How to learn Chinese characters

Teach comprehensively
When memorizing a character or chinese to english, learn everything at once: spelling, meaning and reading with tone. Two out of three won’t work. Without remembering the tone, you will not be able to correctly reproduce the word in oral speech, and you will not be understood. There are even people on the Internet who do not learn reading at all, only meaning and spelling. The meaning of such exercises causes only bewilderment. Please don’t do this.

Start with basic characters
Learn the pictograms first. They are simple and are included as components in the rest of the hieroglyphs, so it will be easier to memorize them. Here you will find the 20 most basic pictograms. Along the way, you should also master the keys, usually they are in all hieroglyphics courses (you will find them in the table below).

Use a mnemonic
Mnemonic techniques, or memorization techniques, allow you to create a strong associative link between writing a character, its meaning and reading. As you already know, hieroglyphs are made up of constituent parts – graphemes. On their basis, you can come up with whole stories.

For example, the character 眺 (Zhào) – “look into the distance” consists of parts 目 – “eye” and 兆 – “trillion”. Together we get a real frame from the movie: “a trillion eyes look into the distance.” Of course, it will not be possible to remember all the hieroglyphs in this way, but at least some of them can be associated.

Learn kanji along with words
Learn hieroglyphs not separately, but together with the words where they are included. Depending on the word, the hieroglyph can take on different meanings. For example, 会 (huì) has the meanings “to be able”, “to be able”, “to meet” and “union”.

社会 (shè huì) – society;
不会 (bù huì) – unlikely;
会议 (huì yì) – meeting.
To better remember, make sentences from words, look at the use of words in context using corpus dictionaries. Learning a word without context often does not make sense. After all, you will not understand in what situations they are used and how they are attached to other words.

Use cards
It doesn’t have to be paper or cardboard cards. You can install the application and use it. One of the most famous is Anki. It uses the Spaced Repetition System (SRS) to prevent you from forgetting a character or a word. The first time you repeat the word after a few minutes, then after a few hours, days, and so on. This method of memorization is considered the most effective.

Another popular flashcard app is Quizlet. It does not use a spaced repetition system, but it does have a nice design and various game-based learning modes. You can try both and decide which suits you best. Both applications already have ready-made sets of words and characters, so you don’t have to create your own.

Prescribe hieroglyphs
Yes, it really helps to better remember hieroglyphs and words. When you write by hand, the fusiform gyrus of the brain is trained. Because of this, you begin to reproduce and recognize the character better[1]. So write, and the more the better.

Drawing out Chinese characters is a rather meditative activity, and many people like it for this. If for you writing hieroglyphs becomes a means of dealing with stress, you will again kill two hawks. There will be four.

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