Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Spaced repetition software’

  1. Should you focus on learning Chinese words or phrases?

    When learning Chinese, should you focus mainly on learning words or phrases? This question is not easy to answer and depends on a number of factors. This article breaks it down and discusses the pros and cons of each.

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  2. About cheating, spaced repetition and learning Chinese

    Have you even found yourself grading your answer slightly more positively than you should? Even though we all know that we shouldn’t, I think this is quite common. We shouldn’t do this! We’re only cheating ourselves and impeding our progress. In this article, I talk a little about cheating, spaced repetition software and some related consequences and theories.

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  3. Three ways to improve the way you review Chinese characters

    In this article, I discuss three things you can do to improve the way you review characters, mainly focusing on avoiding rote learning, time quality and making sure your study method really prepares you for what you want to use your Chinese for. The article also contains a video about how to improve your character reviewing with Skritter!

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  4. Flashcard overflow: About card models and review directions

    The question of how to design flashcards is faced by all learners who use them. What should you put on the front? What should you put on the back? Should you add single characters or whole words? Or perhaps sentences are better? The general answer is that it depends and this article discusses some of the factors the answers depend on.

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  5. Skritter review: Boosting your character learning

    Skritter is the best character-learning app/service available. In this Skritter review, we look at why and how you can use it to learn in a better way.

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  6. If you think spaced repetition software is a panacea you are wrong

    Spaced repetition software (SRS) is widely discussed online, and generally speaking, there is a spectrum between people who think SRS is the holy grail of learning anything and those that think SRS is artificial, passive and just a waste of time. This article argues that this polarisation is a serious mistake, SRS is a tool and like any other tool, how we use it determines what we get from it.

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  7. Is your flashcard deck too big for your own good?

    If you use spaced repetition software like Anki for learning Chinese and do so for a few years, you will end up with a very large flashcard deck. Some people advocate deleting the deck if it becomes too big. This article looks closer at the pros and cons of keeping large decks and why you might want to consider starting over from scratch.

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

    This character learning challenge strives to teach students to learn Chinese characters in a way that makes sense in the long term. While the challenge is over, the principles are still applicable!

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  9. You can’t learn Chinese characters by rote

    My conclusion after years of learning characters is that rote learning is useless. Spaced repetition software is good, but it’s still not enough. If adult foreigners are going to learn to write Chinese by hand, we really need another method. We need mnemonics, we need active processing, we need to quit rote learning and stop using SRS mechanically.

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  10. Measurable progress is a double-edged sword

    Spaced repetition software offers a great way of measuring progress, every step forward is recorded and clearly visible. However, this is also a trap, because even though SRS is useful, it’s just a tool, not a comprehensive strategy. Measurable progress is a great help, but only if you use it correctly.

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