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Memorizing the entire HSK vocabulary...


ABCinChina

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Has anybody managed to memorize the entire HSK list levels 1~4? After memorizing the whole list, will one be able to read newspapers without having to look up words in a dictionary?

My current study method is spending around 2~3 hours daily just memorizing these characters and words by pure rote. Although it is very boring, I still can't read a book or newspaper without not knowing a word within the first several sentences. (I've finished HSK level 1 & 2 characters, level 1 words, and I'm currently working on level 2 words)

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Depends what you mean by 'memorize' :mrgreen:

I just tested myself on 100 cards randomly drawn from all four levels, looking at the characters and testing myself on pronunciation and meaning. I got five wrong, all tonal errors. Will list below.

I've used the lists extensively in flashcard work and I'd say I know them pretty well. At the moment I'm using them to try and fix the tones for each word into my head - that means looking at the character and being able to say the word out loud, quickly, with the correct pronunciation and tones. Being able to say 'oh yeah, that's . . . erm . . . second tone, isn't it. . . and the other one is .' doesn't count. I'm getting pretty good at that. On the actually meanings of the words (easily overlooked :mrgreen:) I don't think I've got any problems. Maybe not every nuance of stuff at the higher levels, but I wouldn't expect to have any trouble comprehending them in context.

I would pretty much discount character learning for the sake of newspaper reading, I don't think it'll get you very far at all. That's not to say don't do it, but don't concentrate on it because you want to be able to read a newspaper. Word wise, if you've done level one and you are working through level two, then you're moving from one thousand words to three thousand, and that's still not a huge vocabulary. Also you won't have any specific news or current affairs vocab. So to be honest I'm not surprised you're finding newspapers a struggle.

Two to three hours a day just on vocab sounds too much to me. I'd spend more on skills, less on tools. At the moment I aim to run through 1,000 cards a day - takes thirty minutes to an hour depending on how quick I try to work, the level, and what I'm actually testing myself on.

If you know all four levels, can you read a newspaper without a dictionary? I'd say so, yes.

Errors:

烦闷 (I said fan4. Stupid. But stupid mistakes happen why you try to do things quickly)

巡逻 (said xun4luo4. Would have got that one if I'd thought about it longer, but as I say I try to keep a decent pace.)

没吃没穿 (chuan2? Stupid again)

低下 (confused 底,低)

正当 (Yeah, guess which one I got wrong here)

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no worry, some vocab in newspaper is very strange and rarely used in everyday life. Did you try social news which is full of dialogues and vocab that covers daily issue?

Try this one. There's many quotation and only a few vocab is possibly new to you.

http://news.sina.com.cn/s/p/2008-03-21/025015191970.shtml

News from here:

http://news.sina.com.cn/society/

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If you're looking for a website to help practice the HSK vocab lists you can check here for 10,000 characters and words though some repeat.

It is important to do reading as well to get the correct usage of the the words aswell.

like English there are many words that mean the same thing.

Good luck,

Simon:)

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Maybe that's only me, but sometimes I see a sentence were I know every single character, and I still don't get the meaning. Beside just learning characters it would be also important to practice reading on material you mostly (but not necessarily completely) understand.

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About reading Chinese newspapers, it's not really as simple as learning -x- amount of characters and then being able to read a paper. It doesn't work like that. I mean you have to look at what kind of paper you're talking about - finance section, entertainment, current affairs, real estate? etc. In pretty much all cases there are specialised vocab that you probably won't come across in HSK or other study materials, not to mention heaps and heaps of random proper nouns (political parties, organisations, corporations, loan words, trademarks, etc, etc) that will stump you because it takes a while to gain the skill of recognising that kind of stuff.

I'd say the best thing to do would be to build your vocab up as per usual and try to attempt newspaper reading on and off until you think you've got a 'feel' for that kind of discourse. Truly, reading newspapers isn't just something you can just pick up - it takes a lot of practice, that's for sure.

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for the quizlet Link , if you put it ignore the words inside the parentheses you can type the characters and not worry about the pinyin. Which is what I usually do.

If you can type the pinyin in you basically know the word even if you can be off on the tones. (yes this can be a problem for some words but usually isn't. and the HSK doesn't have a speaking component.)

Have fun,

Simon:)

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Seems like everyone is much farther along than me in their Chinese studies. I think what I'm trying to say is that my pronunciation is fine since I started speaking simple stuff from a young age. What I lack is pure vocabulary and reading skills which is what I'm trying to make up. Since I have a Chinese face, people automatically expect me to know all of this at work which makes me suffer because I am expected to learn at the same progress as everyone else in all Chinese.

Thus, it's comforting that I'm not entirely wasting my time getting all this vocabulary in my head while learning how to recognize characters as a side-effect. Hats off to all of you that absorbed all that vocab! How long did it take for you guys to get it all down?

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  • 2 weeks later...

For newspaper and magazine reading I'd suggest you spend at least two years building up basic vocab, character recognition and grammar. As someone said, vocabulary varies a lot with the subject matter, but there's basic vocabulary and grammar that stays pretty much consistent from article to article. Another suggestion I'll give you is researching names of political figures, party names, county names, country names et.c. because these will make you confused when you encounter them

To give you an idea: I'm 2 1/2 years into my Chinese studies now, and I can read financial and economic articles comfortably because that's mainly what I've been focusing on. Sports, war, pop culture, fashion, medicine and science however are all subjects where I don't know much beyond the very basic and I'll have to invest serious time into building up vocab in them.

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yersi has a good point. I wonder if there are lists of names/specialty words in the news. There must be somewhere. Noted some down before, but I can't find my source.

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I think the best option is just keeping updated and informed.

Let's say a Chinese person just woke up from a year-long coma, turned on CNN and saw the following headline:

Bear rescue necessary, says Fed Chair

He or she would most likely be bewildered as to why a piece of furniture with sufficient foodstuffs in its belly would argue the merits of rescuing a large predatory mammal.

Of course the headline is referring to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States arguing the necessity of bailing out the Bear Sterns investment bank when it was about to go bankrupt, but that's not clear to someone who is not familiar with the situation or the organizations and people involved.

You can see where I'm going here: being informed on movers/shakers and major events in Asian politics is a huge asset in general and a necessary prerequisite for newspaper reading and understanding news broadcasts.

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Well, I don't know most actresses/celebrities in Western culture . . .

I can't even keep up with in my native language. :roll:

Another suggestion I'll give you is researching names of political figures, party names, county names, country names et.c. because these will make you confused when you encounter them

Looking for a list that would simplify the process would probably fall into the category of researching them no? :)

uh-oh realize that this is an HSK thread so .. . ummmm is there an addendum to the HSK material out there that has some of these items?

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