Mandarin Study Project Day 7

It’s the end of the first week of my Mandarin Study Project. Yesterday’s session and today’s session shared a similar goal. I spent the sessions consolidating everything I know so that I can move forward.

Mandarin Study Project Day Seven Reading and Writing

I spent the past two days writing characters out in lines. (Like a school punishment.) This is just an extra way of embedding the character into the psyche, because mnemonics aren’t supposed to be permanent, nor can they help with the whole of the character.
After all, a character has to be written in a certain way (the stroke order) and a mnemonic that covered that plus the story behind the character i.e. tree + not = cup, plus the pronunciation, plus the tone, would be a complex story, and too complex for efficient memorising.

Mandarin Study Project Day Seven: Speaking and Listening

Whilst writing my lines above, I sounded out all the syllables. I’ve also reproduced sentences, both whilst doing this and throughout the day. A key part of learning a language is using it in every day speech and thinking in the language. I will periodically look around the room or place i am in and name all the things I can that are in my Chinese vocabulary. Where I know a direction, I will say “Book” “Is “Above” “Floor” for example. This is something that can be made more complex as time goes on. I don’t yet know how to describe something, but when I do, I will speak out (and write) variations on the theme. The book is red and hardback, it’s on the shelf next to the desk. There is a lamp on the desk, it is very bright, but not as bright as the Sun.” So on and so forth.

Mandarin Study Project Day Seven: Conclusion and Moving Forward

A goal by the end of next week’s Mandarin Study is to completely remove gaps between my spoken and written character knowledge. Every time I learn something new from Pimsleur that isn’t covered by the characters I already know, I’ll look them up. I want to be able to see in my head the visual representation of what I’m hearing.
My week three goal will be to move onto grammar. I’ve been writing basic sentences using the rudimentary knowledge I have, but moving onto the next level will likely involve sitting with a grammar book (yet to be determined) and making real sentences.
At the end of week one, I know around 150 characters, with around 180 in my peripheral memory.

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