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Strawberries513

to learn the individual characters or not?

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Strawberries513

I recently purchased Schaum's Outline of Chinese Vocabulary and, all though It is a great book, I have to wonder if for all of the specialized vocabulary (car break, air sickness bag, washing machine etc) if I should bother learning all of the individual characters for every word? I am asking because i usually make sure that when i learn a new word that i do learn all the characters, but i think that for all the vocab in this book that it would take too long.

well, i hope someone can help me here. thank you very much :help

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anonymoose

I think it depends on what you want to achieve in the long run. If you are aiming to eventually have a good working knowledge of the language, and be able to read fluently, then any character is worth knowing, even if it isn't amongst the 2000 most commonly used.

I'm not familiar with the Schaum book you mentioned, so I don't know what kind of vocabulary it contains except for what you've quoted. But even though words like car break, air sickness bag, and washing machine are not especially useful in themselves, I think all the characters used to compose them are fairly common and definitely worth knowing. If you think there are too many to learn, then just take more time to learn them. Learning a language is an ongoing process. Quite simply, the more you learn the better you'll get.

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kudra

Here's an idea considering you are in the US, so not seeing the characters all the time.

The book "Chinese in 10 minutes a day" was recommended to me for kids because it has stickers of vocabulary words in pinyin and hanzi. The idea is you do the lesson, and then put the sticker on the thing in your living space, like you put the sticker for mirror on the mirror, or the door, etc. Of course if the kids don't read yet, then they don't read pinyin yet.

OK, so for stuff around the house, if you find interesting vocabulary in the Schaums outline, like 微波爐/微波炉 on page 137 of my copy, you could make your own label and put it up.

Then stick the individual characters into zhongwen.com or plecodict and see if the combinations that show up are interesting enough for further consideration. Or you could check them against the HSK list to see if they might be useful to know from that standpoint.

I think spending some time browsing and picking things that interest you might be a good way to make non-standard associations with the characters so you don't forget them as fast. Maybe wishful thinking on my part....

Still, I'll probably start working kitchen vocab from Schaums into my halting attempts to teach my kids, since they spend alot of time in the kitchen. Luckily we learned how to say Cheerios in the parent/tot class so basically most of what we talk about is already covered.

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againstwind
I think it depends on what you want to achieve in the long run. If you are aiming to eventually have a good working knowledge of the language, and be able to read fluently, then any character is worth knowing, even if it isn't amongst the 2000 most commonly used.

I agree.

Different from Indo-European language, Chinese characters mainly represent figures , not pronunciations.Indeed, it is a little hard to establish relations between characters and pronunciations.

So if you can master all the characters in that book as many as possible, that will be very helpful for you.:)

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mr.stinky

i try to learn the characters for all the vocabulary i use, or characters that seem to occur

often on signs.

i have trouble remembering vocab without some sort of anchor to the meaning. i get

confused....like, did he just say ting, ting, ting, ting or ting???? having the characters

in memory seems to help sorting out the meanings.

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againstwind
i have trouble remembering vocab without some sort of anchor to the meaning. i get

confused....like, did he just say ting, ting, ting, ting or ting???? having the characters

in memory seems to help sorting out the meanings.

That's right.:)

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