Thursday, July 13, 2006

Learning Chinese characters

After this discussion started me thinking about the subject I have decided it is time I started thinking about how to learn to read and write Chinese characters. I am faced with a hard choice when it comes to which system of characters to learn. Traditional Chinese characters will be of much more use to me personally than simplified would be. But it seems that if I don’t learn to at least read the simplified characters then I will be cutting myself off from a lot of stuff out there, particularly on the internet.

So I have decided to attempt the super human task of learning both systems of characters. In the very likely event that it turns out to be too difficult or time consuming then I will drop the simplified and just learn the traditional system. I feel I should at least make an attempt at the simplified though.

I also need to decide how to learn the characters. I am not sure that flash cards would work as well for me learning the characters as they do learning pinyin. I think I will need something a bit more interactive to get them to stick in my mind.

I do have a plan though about what to learn and where to start. I will relearn all the lessons I already have organised in the flash card files, but this time with Chinese characters. This doesn’t mean I will stop adding to the pinyin flashcards however. I still need the pinyin to expand my vocabulary.


Blogger Seal&Vito said...

start from traditional, of course. once you master it, there will be no problems to recognize simplified ones.

why not start with "dru4 yin fu2 hao4" (i presume you know what it is). you can learn some very basic construction of characters from it.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

keep us updated with your progress and thoughts.

I am begging to feel ready to start learning the Characters and am trying to think out the best way to do so.

I don't regret for one minute delaying though. I think the desire to learn characters will come naturally once your Chinese advances to a certain level (probably a slightly different point for all of us).

5:11 PM  
Blogger John said...

seal&vito you are talking about Zhu Yin Fu Hao Bo Po Mo. I would like to learn bo po mo mainly because I have seen it used many times buy Taiwan nationals. They often use it if they have forgotten a character to write the word. However this is something I'll have to look into some time in the future. I don't think I'm going to find it easy to learn pin yin as well as both tradional and simplified characters as it is.

chris, I'm still not exactly sure how I'm going to do this, I'm still thinking about it as well. I am sure that my vocabulary is far bigger than it would have been at this point if I had been putting time into learning characters as well. I'm at a level now where I can hold simple conversations so I've now gotten over some of my early impatience and don't mind if I slow down a little.

12:17 AM  

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