Mandarin Journal Part 3

Next I tried again the vocabulary thing, but this time it was audio vocab cards which I just made mnemonics for as I heard them, this left room for error because the mnemonics were just for the sound with out tones, I assumed there wouldn’t be shi4qu2 and then shi4qu1, which was a noob assumption, I haven’t checked it out but I’m pretty sure that kinda thing exists in great numbers. Also my listening skills in the language weren’t that great yet so I couldn’t distinguish qu from chu, and sometimes let things go even when I could, like I knew jia and jie were different but if I made the mistake of using the same mnemonic for both I kinda just let it slide. Eventually all these little errors and leech cards got to me, especially since I didn’t suspend leech cards, and at about 300-400 cards I stopped reviewing them.

However I there was over lap of some of those cards in the native material I was listening to so I still retained some of the words.

At the same time as this second vocab thing, which wasn’t a binge cause it was only about 10-20 new cards per say, and using an srs kept the reviews down, I was taking sentences from show lo interviews and clips , I chose his stuff cause he had sub titled stuff, and is cool and funny. I made audio sentence cards for srs and added 10-20 new ones per day. This was one of the best ways I can find for learning a language. It works like a charm, especially if you have been listening to the audio passively for a month and then use it for sentences, cant go wrong. Did about 500 of these and then school got really hard so I had to stop mandarin all together for about two months.

Because the way I scored my srs reps was either hard or fail, I feel that might have helped keep the sentences in better because after 2 months, I still knew most of the sentences I had studied. If they were vocab or hanzi, and I was using mnemonics then it would be way less efficient to mark everything hard because mnemonics kinda pushes things into long term memory fast. However with audio sentences, although I should run an experiment, so far I feel that since they are rote memorization, they require being seen more.

I started back with just listening after two months and then started sentences again in the summer. Got to 500, new sentences, went very well and I could understand a bit of native stuff on topics of show business and that was cool. But then for some reason I started feeling like I should be going faster, so I decided I should learn hanzi so I could watch shows and read while listening like pure Ajatt style. This is were the problem started for me.

Because my method so far was based around not paying a cent for learning this language, this isn’t completely accurate because the internet connection has to be paid for, well actually I could have don most of this at a public library but that’s just inconvenient. Anyways that was one of my goals, not paying money, and so I decided I would do RTK without using RTK. I found a book on radicals in a library and learned all 211 or so plus there variants. Then I downloaded a Taiwanese deck of 3500 or so characters and started making mnemonics for them going by most commonly used.


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