Remembering The Hanzi / Day 11 [Review Time]

by Julia

I’m (finally) almost done with the review part and ready to kickstart the new section of the book. I just need to revise the first three lessons [which have some of the most common characters everyone already knows, basically] and I plan to do this in no more than a couple of days.

During this revision time I’ve also started writing down the characters for the first time. Yep, I know you’re supposed to do this from the very beginning, but honestly – why do teachers keep stressing the importance of writing characters anyway? I cannot imagine many occasions in which you would need such skill apart the classroom [unless you live permanently in the country, of course].

While I was attending my Japanese course I remember spending precious hours doing this merely mnemonic activity, just to forget half of it only minutes after the test or exam because no,  you don’t retain characters unless you use them constantly.

Since I’ve started self-learning Chinese [thus being in charge of my own study] I’ve decided not to get tangled into the characters net again. Because mind you, this is exactly the kind of activity I would engage myself with. I’m all in when it comes to passive learning like this that doesn’t require actual use of the language. I didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes.

So what has changed now? Nothing really. I’ve just seen an opportunity to learn an additional skill almost at the price of one – which means, as I’m learning how to read hanzi it doesn’t take much more effort to also learn how to write them. With all its flaws, Heisig system is kind of working for me, and it’s honestly making the whole memorization process easier.

I’m not going to focus on writing anyway. It is and will be a sort of side activity going parallel to the main one, which is recognise each and every character without confusing the similar ones.

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