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Tips for reviewing Chinese characters

Chinese words, reviewing Chinese, learning Chinese

Learning Chinese characters is something unique to Chinese. The other parts of learning the language works pretty much in the same way as for other language, and if you hear some good advice about how to learn pronunciation in Spanish or improve your listening ability in German, it basically works well for Chinese as well.

学习汉字对于中文学习是独特的,而其余的学习部分和学习其它语言是差不多同样的道理,要是你听到关于如何学习西班牙语的发音或提高德语听力的一些好建议,那基本上也适用于中文。

 

But not so with Chinese characters. Learning Chinese characters is different from learning words in most other languages, simply because the link between the written and spoken word is much weaker.

不过对于汉字并非如此。汉字的学习与其它大部分语言的字词学习是不一样的,就因为书面语和口语之间没有太多关联。

 

For Chinese, there are phonetic clues in many characters, but you can never be sure how a character is pronounced just by looking at it.

对于中文,很多汉字都有语音提示信息,但凭其外形,你没办法确定该如何发音。

 

Learning vs. reviewing

 

One thing many people forget, both students and teachers, is that learning the characters is just the first step.

很多人,包括学生和老师,会忘记这一点:学习汉字正是第一步。

 

The real challenge when learning Chinese is to remember the characters and be able to tell them apart. Of course, if you study a character properly, it's likely that you will remember it later, but without reviewing, you will forget.

学习中文的真正挑战是记忆汉字且能分辨它们。当然了,要是你正确地学了一个汉字,之后你或许会记住它,但不复习的话,你就会忘记。

 

How to review Chinese characters

 

There are two important principles you need to be aware of and that you should follow as much as possible.

这里有两项你需要注意以及应该尽可能遵守的原则。

 

The first is that the more actively you process what you are reviewing, the better you will remember it.

首先,你复习的过程越活跃,你记忆的效果会更好。

 

This means that just looking at a character is not a good way of reviewing. Looking at it and imagining how to write it is better. Seeing a sentence in Chinese with a gap where only the character in question fits is very good, as is seeing the word in English or Pinyin and then having to recall how to write the character. Actively looking for the answer is always better than just looking at the answer. This is why simply reading a book isn't a good way of remembering it, you need to process the content for it.

这意味着仅仅看汉字不是一个复习的好方法。看着汉字并想象如何书写会更好,研究句子填空、看看为什么只有你所疑问的汉字适合填空的方法也很好,观察有英文和拼音注解的词语然后回想如何书写该字也同样是个好方法,积极寻求答案总比单单看答案要好。这就是为什么单单阅读一本书并非记忆的好办法,你需要的是去消化它的内容。

 

The second principle is related to time and is called the spacing effect. It basically means that if you put intervals of time between each review, you will remember the character better than if you review the character the same number of times.

第二个原则与时间相关,称为"间隔效应"。它基本上就是指如果你在每次复习的中间间隔了一段时间,那么你将会比花同样次数记忆汉字的效果还要好。

 

This effect has been researched a lot and there are now algorithms that help you space the reviews optimally. These programs are often called SRS or Spaced Repetition Software. A few examples of such programs are Anki and Skritter.

这个效应已经被多次研究,而现在有很多算法可以帮助你优化复习的间隔时间。这些程序常常称为SRS (Spaced Repetition Software, 记忆软件),这类程序的一些例子有Anki和Skritter。

 

Learning characters is not easy, but remembering them can be even harder. First make sure you actually review characters properly. Second, make sure you review them in an active way. Third, use a program that helps you space the reviews optimally, or find another way of ascertaining that you review enough.

学习汉字不容易,但记住汉字更难。首先你要确保自己真的正确复习了汉字。其次,确保自己积极地复习它们。第三,使用一个程序帮助自己优化复习间隔时间,或找到其他保证足够复习的方式。

 

Translated from: about.com

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2016-06-21

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