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Kevinman

Learning to WRITE hanzi

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rezaf

My qigong teacher once told me there is nothing romantic in Chinese systems. This culture is just based on hard work and 死背 Just pick up your pen and start writing the characters of your textbook at least 20 times each and by the way as I remember learning the first few hundred characters is very easy and a hundred wouldn't take more than a full-time weekend.

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Meng Lelan

I was a lot like rezaf when learning to write 汉字. In fact I practiced by literally copying out entire texts from the 课本 by hand, every night.

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gsaines

Thanks for everyone above that have recommended Skritter (querido, roddy, chrix, taylor et al), I'm one of the founders over there, and really appreciate such solid recommendations.

Kevinman, one thing that I found really helpful was doing a lot of written translations using the target vocabulary. Me and my two cofounders created Skritter to help cement all those pesky 汉字 in your memory, but nothing aided that process more than just doing a lot of written translating. If you have a textbook, I'd recommend doing all of the exercises (even the non-required stuff) since it will already be using the material that's relevant to you.

As Chrix mentioned, if you can't afford Skritter, Anki is a great tool. Smart.fm is also pretty sweet. They have a huge and really active community although it isn't Chinese-specific.

And as mentioned by jbradfor, the long term memory issue is a big problem. If you're in it for the long haul, I might try Heisig's Remembering the Hanzi, but that's a pretty big investment if you're just interested in passing the test at the end of the month.

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giraffe

I've just started using remembr.it (that's http://remembr.it) which I discovered from an ad on this forum (it's rare that I click on an online ad and I almost never buy anything if I do, so I guess that says something about chinese-forums).

Oddly enough I couldn't find any other information on this site so I thought I'd give my first impression (I'm only about four days into my two week trial period).

Basically it's yet another take on SRS software but there are a couple of twists:

  • Only single characters (about 2300 in all)
  • Fancy animation of cards
  • Cards are presented in predefined sets of characters with similar appearance

It's that last feature that really appealed to me because I still have trouble differentiating between even very common characters with a similar appearance like 他 and 地.

So far I'm reasonably pleased with the results. It really does feel like I'm 'getting' the differences between characters. The downside to the site is that, unlike other SRS software I've used, each card is presented many times during a session. It's not like you get it right once and it disappears. Not only do you have to get each card right three times in a row but as long as ANY cards haven't been mastered, ALL the cards keep getting recycled again and again until the whole set is mastered. Yikes. That means it takes much longer to go through the same number of cards. And this is on top of the already excessive amount of time I spend with Pleco (testing about 175-190 words a day).

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one99

I've just started using remembr.it (that's http://remembr.it) which I discovered from an ad on this forum (it's rare that I click on an online ad and I almost never buy anything if I do, so I guess that says something about chinese-forums).

Oddly enough I couldn't find any other information on this site so I thought I'd give my first impression (I'm only about four days into my two week trial period).

...

I also recently started using remembr.it and am quite impressed. Obviously I can't really comment too much as I have used it for less than 10 days, but I definately plan to keep going past the 14 day trial.

The system they use seems unique to me in that it really makes sure you have remembered the flash cards. You need to demonstrate that you have fully learnt the characters in the days lesson (around 30 characters), and then you will be tested on them again 4 times in the future (or more if you forget). You can see how many characters will be in your tests for the upcoming days.

And the way it choses the characters that you learn is unique and seems like an excellent idea to me. ie. You learn characters with similarities so that in the future you don't get the similar characters mixed up.

I would be interested to hear any negative thoughts from anyone on this website.

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