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How I learned 4,000+ characters or Tuttle/Matthews “Learning Chinese Characters – Part 2”

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brownnoser

 

1. Would you find this kind of material useful for learning hanzi?

2. If you learned your first 800+ characters using Tuttle, would you want to continue learning the next 3,200+ characters this way (provided all the stories and data were neatly prepared for you)?

3. Would you rather see this material in the form of a book/e-book/website/any other "proper" format (other than just plain excel/csv/Anki)?

 

1. yes

2. yes

3. no... anki please

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mac n cheese
On 1/8/2021 at 10:38 AM, HSK Pro said:

1. Would you find this kind of material useful for learning hanzi?

2. If you learned your first 800+ characters using Tuttle, would you want to continue learning the next 3,200+ characters this way (provided all the stories and data were neatly prepared for you)?

3. Would you rather see this material in the form of a book/e-book/website/any other "proper" format (other than just plain excel/csv/Anki)?

1. Yes, I don't get to spend enough time on Mandarin these days, so the more spoon-feeding I can get, I'll take. 

2. Yes, Matthews has been unbelievably helpful. I'm about ½ way through now and started looking for similar materials to move to next, which is how I found this!

3. TL;DR ebook + basic anki. If the stories were in a printable format, much like the Matthews book (big character with story next to it, nothing too fancy), that would be nice. Currently I use a very helpful Anki deck to do the reviews for Matthews. Really all that these Anki cards need is one side with the character & it's number, and the other with the meaning (and maybe the story too).

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HSK Pro

@艾墨本 – I’ve actually never tried memory palace, the example of crazy mnemonic feats would just be to prove the point that our brain seems to find this kind of learning quite sticky =D
@realmayo – Wow, that sounds like quite a lot of visual detail. I suppose it could be taken to any level of complexity – one could write a whole chapter about two components meeting somewhere, falling in love and then having a baby which would be the character. However, I have found that two short sentences work just fine for writing + pronunciation (as long as they are interesting and stand out) 😉
@brownnoser – thanks!
@mac n cheese – spoon-feeding is what I hope this could offer – so that after completing Tuttle’s 800+ character book, nobody has to write 3,200+ stories by themselves. Given all the feedback so far, I’m also leaning towards dropping an e-book online and perhaps complimenting it with Anki for revision (split into HSK 4, 5, 6 and Plus).

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Flickserve
On 1/10/2021 at 6:52 PM, realmayo said:

The latter.

 

On 1/10/2021 at 9:35 PM, HSK Pro said:

俞 in ancient Chinese means affirmation/permission. However, it does have boat-related origins (symbolising something along the lines of a single-person kayak), which are explained quite well here: https://baike.baidu.com/item/俞/54117 I don’t think they had catamarans in ancient China though, so this is probably just an exaggerated description by Tuttle to aid memory.

 

 

Thanks for clarifying

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roddy
On 1/8/2021 at 4:38 PM, HSK Pro said:

3. Would you rather see this material in the form of a book/e-book/website/any other "proper" format (other than just plain excel/csv/Anki)?

 

This isn't an 'or'. There's nothing preventing an excel file being made available now, and then a follow-up later on for those who want it. 为什么不兼得, as Google says when you ask it to translate 'porque no los dos' into Chinese. Are you planning to release something commercially?

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HSK Pro

@Flickserve – no worries!

@roddy – hey Roddy, apologies, I replied to the e-mail you sent me on 3rd Jan, but now I see that it bounced back with “delivery incomplete”.

There are at least two things I still want to do before releasing this in any format:
1)    Story edits – Having gone through the material a number of times, I have compiled a list of improvements and corrections I want to implement
2)    Copyright check – study methods, definitions and related concepts are not copyrightable, but unique content can be - depending on the amount, “fair use” and a bunch of other laws. Sequels are a particularly funky area (for example, parodies of Harry Potter are allowed under copyright law…). Anyway – I want to make sure that Tuttle and the Matthews are appropriately referenced/acknowledged, in case of any content overlap.

To answer your question – no commercial impulse. There’s no way that spending a few more hours on a website/book/e-book would be more profitable than spending a few more hours at work before bonus season in Hong Kong (that 1 month of the year for which we slave away for 11 months lol).

However – by now I’ve probably spent over 2,200h with these spreadsheets and I want turn them into something more tangible, proof-read and elegant. Whether they end up on a website or are properly published in e-book/book form, if I just upload them now in their medium-rare state – I can’t do much of that anymore (for example, a publisher who offers an expert proofreader would not touch them). I’ve never seen any website, book, app or deck that covers 4,000+ characters with mnemonic stories for both writing and pronunciation – so I want to make this proper and epic. Might just help with the mid-twenties crisis. My apologies if this answer does not satisfy your question.

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thelearninglearner

yeah, just keep us updated on how things are going. it's something I am interested in using to help with  my character learning

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HSK Pro

@brownnoser aiming for before summer, hopefully faster. Will depend on the workload at the bank...Hong Kong has its own version of 996!

@thelearninglearner sure! In the meantime, feel free to ask me anything about mnemonic learning guys - or using only Mandarin every day in the working environment, for that matter :D

 

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Mantou

Looking forward to it. After learning how to write about 1100 characters, when I learned how to write every character of every word that I learned to read/understand, I stopped learning how to write as it just took up too much time. Might go back to learning how to write with your help.

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HSK Pro

@Mantou thank you! Yes, it's much easier to learn when you have a prepared structure and tips & techniques for memorising everything.

Regardless of which method you use, I would recommend that you aim to learn at least the 2,663 characters of HSK 6. Many students seem to aim at it as the maximum, but the more you read and work in Chinese, the more you realise that it is more of a bare minimum (the way the HSK levels are set up is actually skewed and HSK 6 should not be described the way it is in the brochure...)

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