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How to learn and memorize Chinese characters

如何学汉字和记住汉字.jpg

An important part of learning Chinese is to learn characters. Learning characters is different from learning words in other foreign languages.

学中文的关键一环是学习汉字。学习汉字跟学习其他语言的字词是不一样的。

 

This can sometimes be frustrating for beginners because you might find it hard to know how to learn something so completely different. You might think you know how to learn vocabulary in French, but is that method good for learning Chinese?

有时候,对于初学者而言,难以知道如何学习一件截然不同的事物是件令人沮丧的事。你或许认为你知道如何学习法语里的词汇,但这个方法是否适用于学习中文呢?

 

Probably not. Most students use very inefficient methods to learn vocabulary regardless of language. This article will talk about two things. First, how to learn a new character. Second, how to maintain the ability to recall that character later. These processes are of course related, but they aren't the same.

很可能是不适合。大部分学生不顾语言的种类而使用低效率的方法去学习词汇。本文将讨论以下两方面:第一,如何学习新字词;第二,如何保持对所学字词的持续记忆。这些过程一定是相互关联的,但是却并不相同。

 

Here are some quick tips for learning Chinese characters more efficiently:

以下是一些高效学习中文汉字的快速方法:

 

Don't write the character immediately. As a beginner, it's tempting to treat Chinese characters as pretty pictures that you learn to reproduce by copying them. This is not a good approach. Look at the character first, understand its composition. Look at how the different parts are placed. Note the stroke order! It isn't important that you memories the exact details of all strokes right now, but you need to learn which strokes belong to which part.

不要马上动笔写汉字。作为初学者,很容易把中文汉字看成漂亮图画,通过照抄来复写汉字,但这不是一个好方法。先看看该中文汉字,了解它的组成结构,研究它的不同部分如何组合。记得注意笔画顺序!虽然现在记住所有笔画的准确顺序并不重要,但是你需要知道每个笔画所属的组成部分。

 

Write the character once without looking. You should try to avoid copying stroke-by-stroke as much as possible. This is a very bad habit and you don't really learn much by doing so. Instead, try to remember as large parts of the character as possible. If you can look at the character, look away and write it! If you can't do that, divide the character into parts and peek once for each part. In any case, don't look at the model character while writing.

不看汉字进行书写。你应该尽量避免一笔一画地照抄。这是个很不好的习惯,这么做你也学不到太多东西。相反,要试着尽可能记住汉字的主要组成部分。要是你可以看见汉字的话,那么转过头别看,然后书写!如果你做不到,那就把汉字拆分,每部分可以偷瞄一眼。在任何情况下,书写的时候不要看着汉字范例。

 

Write the character a dozen times. Once you know how to write the character, write the entire character a dozen times and pay attention to the right stroke order. You're not allowed to peek while writing a character, only to check if you're right or not! The idea here is to increase your familiarity with the character and also get some flow into your handwriting.

多次书写汉字。一旦你掌握了汉字的书写,那就多书写几次完整的汉字,同时注意正确的笔画笔顺。书写的时候不要偷看,只能在检查是否书写正确的时候才可以看。这个方法是为了加强你对汉字的熟悉度,同时让书写更加流畅。

 

If you don't find enough information in your textbook to allow you to do all this, you might want to check out some free online resources. For character decomposition, you can use HanziCraft, which will tell you not only which components a character consists of, but also how the sounds of these components relate to the pronunciation of the character, something which is very unlikely to appear in your textbook.

要是你在参考书里找不到足够信息来实现以上方法的话,或许可以去找找网上免费的资源。想分解汉字的话,可以使用HanziCraft,它不仅可以向你解释汉字的组成部分,还能将汉字的发音与组成部分的发音相联系,这些都是参考书里不大可能见到的。

 

Remembering Chinese characters

记忆中文汉字

 

It's relatively easy to remember a few Chinese characters, but the more you learn, the harder it becomes. When you know a few thousand characters, the main obstacle isn't to learn more characters, but to remember those you have learnt and the difference between them. You also need to remember how they are used and which other characters they typically occur alongside with.

记忆少量中文汉字相对来说比较容易,但学得越多就变得越难。当你知道几千个汉字的时候,最大的障碍不是学习更多的汉字,而是记住学过的汉字以及它们之间的区别。你还需要记住如何使用它们以及与它们相搭配的其他汉字。

 

The best solution is to combine spaced repetition software with actual communicative practice.

最好的解决方法就是结合重复记忆软件和现实沟通练习。

 

For instance, you could change your input language to handwriting and draw the characters on your phone instead of typing. You could also use handwriting input on your computer if you have a writing tablet. If you happen to have Chinese-speaking friends who are willing to help, you could of course also do e-mail correspondence.

比如,你可以将输入法设置为手写输入,然后不再打字,而在手机上写汉字。如果有手写板的话,你也可以把电脑设置为手写输入。要是你有可以求助的中国朋友的话,当然你也可以写邮件进行交流。

2016-06-21

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