So I'm excited - I found someone to do a language exchange with, here in Taiwan. We'll probably begin with the rudimentary speaking/conversation, but eventually I'd like to learn reading/writing.
I'd like to know for those of you that have studied/are studying Chinese characters: how did you begin this process? Was there a systematic way you approached it? Did you learn formally in a classroom setting, according to each lesson in your book? Or did you ever try to randomly learn a character a day until you worked up to a good base? I've heard many people talk about doing this, with websites where you learn one character a day by random - though i'm not sure how effective this process is! It strikes me as too arbitrary and lacking in structure.
I'd think, practically speaking, it would make sense to learn characters as they correspond to the actual content of what you are learning - for example, first learn the characters for introductory conversation, then move on to family terms, hobbies, school, etc.
Sorry, I know the question regarding this 'process' seems naiive, but I've never tried to learn a logographic language before, so I'm not quite sure what the best approach would be.
I'd like to hear your feedback and different experiences! I suppose the study of Japanese kanji, for those who have/are currently doing so, would also be relevant to this question.