Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Sixwinged

Memorising Chinese Characters - Mnemonic Approach

Recommended Posts

realmayo

I hope that there will emerge some kind of systematic way to form mnemonics using the Outlier approach, like standard indicators for different kinds of components, tones etc. that can be included into stories or images.

 

 

Wibr: the Matthews book has a great solution. So great that even now, years later, I remember buying the book, reading the introduction, and then putting the book away for six months or a year, thinking it was completely ridiculous and I was not going to lower myself to such nonsense!

 

But eventually I gave in.

 

For the pronunciation, the mnemonics have sound + tone. The sound is an approximate to an English word. For instance DUNE for pinyin's dun. Not ideal but no different to how all non-Chinese people learn.

 

For the tones: you select four distinct people or characters. I forget the examples the Matthews book gave; I do remember I chose international pop singer Coco Lee Wen as my number four tone. So any character that was pronounced fourth tone had Coco involved in the story.

 

Part of me wonders whether splitting sound + tone like that is disadvantageous to a learner. But on reflection I don't think it's any different than what everyone does when learning characters: 'this one is first tone, that one is third tone'. Plus in my head all fourth tones characters had a distinct 'feel' that was not just 'fourth-tones-sound-angry' but instead had perhaps a hint of the power ballad!

 

Fourth tone:post-4446-0-90245100-1448919865_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

dtcamero

it seems a lot of people don't know this, but once you're past the first 250 characters or so Heisig just gives you keywords (meanings) and components... no longer creating the stories for you anymore. so you're making them for yourself, following the methodology in the beginning, which makes them more memorable and efficient than his were.

 

and as has been said above, the whole point of heisig is to quickly create a space in your head for 3,000ish characters... this is precisely why he doesn't do pronounciations, word usages etc that often get built into traditional study. that is exactly what bogs down the conventional learner and makes it hard to get beyond 1,000 or so characters. heisig is really only focused on the hanzi construction and meaning, although to a lesser extent stroke order.

 

therefore... it is important to note that one's study of those learned hanzi is far from complete when you finish heisig. you know meanings and constructions. there is plenty of time to built upon that foundation with attention to etymological patterns. although i would say that while they do help to a certain extent, as realmayo has pointed out the hanzi are very inconsistent with their etymological-phonological patterning, and so this isn't really that big a deal. it's a good hint as to meaning/reading, and not much more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realmayo
No, I am not in a rush but I do want to progress, but a more measured and thoughtful system is the way I want to learn.

 

Yes there's no reason everyone has to be in a hurry. I know one reason you like studying is because you like the characters, so it is only natural that you'd prefer to study in a way which allows you to fully explore how they work, their histories and so on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pross

I agree with the scaffolding analogy above. Once you become functional in the language, that stuff is discarded. Furthermore, I think the same can be said for things like phonetic transcriptions (Pinyin), English descriptions of grammar rules, and Chinese-English dictionaries. Yes, you need these things in the beginning, but they are not permanent fixtures in the cathedral you are building.

 

This is perhaps a bit off topic, but I am curious about the depth first approach to learning characters. What resources are you using for this? Where do you currently get entomology descriptions in a language other than Chinese?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley
This is perhaps a bit off topic, but I am curious about the depth first approach to learning characters. What resources are you using for this? Where do you currently get entomology descriptions in a language other than Chinese?

 

Maybe start a new topic? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xiao Kui
Furthermore, I think the same can be said for things like phonetic transcriptions (Pinyin), English descriptions of grammar rules, and Chinese-English dictionaries.

My Chinese is pretty fluent both reading and speaking and I still use #1 & #3 :D #1 is especially useful for typing lol unless you take the time to learn some of the other systems, which i believe are based on stroke order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pross
#1 wasn't about Pinyin input methods. To elaborate on my meaning of phonetic transcriptions: these are found in beginner books to help the student read passages of text. For example, the books I started with used either Pinyin or tone marks alongside characters, at least for the initial chapters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...