Ways to Learn Chinese Characters Simply and Efficiently

Chinese language is an unfamiliar territory for many whose first language use an alphabetic system such as English. Instead of combining letters to form words, Chinese language uses strokes to form characters. The commonly used Chinese characters alone contain 3000 approach. Not only that, Chinese is also a tonal language with four different tones, commonly marked with accent marks, and when unmarked represents the neutral tone. The accent marks are only available when using PinYin to represent the pronunciation. The word sh for instance, can have different meanings depending on its tone. The first tone sh can mean poetry or wet or teacher. The second tone sh can mean ten or time or genuine. The third tone sh can mean history or to start or to cause. Lastly tone sh can mean yes or room or matter. In essence, there are many similar sounds with different meanings. As a question of fact, a Chinese linguist in the 20th century Zhao Yuanren composed a 10-line classical Chinese poem using only the sound shi.

Next, it is not always possible to guess the pronunciation of a characteristics. The character for wood, for instance, is pronounced mu. The character for forest, can be composed of two-character for wood, is pronounced lin. Although in this example the pronunciation can’t be related, the concept of the characters are able to. On the contrary, when the pronunciation can be related due to similar root character, the meanings aren’t necessarily related.

PinYin itself, although alphabetized, is not pronounced the unique way as the alphabetic sounds. There are unfamiliar sounds for example u with an umlaut () that sounds like a compounding of I and u. Like things unfamiliar, it might lead to uncertainty and fearfulness. Thus, knowing the challenges learners face is the very step in devising effective learning strategies that directly affect their language success.

The Strategies Once Learn Chinese Characters

Prof Ko-Yin Sung of Chinese Language Study from Utah State university conducted a research amongst non-heritage, non-Asian Far east learners and uncovered interesting results may be help future learners in forming a good study blueprint. Her study revolves concerning the most regularly employed Chinese character learning strategies and how those strategies affect the learners’ ability in understanding and producing the sound and the writing of the Chinese characters.

The study finds that among finest twenty most important used strategies, eight from them are springing out of when a character is first introduced to learners. These include:

1. Repeating the character several times aloud or silently.

2. Writing the character down.

3. Noting how the smoothness is utilized for context.

4. Noting the tone and associating it with pinyin.

5. Observing the character and stroke order.

6. Visualising the element.

7. Learning the explanation of the type.

8. Associating the character with previously learned design.

The next six strategies are formerly increase learners’ understanding for this newly introduced character.

9. Converting the character into native language and finding an equivalent.

10. Looking in the textbook or dictionary.

11. Checking if the actual character been recently used preceding.

12. Trying to find out how intensive testing . used in conversation.

13. Using the character hello in mandarin chinese sentences by mouth.

14. Asking how the character could provide in phrases.

However, learning strategies start to diminish beyond those two learning phase. There are only three strategies played with memorising newly learned the outdoors.

15. Saying and writing the character at one time.

16. Saying and picturing the character in memory.

17. With the sound, visualising the character shape and meaning.

And tend to be : only one strategy applied in practising new characters.

18. Making sentences and writing them out.

And new characters are reviewed brand-new types of two strategies only.

19. Writing the characters many time intervals.

20. Reading over notes, example sentences and the textbook.

Of the twenty strategies mentioned above, four are found to be most significant in increasing learner’s skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing of brand new characters. The four strategies are:

Writing the characters down

Observing the stroke order

Making connection to a similar character

Saying and writing the character repeatedly

Discussion

A research by Stice in 1987 showed that students only retained 10% of back as they learned from what they read, 26% from whatever hear, and 30% from what they see. When learning modes are combined, a significant improvement to learn retention is noted. Learning retention jumped to 50% when seeing and hearing are combined, and even higher at 70% when students the materials yet learning, and learning retention is in the highest at 90% when students say the materials they are learning as they quite do the one thing. Simply reading the characters aren’t enough. Learners must associate the sound with the characters, develop a connection that isn’t characters come up with them memorable, and practice recalling the newly learned characters.

Study shows that recalling new characters learned improves learning retention and reinforces understanding. One way allow your this is actually using an app since The Intelligent Flashcards. Amounts . flashcard app is intended for the New Practical Chinese Reader textbooks, making it convenient evaluation characters on such basis as chapters. Just does it show stroke order animation, it is also accompanied by native speaker sound files, making this app the more convenient that another app with regard to example Anki. With Anki, although user could add personal notes on it, the sound file isn’t available and must be imported through another app.

Another important learning approach to incorporate is observing your characters are usually employed in framework. This can finished by observing real-life conversations to grow the textbook and audio recordings conversation. It is interesting to that trainees studied the particular abovementioned research were hesitant to adopt the training strategies recommended by the instructors, such as watching Chinese TV shows or listening Chinese popular music. There could be many causes this. The structure of the shows or songs could not appeal to the learners.

Regarding this program is not quite as convenient. Also if the shows might accessed online, rarely is it subtitled in both Chinese and English which would make the shows more employed to beginner learners in buying the language. Also, most among the very popular Chinese Tv programs fall into the historical genre, which is really a favourite one of several Chinese, such as The Empress of Cina. However, the language spoken in this particular type of TV show is much more complex compared to a contemporary spoken Chinese.