There are a few basic symbols that most characters are made from, and each symbol means something simple, like knife, dish, or moon. When the symbols are put together, they make a word. For example, a woman and a child makes the word for good. Put a roof over the woman's head and you get peace. Also, most words are made up of two characters, so often if you don't know the word, but know the characters that make it up, you can figure out what it means. Small write means lower case. Hand machine means cell phone.
Beijingers all talk with a funny accent, adding "ar" to the end of many words. Kind of like pirates.