Mandarin Journal Part 2

Learning 50 words per day by mnemonics, at least for the first day, was doable.

However I didn’t have a proper algorithm for spacing out the reviews yet so the following day I had 100 reviews, next day 150, I was thinking of a better way of doing it but I lost motivation before putting that plan in motion. The Idea would be that after 3000 words you should be able to learn from context any other words, it would have been great if I could sustain it but my motivation wasn’t there for it.


Method Idea that didn’t work was trying to memorize a mandarin rap song by listening to it 24/7, not a lot of mandarin rap songs, and they are really difficult, and fast, some people cant even understand rap in their own language if its too fast, the only stuff I liked was faster stuff with big un-common vocab. its possible but maybe time inefficient.



One method that I was able to keep up with till its end was from It was his listening from different angles to raise your awareness post I think. He linked a site called and on this site there is a section with 30 audio clips of mandarin conversation that start very simple and become progressively more challenging, although never too challenging. So the idea is to listen to one, ten times, first twice just listing, then twice listing while reading pinyin, then twice listing while reading the key words, then twice reading the English, the twice listing again. It takes about ten minutes for a one minute clip which is the average.

So by the end of it I counted 500 unique words I learned. He says there are 40 clips and that there are 1000 unique words but I think they got rid of 10 of the later clips or made them so you have to purchase them. Anyways, I followed this through and noticed a big difference like being able to understand a word hear or there of Chinese conversation.


Next started looking for native material to just have on my ipod all the time, and I found a lot on youtube. I added some to a playlist on my Ipod and had it on all all the time.

The reasons this is supposed to be good for foreign language acquisition are:


  1. you get used to hearing the sounds, so that eventually you can distinguish individual words instead of just hear a big stream of words that someone would hear at first.
  2. You are constantly in a foreign language environment and so your motivation to learn stays high
  3. A reason I have noticed, all the times when you are doing nothing, waiting, taking a shit, ect, you have something on in the background and if you understand some of it already you might just start picking out things you understand out of boredom.
  4. Another thing I have noticed is that if you repeat the same hour of immersion material, as it repeats your brain starts to take interest into what it noticed has been said before and its like a space gets allocated for it. So lets say you keep hearing a sentence but don’t know what it means. After hearing it, paying attention or not, you will be able to recognize it and probably repeat the sentence without knowing what it means. So when you find out what the sentence means, you have learned that sentence, and each word in the sentence without any effort. How ever if you try to do this with many sentences it still starts to get harder to tell which but its way easier that learning a sentence you’ve never hear before.


So I kept the native audio, show lo or some other talk show, because they are only talking,and constant talking, which is awesome.



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