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Monthly Archives: May 2011
For about the last 4 months, I have been using an iPhone app to study Chinese characters. There’s a good selection of these types of apps available through the App Store, which is great because making hundreds of flashcards is a pain (even if making them does help in studying). I set a goal several months ago of having the first 500 characters down by the time I left China in July. So I thought the repetitive nature of flashcards would be a slam dunk for learning these characters.
Slumps aren’t just limited to baseball players with falling batting averages, they expand into all professions, skills, and hobbies. And apparently it even expands into learning another language. Lately I feel like my Chinese has gone through a slump. Words aren’t being pronounced right or I am always groping for a word or I hardly know any characters in a sentence. Worst is when I can’t fully express myself because I do not know the necessary vocabulary and grammatical structures.
If your going to be spending an extended period of time in China, you might want to find yourself a Chinese name. While it is definitely not necessary and you will probably find most people still calling you by your English name, it is still a fun way to learn more about Chinese culture.
I love using iPhone apps to learn Chinese, but the only problem is that I have been disappointed jut as many times as I have been impressed. I hope this post prevents the latter; here are three apps you’ll want to skip.
Below are 15 multiple choice questions that will test your China IQ. Fill out each answer and then show results to see your score.
When your finished, post a comment and tell us how you did!
I have recently added a section to my blog about learning characters; detailing how I went from having no intention of learning characters to it being my favorite part of learning Chinese. While there are many thousands of Chinese characters, experts agree that there are about 4,000 used in modern day literature. So if you successfully learn all 4,000 characters, you will have no problem reading Chinese, except, of course, when you know the characters but do not know the vocabulary word. In terms of ranking characters, earlier characters are seen significantly more than later characters (a bit like in the way R or S is seen much more than X in English). Accordingly, the rate at which you see Chinese characters is a function that increases at a decreasing rate; see the graph below.