Mandarin Chinese Studying Project: Day 8

After the conclusion of week one of the Mandarin Chinese Studying project, I feel as though I’ve learned all the material I’ve come into contact with to this point. It’s now time to not only increase the material/vocabulary that I use, but to actually get a feel for the mechanics of the language.

Mandarin Chinese Studying Project: Speaking and Listening

Today, this is low priority. I’ll be going over what I’m currently doing below, but suffice to say, if you start at the beginning (like a baby does) and master the sounds, a lot of listening and speaking will be in your head. Assuming that you know how your vocabulary sounds, thinking in the language¬†also doubles as speaking and listening practice. Of course, listening to live speech and answering in a timely manner is a different skill, but it really isn’t worth dwelling on until you can form at least basic sentences.


Mandarin Chinese Studying Project Day 8: Reading and Writing Progress


The above separation of skills is markedly different from how you should treat calligraphy. This is because you are not going to attain written proficiency (in terms of communication) without writing the characters correctly. In speech, you will inherently have a bad accent to start with, but once you’ve got the basics of pronunciation down, you can work from there. Whereas with the written characters, if they’re wrong, they could easily be unrecognisable.

As such, I’ve been drilling character writing.


Mandarin Chinese Studying Day 8: Character Drilling

Mandarin Chinese Studying Day 8: Character Drilling


Having learned 200 characters, forgotten 100 of those and relearned 60 again, I realise that despite common knowledge, it’s best to move from mnemonics to drilling as soon as possible. As such, I’m now doing the above as soon as I’ve learned the character. I will literally figure out the mnemonic, write the details (pronunciation/pinyin/translation) from memory using the mnemonic, and then flip the paper over and start writing the above.

The results of this method are fantastic. I feel as though (once I relearn everything I’ve forgotten,) I’ll have 100% memory of characters I’ve learned. This makes the learning process incredibly streamlined.

Mandarin Chinese Studying Project: Day 8 Conclusion

All in all, another short entry in the Mandarin Chinese studying Project. Just drilling new words and new characters today. Still, the above is a new method, and we’ll see by the end of the week how effective it’s been. I’ll be building sentences either today or tomorrow for the first time, and I’ll be cracking open a grammar book by the middle of the week.

Language Bug