Archive for May, 2012

Learning to understand Chinese is one thing. Learning to read Chinese is another thing. Writing Chinese is time consuming, I have decided to cut that out of my Chinese learning diet and prioritising RECOGNITION over recalling and writing characters from memory. In a bid to race through this initial process of learning Chinese and getting to a higher level of language I will skip the writing for a good three months at least. 

Nonetheless, I have thought up ways of working on character recognition. One of those ways is simply creating flash cards with words that I know that contain the new character I want to learn. I match a flash card with the new Chinese character to a flash card with a word whose root contains the new Chinese character. I think this is known as making associations. Here I am associating single characters to a group of characters that are a part of a word. 

This seems to work so far. I am advancing in the learning, and not being slowed down by the Chinese character memorising exercise. I wonder what you think about doing this? 

As you can tell, learning is organic. It changes and changes and you really need to keep up with yourself 🙂 




Back to Basics

I had to take a break from Chinese. I continued to watch Chinese films and the CCTV channels regularly while dedicating my soul to GMAT revision. As it turns out, I took the exam and failed miserably. I will therefore be retaking the GMAT in July/August and will go back to my Chinese lessons.

I realise that I have a a wealth of information and a wide range of material to choose from for my Chinese learning. However, I discovered that nothing makes me more confident than starting a book and finishing it. That is what I intend to do with my ‘METHODE 90 Chinois’ for beginners book on learning Chinese for French speakers. There are exactly 90 lessons in this book of which I have finished 15 chapters, but that was over 3 months ago. My task for the month of June is to review all my lessons, and reach chapter 45 by end of July.

That said, my task for this weekend is to draw up a timetable in which I will divide my day among active GMAT studies (Verbal and Quantitative), work, Chinese and I am adding Spanish to the mix. My Spanish book is the ‘METHODE 90 espagnol’ for beginners for French speakers.

My task for the month of June 2012 is to finish:

  • all 8 MGMAT books
  • go through the forums on <– not exploiting this resource is one of the main reasons for failing.
  • 20 chapters in the Chinese book
  • > 20 chapters in the Spanish book

My goal is to develop a routine and change my learning method. I opted for a learning method that is similar to Spaced Learning. I must emphasise that the most import aspect in learning anything is keeping to a schedule that has an end and a beginning. There is no point in spending hours learning something, it could prove to be counterproductive. In my case, I know that I spent too many long hours learning and not enough on recalling and then applying. Today, I am doing things differently and the is a very inspiring site.

For those living on the African continent with access to DSTV, we now have eight Chinese speaking channels instead of three. Isn’t that great??? My family though does not appreciate the beauty of the Mandarin language 🙂 I think it is a form of torture to them… ha!