Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Mnemonics’

  1. Boosting your character learning with Skritter

    There are hundreds of apps out there that all claim to be indispensable resources for learning Chinese, but very few of them actually live up to it. Skritter certainly does. Skritter is an important part of the most efficient way of learning to write characters and you should really give it a try.

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  2. Don’t use mnemonics for everything

    Mnemonics are really cool, but you shouldn’t overuse them. Chinese characters are very complex and the amount of information you might want to remember about them is large. Creating mnemonics for everything is very time consuming and difficult. Instead of doing this, create mnemonics only for things you actually find hard to remember.

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  3. How to create mnemonics for general or abstract character components

    Anyone who has tried mnemonics for learning Chinese characters knows that some components are easier to link together than others. This article discusses in detail how to deal with abstract or general character components and how to handle components with the same or overlapping meaning, an essential skill if you’re serious about character learning.

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  4. Sensible character learning: Progress, reminders and reflections

    The sensible character challenge has now been running for two weeks and it’s time to see how things have been going so far. This post is a progress report that contains some reflections on the challenge itself, as well as some practical advice on how to solve common problems. It also invites participants to share their experience and progress so far.

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  5. Remembering is a skill you can learn

    Contrary to what many people believe, a good memory can be trained. Memory champions are just ordinary people who have practised a lot. There are many clever techniques and tricks you can use to remember things (such as Chinese characters or words) very efficiently. This article is meant to be an introduction for those of you who are new to the fascinating world of memory training.

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  6. Towards a more sensible way of learning to write Chinese

    This is a challenge designed to help students break the bad habit of simply repeating characters over and over until they stick and instead rely on more clever and efficient methods. It’s about learning for the long term and learning to really understand the characters. Will you join the challenge?

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  7. Extending mnemonics: Tones and pronunciation

    Using mnemonics to memorise concrete objects is fairly easy, but how can we use mnemonics to remember abstract things such as tones and pronunciation? In this article, I expand my previous discussions of mnemonics and show how they can be quite powerful if you’re prepared to invest some extra time.

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  8. Kickstart your character learning with the 100 most common radicals

    This is a list of the 100 most common radicals among the 2000 most common characters, meaning that it’s excellent for beginners who want to boost their understanding of Chinese characters. The list contains simplified, traditional, variants, meaning, pronunciation, examples, helpful comments and colloquial names.

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  9. Holistic language learning: Integrating knowledge

    Holistic learning is about integrating what you learn into a web of things you already know and thus making it much easier to learn and remember. This is in contrast with traditional education methods which often emphasise isolated facts and don’t make proper use of what learners already know.

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  10. Memory aids and mnemonics to enhance learning

    Remember almost anything is a skill that can be learnt. In fact, some of the methods I talk about in this article have been known for thousands of years. Most mnemonic methods use the power of association to enable us to remember things. In this article, I discuss how we can use this to help us learn Chinese much more efficiently than if we rely on conventional methods.

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