Characters with Characters

We who have grown up in societies that rely on written language find it hard to imagine being without one. This book attempts to rekindle a more personal relationship with some of the world’s most beautiful written character specimens. While it’s true that languages can thrive without writing-after all, more than half of the world’s 3000 languages don’t have writing systems and have still developed other sophisticated ways of transmitting communication-it’s also true that if a language does have a successfully implemented writing system, that writing system and the language it expresses nourish one another.


Christmas came a day early: I have received Characters with Character by Jost Zetzsche. What a marvel. Thank you so much! I am really touched by your very kind gesture. First, I noticed that the book is a beautiful work of art in itself. The exquisite paper, the overall quality of it… And then, as I was reading the first page dedicated to the Chinese character “chou”, I was immediately brought to a state of awe for all of its graceful traits, conceptually, graphically, visually, and also phonetically when I went online to hear it. With just one page, the book has already achieved its goal… I am looking forward to going though it at a delectably slow pace.

Bertrand Sciberras

I just received your thank-you gift and, in turn, I thank you for this beautiful book. My team and I really appreciated it and its smart vision of the languages which connects people around the globe as an invisible yet strong red thread. We are especially proud being included among the high-caliber translators who work with passion and professionalism.  Then thank you again from me in the name of my Italian team!

Vanna Sarti

I received the very special gift from you and your team at Eriksen Translations! I wanted to express my deep gratitude for your thoughts and passion you have put into selecting this book. This is a perfect gift that reflects my love for languages. I am so delighted to know that you and your team share it. There are many translation companies out there but there aren't many I can truly connect with through my passion for translation. I found it in Eriksen Translations. The book will stay with me as a tangible reminder for years to come…

Chigusa Suzuki

I received the beautiful Characters with Character book yesterday afternoon. My family and I spent a long while reading through it on the couch and talking about it. It was such a surprise and a really lovely gift to have received, especially on a dark and rainy afternoon. I am so appreciative that you thought to send this to me, and wanted to say thank you so much for it. Looking forward to being in touch again soon, and until then I wish you all the best for a merry Christmas and a very happy new year!

David Sharp