As a student of Chinese, you may be overwhelmed by the thousands of characters you are required to learn. But in this guide for students of Mandarin Chinese — Chinese Character Memory Tricks — I’m going to show you ten daily habits that will improve your memory and command of the language and deepen your knowledge of the written and spoken language.
Let me be honest with you. Chinese characters can be intimidating. There are thousands of them. And each one has a meaning and pronunciation. So why bother with all that? Are there any advantages to learning characters?
Yes, the advantages are many; you just have to know how to take advantage of those advantages. In this article, I’ll tell you ten daily habits which will improve your memory of Chinese characters so that remembering what they mean, their pronunciation, and their writing doesn’t seem like such an uphill battle.
1. Make flashcards
Chinese characters are not just about learning the meaning of each character but also about learning how to write them. To help you remember the characters better, here is a daily habit that you can do to improve your Chinese character writing.
Try making use of flashcards.
Flashcards are usually rectangular cards with one side blank and the other containing information to be learned. Flashcards are small cards with words or phrases printed on them, which you can use to memorize new information by reviewing them repeatedly until they become part of your long-term memory.
Flashcards work because they give your brain a more natural way to learn – by using visual cues rather than just written ones. The best way to use flashcards is to make your deck based on what you want to learn (e.g., vocabulary, grammar rules, etc.).
You can use them to memorize anything from vocabulary words to grammar rules. In our case, we will use them to improve our handwriting by writing Chinese characters on them and then testing ourselves on how well we remembered what we wrote.
The process is simple:
1) Write the character on one side of the flashcard (the front). Make sure you write it in its proper orientation and size – this way, when you flip it over and write it again (on the back of the card), it will be exactly like what you wrote on the front side;
2) Flip over the card so that its backside is facing up;
3) Now test yourself by writing what is on the front side again on this same backside (so now there will be two copies of each character);
4) Repeat steps
2. Connect with the meaning of the characters
Chinese characters, or hanzi, are often daunting for learners to memorize. But there is a simple way to remember them. To remember Chinese characters more efficiently, you need first to understand the meaning of each character. Each character has its importance. Once you know what it means, it will be easier to memorize and recognize it later.
Learning Chinese characters can be a tedious process. But there are ways to make it easier and more fun. You might have heard of mnemonics, where you associate a character with another word or phrase that reminds you of its meaning. For example, if you want to remember the character for “moon,” which is 月, you could use the phrase “a drunken man fell.”
The problem with this type of mnemonic is that it only works for one character at a time. If you want to remember many words simultaneously, the best thing is to create your own stories using all those characters. This will allow you to memorize them as a group rather than as individual entities.
To help you memorize Chinese characters better, here are some tips:
1) Write down the pinyin of each character
2) Look up the stroke order diagram online or ask your teacher/professor how to write each character correctly
3) Practice writing each character several times until they become comfortable with it
4) Use mnemonics to help with memorization (i.e., make up an exciting story or memory aid that connects with the meaning of the character)
3. Use the correct stroke order when writing out Chinese characters
Learning Chinese characters can be a daunting task. There are tens of thousands of them, and mastering even the most basic ones will take you years of practice.
But you can do a straightforward thing to help yourself learn Chinese better: Use the correct stroke order when writing out Chinese characters.
The reason why is because each character is made up of different strokes, but they need to be written in a specific order. If you get the strokes right, you’re more likely to remember how the character looks and sounds when you see it later.
Some people write Chinese characters by hand every day. They do this because they believe that doing so helps them remember Chinese better than just studying them in a textbook or using flashcards alone.
If you want to see if this works for you as well, try writing out some characters every day using the correct stroke order — it may seem like a chore at first, but I promise it’ll become easier over time (and trust me: it’s worth it!).
Stroke order is an essential part of written Chinese. It’s not a matter of aesthetics; it’s a matter of clarity. The order in which you write out these characters helps your brain remember them better because it creates patterns that make sense to us visually and mentally.
The first step to learning how to write Chinese characters is getting used to the written form of each character, not just its pronunciation or meaning. This might sound strange at first because usually, we try to translate everything into English first so that we can understand it better (e.g., “I want…”, “How much?”, etc.)
But we have no problem understanding English speakers when they speak aloud with no translation involved! So why not apply this same principle to Chinese characters? Chinese characters are a unique writing system. They’re incredibly complex, and they have different rules than other languages.
But learning to write Chinese characters is not as hard as you think. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to mastering the art of calligraphy:
1. Use the correct stroke order when writing out Chinese characters.
The stroke order is the sequence in which each character line is written.
2. Start small and work your way up to more prominent characters.
3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes — it won’t kill you (and maybe someone else can learn from your mistakes too).
4. Practicing at least ten new words a day
If you want to improve your Chinese writing, you need to practice. Not just once in a while, but regularly and consistently. You may be wondering how long it will take before you see results. It’s hard to say precisely, but I think that one month is a reasonable time frame for seeing noticeable improvement.
So what can you do to make sure that you keep practicing? One idea is to set up a daily habit of writing at least ten new words every day. This can be done by going through the vocabulary lists in your textbook or dictionary or choosing ten new words from other sources (text, news article, etc.).
The important thing is that these are not necessarily words that you already know how to write well – they should be new characters that you haven’t practiced before today. When you start practicing them tomorrow, they won’t feel familiar yet!
Chinese characters are not simple. They’re complex, with many components that you need to memorize. The more you practice, the more familiar they become.
But how can you learn the most Chinese characters in the least amount of time? Here are seven tips:
1) Practice at least ten new words a day.
2) Choose words relevant to your life, whether food, sports, or hobbies.
3) Learn by writing them down as often as possible (and don’t forget to check them off your list!).
4) Make a list of all the characters you’re learning and review it daily.
5) Find language exchanges through websites like iTalki or Verbling; these help you practice speaking while learning writing!
6) Watch videos on YouTube or listen to podcasts with native speakers (I know Chinese has some great ones).
7) Find an app that helps you study like Pleco or Skritter—they’ll help make sure no character goes unlearned!
5. Look for them in real life
Chinese characters are often described as “pictures” or “ideograms.” Each character represents an object, a person, or a concept. To remember Chinese characters better, you should try to find them in real life. When you meet with a new character in your textbook, look for it in the streets, on posters and billboards, etc.
One of the most important things you can do to help yourself remember Chinese characters better is to look for them in real life. So if you see a character and it’s not in your vocabulary, try to find it in real life. Maybe this looks like going to the grocery store, reading some Chinese text, watching TV, or listening to the radio.
This works because you’re making those connections between the character’s image and what it means. It’s almost like having flashcards that are already made for you.
This is because this is something that’s already there in real life. You don’t have to make anything up or try to create an image on your own.
For example, if you see a store sign with 友 (yǒu) on it, then you can immediately associate this sign with the meaning of friendship. Another example is when you see a sign or poster with Chinese characters, try to guess what they mean by looking at the context (what else is written around them). Then check your answer in a dictionary or online.
If you want to go further, try writing down all the characters you see in your daily life and then test yourself later on those you could guess correctly or incorrectly.
Here are some ways that you can use your surroundings to help with your character learning:
Look for signs in Chinese characters wherever you go. This is an excellent way to practice all of the different strokes involved with writing Chinese characters, and it’s also a great way to practice recognizing those characters when you see them again later on.
If possible, try to write down what each sign says before you leave to have something to look back on later when trying to remember what it said exactly. You could even take pictures of these signs or write them down if possible!
When shopping for groceries or other items at a store, look for things written in Chinese characters and English words so that you can start getting used to recognizing those letters more quickly and easily. If there aren’t any items written in Chinese characters yet at your favorite store, but there are at another one nearby, go ahead and check out what they have there instead!
6. Review regularly
Chinese characters are difficult to remember because they are different from the alphabet in other languages. Even if you have studied Chinese for a while, building up your vocabulary and remembering the characters takes time. One of the best ways to improve your memorization ability is to review regularly. By checking regularly, you will enhance your memory of Chinese characters quickly.
Here are some tips:
Practice every day. If you study Chinese for 30 minutes every day, you will learn more than if you study for one hour twice per week. It’s better to practice often, even for a short period than not!
Review what you’ve learned recently before moving on to something new. If you know something new today and then forget about it until next week, when you review it again, it won’t be fresh in your mind and, therefore, harder to recall later on down the line!
Use mnemonic devices or stories (cí詞). If there isn’t a story that comes with a character or if the story doesn’t make sense to you (it’s just some rubbish made up by someone else), don’t worry; there are other ways to help remember things like this!
When you learn a new language, you can’t just learn a few words and expect to use them. You need to review regularly. We’re going to talk about one of the most valuable Chinese learning habits that will help you remember Chinese characters better – reviewing your flashcards regularly.
Why is it important to review?
You’ve probably heard of the spaced repetition system (SRS) before – this is a learning technique where you review material at increasing intervals with the hope that you’ll remember what you studied more quickly in the long run. Research has shown that SRS is one of the best ways to study effectively because it ensures that learners don’t forget what they’ve learned.
7. Take frequent breaks
A good way of making learning Chinese a daily habit is by taking frequent breaks during your study sessions. Taking breaks is essential because it gives your brain time to rest from all those new characters that you are trying to memorize. If you’re trying to learn Chinese characters, you may have heard about the importance of taking frequent
breaks. This is a good idea for many reasons:
- It helps prevent you from getting fatigued and making mistakes.
- It prevents you from becoming too focused on any one thing.
- It allows you to step back and look at what you’ve learned with fresh eyes.
Taking a break also allows you to clear your mind so that when you return to your studies, you’ll concentrate better and pick up where you left off without having to relearn everything again.
If you keep studying without taking any breaks, there is a chance that your brain will get tired and overwhelmed by all those new characters and their meanings which can make it difficult for you to remember them later on down the road.
When you practice Chinese every day, there are some things that you should try not to do so that you don’t become bored with your studies:
Don’t spend too much time on one lesson or topic – It’s important to mix up your studies so that they don’t feel boring or monotonous. If you’re just learning how to write characters, don’t spend all day writing them repeatedly! Instead, take a break after 20 minutes or so. And then go back to writing once more later on in the day. Taking frequent breaks can help your memory!
Here are some reasons why:
1) Taking frequent breaks keeps your brain active and engaged in learning, which is good for your brain and mental health overall (and we all know how important that is).
2) When you take more breaks, it means that each time you study, you’re making better use of your limited time. Rather than spending two hours on one character (or even one hour!), each session will be more effective if you take several shorter sessions throughout the day.
3) When you take regular breaks in between studying sessions, it allows time for your brain to absorb information before moving on to the next item. This helps prevent the feeling of overwhelm that can happen when trying to learn too many things and make sure that each piece of information gets appropriately processed by your brain before moving on to something else.
8. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
When it comes to learning Chinese, the best way to improve your memory is to have a good time. One of the most common mistakes people make when learning Chinese is that they are afraid to make mistakes. If a person makes a mistake, they will feel embarrassed and ashamed.
This is true for people who want to learn Chinese and for people who want to improve their English. They are afraid of making mistakes because they don’t want people to think they’re stupid or silly.
The truth is that no one can become fluent in any language without making mistakes. We all make mistakes when we speak because our brains are not wired for perfection. Our brains are wired for survival, not perfection. This means that you need to stop being afraid of making mistakes and start embracing them as an opportunity for personal growth.
When trying to memorize something, it’s easy to get frustrated when you can’t remember something right away. But if you spend too much time worrying about making a mistake or feeling bad about yourself because you didn’t do something perfectly right away, then this can make it harder for you to learn!
This is why Chinese teachers often tell their students not to worry about making mistakes — because they know that if their students don’t make mistakes and feel wrong about them, they won’t try as hard when they’re speaking or writing Chinese.
This might sound strange for teachers, but think about it: when we’re learning something new, we often feel embarrassed if we make a mistake or don’t understand something immediately. It’s hard for us not to compare ourselves with other people (especially those who speak the language perfectly!)
9. Use a variety of ways to study
One of these methods is to use a variety of ways to study characters. You can learn them through flashcards, apps, games, and other fun activities. Chinese characters should be part of your daily routine because they are one of the essential parts of learning Chinese.
The best way to remember Chinese characters is to use a variety of ways to study them. Here are some things you can do:
Write the word out on paper, and then try to write it again from memory. Try this with different writing tools, like pencils and pens. Then try with your non-dominant hand.
Look up the character in a dictionary and write down all the meanings and associated words you can find for that character.
Read a story or text in Chinese that includes the word you’re studying, then ask yourself what feelings or images come to mind when you read it? What does it remind you of? Does it remind you of anything else? How does it make you feel?
Say the word out loud several times, then say it backward (or forwards if you have trouble doing that), like saying “yes” backward or “no.” Say it at various speeds, as fast or slow as possible. Then repeat it while counting 1-10 with each syllable.
Another helpful habit is using mnemonics (memory aids) whenever possible. This helps you remember new words and phrases more quickly because you associate them with something you already know or like (such as a song lyric).
It can also help with remembering characters because you can use mnemonics for each stroke in a character’s traditional form (called radicals). This will help you remember its meaning and pronunciation better than if you memorized the entire character without any associations.
If you have trouble memorizing Chinese characters, then maybe it’s time you changed your approach. Here are some tips that may help:
1. Use multiple methods of studying Chinese at the same time. For example, you can use flashcards and mnemonics to learn new characters, while mnemonics can also help with recalling already learned words;
2. Take advantage of your environment by learning through context and association;
3. Try using multi-sensory approaches and engage all of your senses when learning new words;
4. Make sure that the method you choose involves repetition and practice;
10. Stay organized
Learning Chinese characters is very important for understanding the Chinese language. However, sometimes it is difficult to remember them. If you have a terrible memory or cannot remember the characters, you should try to do something that can help you remember.
If you want to learn Chinese characters, you need a system or system of some kind that will help you organize all these characters in your head so that they don’t get lost or confused. By staying organized, you will be able to remember the different strokes and how they relate to each other while also being able to visualize them as well.
Some people use flashcards as a way to learn Chinese characters. Still, people think that flashcards can be tedious if misused, especially when using them for long periods without breaks (like taking breaks after every 10 minutes).
The first thing you should do is to stay organized. When you study Chinese characters, it’s essential to regularly organize your notes and books. You should group similar characters so that they are easier to remember.
If you’re like most people, you have a lot of things going on at once. It can be hard to keep track of everything that needs to get done, especially when you have a busy schedule.
If you’re studying Chinese characters and want to improve your memory for them, try using some simple organization techniques.
1) Use a calendar or planner
Most people already do this, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s such an effective method for remembering things. By keeping track of appointments and other commitments, you’ll be less likely to forget important dates, times, and events. This will make it easier for you to remember what needs to be done when it comes back again (like Chinese lessons).
2) Make lists
Another way to stay organized is by making lists of things you need to do and then crossing them off as they’re completed. This is a great way to give yourself a sense of accomplishment while helping yourself remember what needs to be done next time around.
If you’re having trouble remembering Chinese characters, it could be because of your study habits
If you’re having trouble remembering Chinese characters, it could be because of your study habits.
The first step to learning Chinese is to make sure you are studying the right way.
There’s no doubt that learning Chinese can be difficult. It’s an entirely different language with tones, characters, and an unfamiliar alphabet. But if you’re having trouble with memorization or recall, it may not be due to your ability as much as your study habits.
If you’ve been studying for a while and haven’t seen progress in your recall of characters, there are some things you can do to improve your study methods and improve your retention rate.
Here are some common mistakes made by beginners when learning Chinese:
1. Not having a clear goal in mind.
Some of the most common reasons for this are:
-They want to learn all the characters and words before they start speaking.
-They want to learn all the characters and words before they start reading.
-They want to get straight into speaking without learning Hanyu pinyin (the romanization system).
-They want to get straight into writing without learning any strokes or characters.
If you have no idea what your goal is, likely, you won’t reach it because you don’t know where you’re heading.
2. Thinking that it’s too difficult to learn Chinese.
This is a common mistake made by beginners who are learning Chinese. They think that the Chinese language is so complex and complicated, so they don’t even want to start learning it.
The truth is, Chinese is not at all difficult to learn. It is a very logical language, and the characters are written in a way that makes sense. It’s easier to understand than some other languages because you only need to know about 2000 characters instead of 10,000+ like English!
Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can still learn Chinese. You don’t need to spend hours every day learning new words and grammar rules. Instead, focus on learning one or two sentences at a time and practice them until they become part of your daily routine.
Some people think that the Chinese language has thousands of characters, making it impossible to learn. They believe that learning Chinese will take at least ten years or more. Many people give up right away when they hear this kind of news, but I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong!
3. Not knowing the right way to start learning Chinese, they start with whatever interests them first.
A common mistake made by beginners when learning Chinese is not knowing the right way to start learning Chinese, so they just start with whatever interests them first. Then they find out later that they want to learn more about something else, but their Chinese has not progressed enough for them to do so.
There is a right way to start learning Chinese. The proper way to begin is by learning the basic building blocks of the language: pronunciation, tones, and characters (both simplified and traditional). Without these three skills, you can’t progress further in your studies.
The reason why most people don’t start this way is simple: it’s boring! Learning pronunciation and tones can be very dull because they require repetition and practice. However, suppose you don’t spend time on these essential skills early in your studies. In that case, you’ll eventually struggle with them later on down the road when you already have a lot of vocabulary under your belt.
There are two things you need to do before you learn Chinese:
1. Find out which level of Chinese you are at. If you don’t know where to start, it will be tough for you to find the most suitable material for your level. You might spend weeks or even months on materials that are too difficult or not interesting enough for you (or both!).
2. Find a good teacher or course that can teach you how to learn Chinese efficiently from the beginning stage through intermediate stages and beyond. Otherwise, it will take years to reach a decent level like HSK 2 or 3 (which is still far from fluent).
4. Not knowing how to use various resources effectively and efficiently (e.g., podcasts, videos, books).
The truth is that there are no perfect resources out there. You can find helpful information from any source if you know how to use it effectively and efficiently.
Here are some tips:
1. When you are new, learn the basics first (e.g., pronunciation, tones, vocabulary). Don’t try to learn everything at once! If possible, take a class or meet with a tutor to get personalized instruction on where your weaknesses are so you can improve them as quickly as possible.
2. Use more than one resource at once – this way, it will keep things interesting and prevent boredom! If there is something that you find difficult or tedious in one book/podcast/video, then switch to another one for a while until you get back into it again later on down the track when your interest has been rekindled.
The following are several tips on how to use these resources effectively:
Podcasts: Podcasts are among the best ways to learn Chinese because they provide a mixture of spoken and written content in real-life situations. However, what makes podcasts so effective is that you can listen to them anytime, anywhere.
While commuting or waiting for a bus/train/plane, you can listen. The great thing about podcasts is that they don’t require any special equipment or materials except for an MP3 player or smartphone with an MP3 player app installed.
You can also subscribe to some popular Chinese podcasts via iTunes or Google Play Store if you want new episodes delivered directly to your device every week or two weeks, depending on the source website’s update schedule.
Videos: Videos are also another great way to learn Chinese as they offer visual cues and help learners connect words with images and actions (which is much more difficult when learning through text only).
5. Not having any guidance from an instructor or mentor who knows how to help them learn effectively and efficiently
Many people start learning Chinese independently without any proper guidance and learn inefficiently, making it harder for them to progress in their studies.
You should know that there are two types of Chinese language learners: those who want to become fluent in the language and those who wish to have basic conversational skills.
If your goal is to have basic conversational skills, you need a good textbook, some practice time, and a Chinese friend who can help you with pronunciation until you get used to it.
However, suppose your goal is to become fluent in Mandarin. In that case, more things should be considered. Such as finding an instructor or mentor who can help guide you along the way and provide feedback on your progress so that you don’t waste time studying information that isn’t going to help you improve your knowledge of the language.
If your child is learning Chinese, you might have noticed that they have trouble remembering characters. The Chinese writing system has thousands of characters, and it can be difficult for a student to remember them all.
At HAO Chinese Language Centre, we offer character training to help your child remember Chinese characters better. Our teachers are experienced in teaching Chinese to young learners and know how to make the most out of each lesson by making it fun and engaging for students.
Our character training lessons involve games and activities that make learning fun for students. In addition, our teachers also use visual aids such as flashcards so that children can see the characters again after each lesson. This helps them remember what they have learned during the study to practice it at home or even during their next class at HAO.