I really love it when understandable explications take the “ugh” out of learning. This wonderful TED presentation is such a thing. It really makes me wish to learn more about Chinese writing right away, and reminds me of my Japanese lectures taken when I was much, much younger (all forgotten – except some memories of Kanjis – those calligraphical pictograms which came out of the Chinese writing into the Japanese and augmented the spoken language with their rich pictures. The other Japanese writing styles still have their role in the Japanese, while the pictograms haven’t changed since.
Of course, the Chinese writing has changed over the many hundreds of years.