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SRC advice: Rewrite definitions as appropriate to your active vocabulary

Wippen (inactive)

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I once got some study advice from a teacher which I will convey here. Maybe it is of use to some.

He said in your Spaced Repition Software (SRS) such as Anki, change your English (or whatever language you are using) words to words or expressions you would yourself use actively.
For example if the dictionary is using an English expression you would not use, eg.搀扶 chān fú = "to lend an arm to support sb " his advice was not to use that term, but find an appropriate word you were most likely to use in English. His point was if we just use the  dictionary definitions then there will be some of these we are bound not to use in our active vocabulary. The  chance is it would therefore not get into our active vocabulary and when we needed that word in the context we may have less chance of rememering the Chinese equivalent. This is because the flashcard prompt would be for example "lend an arm". But if you do not have that word in your active vocabulary/or would not yourself use it, you would end up learning a Chinese word for a worded definition in English that would be passive.


I have found that changing certain definitions in SRC into vocabulary I would be most likely to use in English in a particular context has not only helped me develop an awarenss of a particular word, but the process of going through and analysing  various definitions via dictionary or Internet search has also helped me understand a wider usage of a specific word.

I am posting this as I was thinking others might benefit from it.

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