This is the ninth in a series of posts where I'm looking at how the Chinese view numbers, often from a superstitious basis.
The Chinese character for eight (Bā) is shown on the right hand side of the main image above.
The number eight is by far, the luckiest number.
It's luck comes from it's similar sound to 发(Fā) which is commonly used in 发财(Fā cái) which relates to good fortune. You'll hear it in New Year greetings with 恭喜发财 (Gōngxǐ fācái).
A double 8 looks like a character that's used to denote immense joy.
You'll see 8's everywhere in Asian communities because of this. You'll have a much easier time selling a house number 8 to a Chinese couple. Many airline flights from other countries and destined for China have many 8's in them.
The best example of how seriously this is taken is that when the Olympics was held in Beijing, it started on the 8th of August in 2008, at 8 minutes and 8 seconds past 8PM.
I'll write more soon on the best methods for learning. If you want to get a taste for it in the meantime though, my current favorite site is iTalki, and my favorite teacher by far is Amy He. If you decide to try it, click here and it's cheaper for both you and me.