All Blog Posts Tagged 'characters' (23)

Habit hacking for language learners

This post is an excerpt from Hacking Chinese - Read the full article here:

The longer I learn Chinese (and anything else, actually) the more convinced I become that the minimum study time matters much more than the maximum study time. In other words, I prefer to study a little bit all the time rather than go…


Added by Lester Orman on April 17, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

Methods for Memorizing Characters

Learning Chinese is a lot about memorization and repetition. This actually seems to be a central component of Chinese culture. In the past, scholars would memorize the Confucian classics, actually memorize entire books. Students of calligraphy would write characters thousands of times, and the repetition is not just limited to language learning. In Chinese martial arts, students practice patterns of movements thousands of times, until movements seamlessly flow into each…


Added by Ben Hedges on July 26, 2013 at 9:57pm — 2 Comments

3 "important" Chinese idioms - learn how "重" zhòng is used

zhòng usually means "heavy, important, or powerful". In the following three Chinese idioms,  zhòng is used for different meanings. Please pay attention to what exactly  zhòng is used for, and at the same…


Added by Grace on April 18, 2012 at 12:30am — 5 Comments

When I grow up, I want to be a calligraphy master!

Today I had my calligraphy class and surprise surprise, we actually practiced calligraphy!  For the last few weeks we have been painting or learning how to make the ink.  But finally, we started writing!  We started with 永 (meaning forever) because it takes forever to learn! After a million times of being told my ink was not dark enough,…


Added by Anna on February 13, 2012 at 3:21am — 1 Comment

Memrise - A language tracking tool?

The most frustrating part of learning Chinese (or any language) is that we really have few ways of telling how we am progressing. Test and quizzes are great, but I am in it for the long haul. I don't want to memorize just for test. Also, aside from the frequent "不错" from my Chinese friends, getting regular feedback on my progress was non existent. Sure my teachers are…


Added by Marcus Davis on January 4, 2012 at 10:00am — 19 Comments

One of the more interesting Chinese characters

This is random but I wanted to highlight a character that was shared by @zhongruige on Twitter.

The character is  dá and has an interesting definition: the appearance of a dragon flying.



Added by Brandon on October 30, 2011 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Do you have to be serious to learn characters?

This morning it dawned on me, after years of learning Chinese, hours spent of searching, trying different ways of learning these characters, it finally hit me, THERE IS NO SHORTCUT. You have to study, I mean really study, and you really have to give it your all.


The net is full of ways how to learn, but it turns-out unless your living in…


Added by wood on October 23, 2011 at 11:00am — 7 Comments

One of the most complex Chinese Characters - Biang Biang Mian

At 57 strokes, this is a really cool character that doesn't show up in any 输入法 shū rù fǎ - character input method.

From wikipedia:

Made up of 57 strokes, the Chinese character for "biáng" is one of the most complex Chinese characters in contemporary usage, although…

Added by Will Weisblatt on August 2, 2011 at 10:00pm — 6 Comments

Recognizing small differences in characters - "Sweat the little things"

Well, they are really "little", I mean the nuances of the characters in each following set that I've collected in my notebook. But, in fact, they did make me "sweat" for quite a little time. 


- The first set:

田 [tián] field

由 [yóu] oil

申 [shēn] express

甲 [jiǎ] shell/armour


- The second set:

百 [bǎi] hundred

目 [mù] eye

日 [rì] day

自 [zì] oneself

白 [bái] white


- The third set:



Added by Stuffedtuna on July 22, 2011 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments

Chinese days of the week, months and other time expressions.

Hi everyone,

I'm gonna go over some time expressions in this post.


Now lets look at weekdays, it's pretty straight forward.

All you have to do is place a number after 'xingqi' to make the days of the week, except for sunday in which you add 'tian' or 'ri'.

Jīntiān Xīngqī jǐ? : What day is it…


Added by JayLatarche on June 2, 2011 at 1:00am — No Comments

My 'Scratch N Learn' Chinese App is Ready

My Scratch N Learn Chinese iPhone App is ready.


It is free for now.. but going to be 99cents in a few days. So grab it now!


iTunes link:…


Added by Mark Ashworth on April 19, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Useless Chinese learning - Chun Li from Street Fighter

I call this post useless but that's only true for those readers that weren't fortunate enough to be playing video games in the early 90s.  In 1992, Capcom released Street Fighter 2, which had the first female character in a fighting game (thanks…


Added by Brandon on March 29, 2011 at 7:30am — 5 Comments

Remembering Chinese characters using memory techniques - Nytimes article

I wanted to share this article that was on the nytimes recently, highlighting the techniques that "memory athletes" use.  The article is interesting but especially…


Added by Brandon on February 22, 2011 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

and my money on my mind (part 2 of Snoop Dogg Mandarin Chinese)

This post is part 2 of Mandarin characters we can learn from Snoop Dogg's Gin and Juice.  I highly suggest reading part 1 here before you read this.…


Added by Brandon on February 13, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

My mind on my money (and the characters that Snoop Dogg can teach us)

In the song Gin & Juice, Snoop Dogg (photovideo, …


Added by Brandon on February 10, 2011 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

Never enough beautiful people at work - how to remember 差 chà - "to lack"

Today’s entry is based around the character chà which has quite a few meanings (of course) but basically means ‘to lack, short of, differ from’.



Added by Brandon on January 23, 2011 at 11:00am — 4 Comments

How to remember 口,门,问,们 and 乒乓 ping pong (hint, they're related)

A few characters to remember for those just starting out.


kŏu - means mouth, for hopefully obvious reasons :) :0 :O & smaller versions of that box are often associated with…


Added by Brandon on December 24, 2010 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

How to remember "want / important" - 要 - yào

Unfortunately this 'how to' also involves female stereotypes but, eh, what can you do?  


This character - has several different meanings but this is how I remember the more dominant use as a fourth tone, yào.  Generally it means…


Added by Brandon on December 22, 2010 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments

Winning the Fa Piao game - 发票 fā piào

For those of you not in China 中国 zhōng guó, there's this "fun" system introduced where you can win small amounts of money by asking for official (see: tax accountable) receipts from restaurants and the like.


On these receipts, called 发票 fā piào, there's a scratch off area on the top.  99.9% of the time it's just…


Added by Brandon on December 16, 2010 at 9:30pm — No Comments

How to remember "if" - 如果 - rú guŏ

Okay so this one isn't that complicated but it has proven to be pretty memorable. It's just what I first thought when looking at the characters.

"if - in the event that" - 如果 - rú guŏ

I 'read' this starting with the left…


Added by Brandon on December 13, 2010 at 10:00pm — No Comments

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