On Saturday and Sunday I will concentrate on my weaknesses and again listen to the Chinese dialogues. I do not believe in learning lists of vocabulary anymore and I do not believe in learning too many characters in one sitting. I do believe in learning this stuff ONCE and keeping it for life.

I will make an effort to familiarise myself with at most 50 characters. I have already been doing so during the week. With ANKI the questions are in English, the answers are in Chinese characters followed by the audio in Chinese. I listen to it once, then listen to the audio a second time while reading the Chinese. I also highlight new words in both the English and Chinese as a way of reminding myself that I will have to dig a bit further to find the answer. This can take a while, so if you decide to do so too then I suggest you do it this way:

  • Listen to your lessons and familiarise yourself with the dialogue, learn the lesson
  • Take a break, and then revise by putting the dialogues you need in Anki.
  • You don’t always need to copy the whole Chinese dialogue. Sometimes, I put in key words in hanzi as prompts, to me, the most important part of Anki is the audio. So use Anki regularly, and when you find the lesson too easy, then you can switch to working on your writing. Listen to audio then, write it and check your errors.

As for pinyin, I don’t know how to spell correctly in pinyin and I am learning the Chinese tones by ear only. I don’t know if people are taught this way but so far it is working for me and the sounds don’t seem that difficult.

Actually that’s not always the case.

I had some difficulty with 直,然後轉。Go straight, then turn left.

Zhí zǒu, ránhòu zuǒzhuǎn

I figured out that sometimes it is important that I learn what certain words meant as well as the pronunciation. I got quite confused, I had to take it, one word at a time. listen, repeat, say it in English,  listen, repeat, say it in English then visualise.

I hope this helped.

Week 1 task accomplished: Abs beginners lessons one to 25. 

Week 2 task: Review lessons one to 25 dialogues,learn vocab, learn to write dialogues.

Chinese learning diary. Next post: Second week of zhongwen.  Previous post: Fourth week of zhongwen