Starting from Zero Again

Finally, I made time to sit down and study Chinese again. It had been too long, I already forgot everything I learned.

It really doesn’t matter whether you cram new words by memorizing them or learn them slowly “with a context”, if you don’t revisit those words again before you forget them completely, you will lose them.

At some point, studying Chinese was becoming boring for me, so I didn’t feel like doing anything with Chinese, other than listening to Khalil Fong’s songs because I love his music. Stating the obvious, but listening to Chinese songs, without studying, didn’t do anything to my Chinese or my fluency.

Since I’m learning on my own, ‘boring’ is dangerous. I have no reason to study at all if it’s not fun for me. So I quit. For a while. But now I’m ready to try again. Because it’s Chinese New Year -the year of the fire rooster- and I can make New Year’s resolution to learn Chinese again. I even sent a message to Arirang Radio (Seoul, Korea) about it. Why on earth did I do that? How embarrassing!

No, no, it’s not. Nobody cares.


My message about my new year’s resolution that I sent to Arirang Radio

Song: LOTTO (Chinese Version) by EXO

Yesterday, I made 150 Anki cards for HSK 1 vocabulary.
Today, I memorized all of them. And so now I’m free of the guilt of abandoning learning Chinese for so long.


Anki: Studied 112 cards in 68 minutes today.

It actually took me hours to study today, not 68 minutes, because I didn’t just memorize, it would be too boring. I used the words to search for Chinese songs on Spotify because that way those words would be immediately useful for me and I needed the repetition to remember and I get to listen to more Chinese songs. There seems to be Chinese songs for all kind of words, even ‘hospital’.


I used the words to search for Chinese songs on Spotify

I also searched for Chinese sentences on NHK Gogakuru (in Japanese) and tweeted some that I liked

Song:味道 Flavor by 方大同 Khalil Fong feat. Zion.T & Crush

I still can’t remember the tones as tones/sounds. I mean, I can remember that hospital (医院) is tone no. 1 and no. 4 [yīyuàn], but when I try to say it myself and compare to the online dictionary, I always get it wrong (I use Naver Chinese-Korean Dictionary I wonder how long it will take for me to be able to distinguish and remember the tones. Could be weeks or even years but I’m excited to find out.

My plan is just to study Chinese for 25 minutes every day and then blog about my progress here to keep me motivated, maybe twice a week. But this time I will keep it ‘entertaining’. And tomorrow I will… be doing what I feel like doing. Maybe re-start the NHK Chinese course, start reading the HSK 1 textbook, or learn from Chinese app, or whatever. ###


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