ever tried to memorise. Then one day I received an email from Eivind that suggested a series of books for Chinese characters called Remembering Simplified Hanzi (Chinese) – where components and characters are introduced gradually in the optimal order, and each character is broken down into its basic components. With such methods, one can cut down the time it takes to learn the characters drastically. Thanks to Eivind for a really good tips! Also consider Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters, a book that has received great feedback.