Another great web site to help learn a language

by 卡梅尔 on January 31, 2012

Sadly, it’s not working at the moment 🙁 If it was, I wouldn’t be writing this blog! But I trust it will come good.
I’m not good at thinking up mnemonics or hooks that help me remember characters and words. It has taken me many years to learn a lot of characters, but I have a long way to go. I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life learning so intensely as I have been doing. My research has shown me that some people, quite ordinary people, can learn way faster than I can! How, I asked myself is that possible. Mnemonics is the answer … and other hooks. That is, a hook that links something quite new to something that you know already. Well that’s all good and well to know, but how do you think up these hooks? I have been able to think of only a few, enough to know that’s the answer to learning a lot of stuff, but not enough to be any real use for me. The other day, out of pure frustration, I searched the internet (yet again, I do this often, especially for exactly this question) and this time I found it. A site where a community of learners have contributed their own hooks for remembering Chinese characters (and more!) This site calls these mnemonics and hooks “mems” and it is called memrise.com

Memrise.com is a wiki and is growing all the time. Needless to say it already has enough for me. I started on a course that taught me Survival Mandarin: menu words, place names and signs that occur in Shanghai. When I went to another course it kept my record and so the words I had learnt were already ticked off in the new course. It is a very good database in that sense. It has a scoring system too, and it gives points for getting words right, but the number of points depends on how long it is since you looked at a word. I’m not concerned about that though, I like the fact that it makes it easier to learn the characters.
I have a new goal. I want to learn 3000 characters in the next few weeks!!! I only hope the site starts working again soon 🙂

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