Here we are nearing Milestone #3 in the Hacking Chinese Challenge.
I’ve altered my approach a bit during this stretch, which has proven to be really positive. The struggle to keep going and the fight to do this daily still remains. I think we believe that once we form a habit or do something long enough, it suddenly magically gets easy. Or, at least easier. It doesn’t.
I picked my first 100 words from the Hacking Chinese 100 Most Common Radicals, and have been dutifully going down my printed list. Lately I’ve altered this by trying to learn 2-4 characters in a sitting. Someone put this list into a PDF format that links each word to Arch Chinese (You can find that via the link above. Just scroll down to the comments section and look under Markus Ackermann). This has been a huge help, seeing the character visually, the character strokes, and hearing the pronunciation all combine for a very good thing.
I’ve found that being incredibly tired lately has had a huge impact on my retention level, the important thing though is not giving up. Language learning is so much like exercise or learning an instrument, it needs to happen on a consistent schedule, otherwise you lose ground. Even if you feel awful, at least do a little!
By the end of the month I should have completely conquered the 100 most common radicals list plus 15 extra characters. I’m so excited to be done with that list! Just a little longer…