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Why am i forgetting the chinese vocabulary? I tried to note down challenges first.


For chinese, have to remember 6 things or it is a multi step process. 

1. pronunciation

2. tone

3. script

4. multiple meanings (for single script/ for single tone and pronunciation)

5. non unique mnemonic or no mnemonic


 For English,I remember

1. meaning


multiple meanings again is bigblocker. if i see english dictionary most of the words have single  meaning, chinese I do not see any word with single meaning and i try to remember all, so ending up with none sometimes. 


common reasons for forgetting in both the languages


1. You read and never use it

2. Never revised the vocabulary/repetitions 


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On 9/3/2022 at 7:51 AM, phoneticsem said:

4. multiple meanings (for single script/ for single tone and pronunciation)


To overcome this we need to have a context and select the more suitable one and learn that meaning alone.


when encountered in another context learn that. but i try to learn all meanings and end of with confusion and do not remember at all. 


any of your experiences or thoughts to share on this approach?

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For chinese, have to remember 6 things or it is a multi step process. 

1. pronunciation

2. tone


Huge mistake here.  Trying to remember pronunciation and tone separately makes speaking much harder.  Tone is part of pronunciation.


Imagine if for English you were to try to remember "pronunciation" and syllable emphasis separately.  (For example, whether it's imagiNAtion or iMAGination.)  In English which syllables should be emphasized is part of pronunciation.

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Imagination in english you can emphasise it on any letters, still most people understands it.


想象力 xiǎngxiànglì imagination 


compared to english here the mind should perform multi tasking 


1. read  as xiǎng 

2. it should select among these following for xiǎng , , , , , ,  (while listening)

3. at the same time it should not confuse with 险工 xiǎngōng as it contains xiǎng in a way (while listening)

4. mind should differentiate xiang in “xiǎngxiànglì” with tones (while listening)

5. it should pick up one meaning for xiǎng

1. to think
2 to believe
3 to suppose
4 to wish
5 to want
6 to miss (feel wistful about the absence of sb or sth)

The mind should process information like this and check the 5 tasks simultaneously, whereas in english it is one to one mapping of imagination 


The advantage is you create a mnemonic “elephant thinking with power” imagination 

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