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chinopinyin

[Heisig / Hoenig ] Sentences for remembering chinese characters

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chinopinyin

I find interesting the book Chinese Characters: Learn & Remember 2,178 Characters and Their Meanings by Alan Hoenig (An excerpt is found at http://ezchinesey.com/stuff/ChiMeaningsExcerpt.pdf). See also Heisig's book

However, I always feel that it is better to learn words within a context rather than in isolation.

Does anybody know whether somebody has written sentences or texts gradually introducing Hoenig/Heisig's words?

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Gharial

Why not just look each character up with stuff like nciku.com (plenty of examples there!), or Wenlin software, or in beginner to intermediate-level resources such as: Yong Ho's frequency dictionary ( http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=H6m835BJdbUC& ), the Yuan & Church dictionary from Oxford, or Fred Fangyu's C-E dictionary ( http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=MzJ3FnI6nAoC& ), or indeed in courses proper like NPCR or (the character text for) the original Colloquial Chinese course, which will all provide a fair number of examples for hundreds if not thousands of characters. (Granted, these resources won't provide the characters in Hoenig or Heisig order, but then, it would help if Hoenig or Heisig themselves developed resources that provided more than their mnemonics and a compound or two!). And assuming that H and H each provide the necessary Pinyin throughout, looking the characters up elsewhere won't be at all difficult, will it!;) :)

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freipole

chinopinyin, Gharial

Sorry, but if you think that Heisig's (and I assume Hoenig's) books teach you words (and everything else that stems from this: that you need to see them in context, that you need sentences that introduce them in the book order etc) - you're doing it wrong.

You might want to take the time to read the preface to Heisig's book. If in doubt - it's better to ask, not to presume to know better.

Yes, it's possible to learn something from those books even if you use them wrongly, with reduced efficiency of course. But what's the point of making an already difficult task of learning Chinese even harder by misusing the few tools that you have?

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Gharial

Hi Freipole. I was aware that Heisig and Hoenig don't teach much if anything in the way of words and phrases (and are thus more "just" a logically-structured means of mastering more or less individual characters as quickly, efficiently and powerfully as possible, for those obviously who like the methodology that these sorts of books use. Me, I don't own either book, but had they been available [the Heisig in its newer Chinese rather than original Japanese version I mean] when I was formally studying Chinese, I might have bought them). And I could've and perhaps should've inserted 'further' between 'developed' and 'resources' when I wrote "it would help if Hoenig or Heisig themselves developed resources that provided more than their mnemonics and a compound or two". Not that any of this would or should prevent somebody who has worked through all or even part of such books from possibly at some point wanting more phraseological approaches based on H or H's character orderings (and such "ringing bells" could be comforting if not useful, no?), hence Chinopinyin's query. Personally though I'd probably still just simply invest in something like Wenlin: http://www.wenlin.com/wenlin1.htm .

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freipole

I see, this was a misunderstanding. Yes, of course, after finishing some self-contained unit, such as Heisig's Book 1 of RTH/RSH it's the great time to acquire some real vocabulary and studying whole sentences is a nice way to do it. It's just that people often confuse what they are learning from these character books with real vocabulary and there's a lot of "this Heisig's keyword is not what this word means!" discussions :)

As for the sentences to read after finishing Heisig's book 1, I can recommend the freely available "20000 mandarin sentences" database. Book 1 of RTH/RSH corresponds roughly to HSK2 level in the database - so you can use the sentences with familiar characters.

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Gharial

Thanks for the database recommendation, Freipole! I for one will check it out.:)

You raise an important point with your "after finishing something self-contained" - a lot of people don't see one course of study fully through before looking for and becoming distracted by another, which rather reduces the overall effectiveness of the first. (That's not to say however that every single resource is of a high enough quality or appropriate enough methodology to deserve sticking with until its very end!).

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