Mandarin Chinese Mnemonics And Morning Memory Secrets

| Podcast

Image to express the question Do Mandarin Chinese Mnemonics Really Help?There’s No Way Of Learning Chinese With A Messy Mind!

Or …

Is there?

Actually, yes. There is.

No matter how manic, no matter how depressed, no matter how much I’ve got on my plate, ALMOST every day, I fit language learning into my schedule.

One of my best tricks is this:

Win The Morning, Win The Day

 

Anthony Metivier's study materials while using mnemonics for learning Mandarin Chinese

 

Do you reach for your cell phone first thing?

And are you making the mistake of using it as an alarm clock so that you have no choice but to check it first thing?

If you’re serious about learning a language, checking your messages and farting around on social media first thing in the morning is a big no-no. That’s true even if you want to learn languages online.

Think about it. How many times have you gotten caught up in the “Twilight Zone” of Facebook only to notice that 15 minutes … 30 minutes … even an entire hour has slipped past.

For nothing!

So don’t do it.

 

Here’s How To Get Language Learning In First Thing So You Feel On Top Of Your Progress All Day Long

 

I hate having that feeling throughout the day that I’m neglecting what I love: memory and language learning.

So in addition to winning back oodles of time by not looking at my “dumb phone” and not turning on the computer, here’s what’s going on right now:

On the floor beside my bed, I have Langenscheidt’s Chinesisch Schreibübungsbuch.

It’s a book written in German that teaches how to write the Chinese characters. Tucked inside the book is the notebook I’m using to draw the characters.

I don’t get out of bed until I’ve spent as long as it takes to practice drawing 8 characters 8 times.

Why 8?

No idea. That’s just the number that came to mind. It’s just part of what I’ve learned from Olly Richards:

 

You Must Have A Language Learning System!

 

Seriously. You must. Languages don’t get learned Helter Skelter. They get learned based on consistent efforts executed consistently.

That’s the first part of my system and a huge part of The Big Five Of Language Learning.

Next, I pop in my Human Charger and meditate. I do this for exactly 9 minutes.

Why 9 minutes?

Because that’s how long it takes for the Human Charger to shoot its light into my ears. You may have heard me talk about other, more relaxed meditation approaches in the past, but I’m experimenting with this one and it works really well.

Next, I knock off another of The Big Five language learning activities:

 

Spend Time Listening To Your Language Every Day

 

Listening to Pimsleur language learning programs (Pimsleur for Mandarin Chinese no less) used to bore the snot out of me. Sorry to be vulgar, but it’s true.

Think about it: You listen to this guy promoting you in English to say stuff in the language you’re studying again and again and …

… again.

 

It’s Like Pounding Nails Into Your Head!

 

But then I had an idea:

What if I “fuse” listening to Pimsleur recordings with the Magnetic Memory Method.

Oh ho ho, Magnetic friend. That’s when Pimsleur started to get really interesting.

This might sound complex, but it works.

Get a notebook. Reserve it for your MMM Pimsleur experiment. Then get out a pen and pop on your headphones.

Next, make a couple of columns:

English (or mother tongue)
Homophonic transliteration
Mnemonic Imagery
Words
Notes

Also, leave space to draw a Memory Palace on the page. Draw one out using all the principles of the Magnetic Memory Method you’ve learned from one of my books or video courses.

If you don’t know how to make a Memory Palace, get this:

Free Memory Palace Memory Improvement Course

It’s all very easy peasy and, yes, even lemon squeezy (as one MMM student once put it).

Now you’re set. Keep the pause button handy and then press play.

When the man introduces how to say: “Excuse me, may I ask?” pause the recording and write this down in your English column.

Then, after you hear the native speaker say it in your target language, write out what you hear in your own spelling. Say it out loud and spell it in whatever way seems best to you.

 

Don’t Make The Mistake Of Overthinking This For Mandarin Chinese
(Or Any Other Language)

Like Jesse Villalobos told us in his recent Magnetic Memory Method review, just do it.

And don’t worry about standardizing your homophonic transliterations. You’re just helping your mind understand the sound and meaning of the phrases using multiple senses and muscles.

Seriously. I can’t tell you the dozens of different ways I’ve spelled different phrases and it doesn’t matter. I can speak them in the target language, in this case, Chinese.

Next, think up some imagery that helps you memorize the words. Whatever comes to mind.

And if you’re following along, the brief meditation will have you calm, relaxed and juiced up with creativity.

Once you’ve got that whipped up, stick it on, at, beside or even under your first Memory Palace station.

Finally, press play again and carry on.

 

What Will Happen To You Next Is A Language Learning Miracle

 

Soon the Pimsleur guy will ask you to say that phrase for which you just created mnemonic imagery.

Press pause and then look into your imagination (not at the page!) and “decode” the image you placed on your Memory Palace station.

Got it?

 

Of Course You Get It!

 

Because the reality is that if you know mnemonics, there is never any problem with them.

Never.

Anyhow, I do this until I’ve filled out one page of my notebook.

 

Can You Guess How Much Time This Costs
Using Mandarin Chinese Mnemonics So Far?

 

Go on, have a guess.

Nope.

Still no …

Getting closer.

Oh, all right, I’ll tell you.

15-20 minutes, more or less.

All thanks to cutting out morning social media and 3 little systems:

8 x 8 characters
9 minutes meditation
1 page of MMM-ified Pimsleur

Do this for a month and you’re further along than most people will get in a lifetime of starting and stopping.

But Wait! There’s More About Memorizing Mandarin Chinese
I Want To Teach You!

 

So far we’ve covered 4.3 of The Big Five. We’ve got:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Memorization

… and a touch of solo speaking.

That’s where my Mandarin Chinese speaking partners come in.

 

You Can’t Expect To Learn A Language Without Actually Speaking It

 

Now, sometimes what I do with my Mandarin Chinese speaking partners is rather elaborate. More on that in a minute.

The important thing is that I speak with these people. Plain and simple.

Doesn’t have to be perfect. Doesn’t even have to be right. It just has to be time spent speaking.

I do this at least two times a week, ideally three.

I sing in Chinese too:

All fantastic. All following the principles of motivation for language learning based on memory techniques.

The only problem is …

 

This Approach To Learning Mandarin Chinese Is Almost 100% Introverted!

 

Yes, okay, talking with speaking partners online is technically communicating with other human beings.

Technically.

But it’s still too solitary.

This is why I propose that there’s a sixth component that needs to be added to the Big Five:

Socialization

Think about it.

Are you going to go through all the work of learning a language just to speak with people online?

Of course not.

You want to be able to strike up conversations with the locals when traveling. Order a memory-friendly drink in a restaurant, either in a local restaurant or abroad. Flirt with cute members of the opposite sex, maybe even find the partner of your dreams.

I know I do. So please stay tuned for more language learning for introverts and socialization secrets coming soon.

Further Resources

In the meantime, check out some of these previous Magnetic Memory Method podcast episodes with other great language learners for in-depth tips and training:

The Steps I Took To Memorize 3 Chinese Poems in 2.3 Weeks

Luca Lampariello On How To Master Any Language

Mindset, Memory And Motivation With Sam Gendreau

Noel van Vliet Talks About The “Back End” Of Language Learning

Chinese Vault From Mandarin HQ

Plus, here’s my Basic Chinese Phrases and Mandarin Mnemonics playlist on YouTube:

26 Responses to " Mandarin Chinese Mnemonics And Morning Memory Secrets "

  1. Herbert Veder says:

    Good post. No, a very good post. I am doing something similar and it brings good results. My basis for memorizing the characters is “Täglich Chinesisch” — http://tinyurl.com/taeglich2
    Thank you for all your good work, Anthony!

  2. ted says:

    You’re doing too much writing. Only write if you’re either actively working on handwriting or if you get the character wrong.

    You’ve slipped into rote memorization. Just memorize the components and you’ll know how to write.

    • Thanks for your comment, Ted.

      As you suggest, one should repeat only to refine the handwriting and this is my task at the moment. Although I haven’t exactly cracked the code on how to memorize the characters themselves, as you can imagine, I’m not going to turn down the side-effect of recalling them thanks to the repetitive writing.

      But I’m curious: do you think that repeated writing falls under the category of rote learning? For example, I’ve studied drawing for quite some time and have put in a lot of time creating circles and squares. I’ve never thought of this as “rote drawing,” though I suppose it is. I’m very curious about your thoughts on this because there certainly are parallels. 🙂

  3. Anthony
    Learning to write Hanzi is a pure memory exercise. There is some logic but very little. It is considerably easier to learn to write Chinese when one already has a basic vocabulary learnt using pinyin.

    In China, they are seeing a trend of Chinese people forgetting how to write Chinese because they are all using their computers and cell phones to text using pinyin. They input pinyin and the machines translate to Chinese characters.

    • Thanks for your comment, Alexander.

      I think overall, you’re right that the characters require hard memory.

      That said, I’ve already been using mnemonics to remember some characters to aid in the writing process. 六 I saw as a leaping leopard, 八 as a two-legged octopus-sheep saying “baa” and 七 is an upside-down 7 smothered in cheese.

      For other words, 手 isn’t so hard to see as a six-fingered hand, even when squished to the side. 心 is a heart with three hooks pulling it apart. (Yes, I watched too many Hellraiser movies as a kid!) 不要 is a broom smacking a woman with a basket on her head.

      This is not a 100% solution and doesn’t necessarily help with stroke order or memorizing sound – which is what I work on first in line with your suggestion. At the end of the day, it is a combination of methods and I would never leave mnemonics out of the equation at some level.

      About the technology, how sad that people would forget how to write this beautiful script in favor of tapping screens. I was speaking with someone the other day who could not believe that I prefer an old spring-loaded keyboard to my Mac chiclet keys. But the reality is that I write better when using it. Many authors and singers still compose on old typewriters, simply because the technology helps focus their concentration better. And yes, some people even write entire books by hand. Whatever gets the job done and helps them contribute value at the highest possible level is awesome and should not be judged.

      Anyhow, change is the only constant in the world and who knows what new forms of thinking will emerge – if any – from a world lost in screens.

      • DC3314 says:

        Learning using mnemonics as suggested above is extremely useful, and most importantly, much more fun than rote memorization. If you have more fun doing it then you will do it more often and more thoroughly. I’ve had a lot of success using little stories for remembering the Japanese kanji and now that I live in China I’m doing the same for Chinese Hanzi.

  4. Francisco says:

    Anthony, back when I was in the military and had to be in great shape and had to take periodic physical fitness tests of running, pushups, and situps. If I was going to work out first thing the next morning, I would leave my exercise t-shirt, shorts, and running shoes right at the side of my bed that evening so that as soon as my feet hit the ground in the morning I was almost stepping on this outfit. Almost always I would put on the outfit and go workout. This is the same concept you are doing with your learning resources. It’s a great productivity hack and I can attest that it helps tremendously to get a person accomplishing the important things as early as possible in the day.

    • Thanks for this contribution, Francisco. It’s great when we can make accomplishing our dreams the foundation of each morning. It really makes the rest of the day more enjoyable and profound.

  5. Chris says:

    Anthony,

    I really enjoyed this article and podcast episode! I like your idea of doing my language learning first thing in the morning. I want to learn a new language and have decided to learn German. I plan on using your 3 system method. Would you recommend using the Pimsleur program for German?

    I’m going to buy your book “How to Learn and Memorize German Vocabulary:Second Edition.” I know you have studied the German language for many years. Would you recommend any other books or resources?

    I’d also like to find a language teacher in German because it’s like you said you really can’t learn a language without speaking it. How did you find your language teacher for Mandarin?

    I have never mediated before, but I’d like to start doing it daily. I think it will benefit me in many areas of my life. I’ll have to check out the Human Charger. It sounds pretty cool and it sounds like you are enjoying it!

    I’m going to take your advice and cut back on my Facebook use. Facebook is nice to keep up with family and friends, but it can become addicting. I know I waste time on it each day that I could spending doing more productive things.

    Once again thanks for all your great advice! I have found your website and podcast to be very informative and helpful!

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Chris!

      I haven’t gone through Pimsleur German, so I can’t comment on its quality. A lot of people recommend Assimil language trainings, but I also haven’t tried anything from them for German. I’ve looked at the Mandarin training, however, but decided to go with Pimsleur for this memory experiment due to the accessibility to Pimsleur’s research behind why the programs are setup in their particular way. He talks about his approach in How to Learn a Foreign Language.

      Here’s the important thing:

      Whatever program you invest in, go all the way through it. Many people (including me in the past) make the classic mistake of starting with one language learning training and then stopping. Then they pick up another. It’s almost as if we believe that “the next one” will magically be the training that we finally stick with and get results from.

      The truth, however, is that we work the program more than the program works us. Of course, there are occasions when we just don’t gel with the style of something, so it’s important to make sure you have a guarantee in case you really need to return something. But I think with something like Pimsleur, you’ll probably be good to go, so if you get it, go all the way through with it.

      One German product that I started with years ago, but abandoned, was the Michel Thomas training. In principal, I like listening to him, but I’m not convinced that the way he interacts with students and the regular beeping really helps. I certainly can’t see it working with for the memory program I’ve suggested in this post. He also says weird things like that there are no bad students, only bad teachers. Clearly, as I’m suggesting in this post, there are both, and the teacher and student need to meet each other halfway.

      Anyhow, check out Michel Thomas for yourself. Like Pimsleur, he had an interesting idea in mind and certainly helped a lot of people. There’s a book about his life and work that I’ve been meaning to read by Wyatt Woodsmall called The Future of Learning: Freeing Minds One Person At A Time.

      It’s great that you’re going to read How to Learn and Memorize German Vocabulary. The Second Edition isn’t definitely the one to go for. You can find its origin story on the podcast too.

      About getting speaking partners, I use italki. It’s a really great service for linking learners with teachers.

      Definitely get into meditation. Here’s a quick podcast tutorial on How To Improve Concentration And Memory Buddha-Style that goes deeper into the topic. I think you’ll dig it.

      Thanks again for your comment. It means the world to me and I hope you’ll keep coming back to the site for more discussions like these! 🙂

  6. Gg says:

    For the transliteration part you might want to try Siri. Set her to English then sound your foreign word or phrase she will make a best to guess to what it sounds like in English. Then use homophonic guess for your mnemonic.

    Btw does anyone have a good mnemonic for spelling “mnemonic”?

    • Wow, thanks for this suggestion! I haven’t played around with Siri much, but I will give it a try during the hours such tech is allowed in my daily program. 😉

      To remember “mnemonic,” the first thing that pops to mind: Nemo (from Finding Nemo) bashing Nic Cage on the head with a giant letter ‘M.’ That might do the trick for those familiar with the pop culture references. But the best mnemonics are always the ones that we come up with ourselves. I do not believe there are any truly “good” mnemonics apart from that, though this is a long and interesting discussion that we had during a Q&A following the memory training I gave in Guilin, China. I might be getting dogmatic in my old age …

      Thanks again for the great suggestion!

  7. Georg says:

    Hi Anthony and thank you for this interesting and helpful blog posting.

    I’ve just started to learn Chinese (with Pimsleur) I was trapped by the same nails in my head you mentioned above. I wanted to smooth my learning way and reached out for some help. Found your “How to Learn and Memorize the Vocabulary” course (okay, started yesterday, now at lesson 25).

    As a native German, or maybe as a native bloke-head, I run into some problems with the Chinese vowels. How can I memorize these very special nouns and sounds into a mnemonic?

    If I take the example “teacher” (“Lehrer” in German) 老师, I would transliterate it as German into “Lao Schöh”. But how the heck can I compose a mnemonic having something like “Lao” and “Schöh” inside? Combined with the meaning of a teacher? I mean “Schöh” is more easy, because the adjective “schön” (pretty) is fine for this purpose. But “Lao”? Taking the country Laos? I will not remember Laos?

    Ah moment, perhaps I’ll take the “Lao-La”-Wave.

    What about that: A bright (“schö”ner) summer day in front of the school. A teacher (“Lehrer) dances the “Lao”-la-wave.

    Is that the way you think of these combinations? How shall I sort that into a Memory Palace?

    • Thanks for this great post, Georg!

      You’re definitely on the right track, so keep exploring the sound/meaning pairings you’re working with.

      For me, the Lao of 老师 is easily covered by the philospher Lao-tze, as as it is sometimes spelled, Lao-tsu. The real trick is in taking the time to discover a large number of words with the “lao” sound so that you can follow that figure around a Memory Palace journey. When you use the Bridging Figure principle as taught in the vocabulary course, you get way more milage out of your mnemonic efforts.

      That way, even if it takes a while to come up with a solution for front-end sounds like “lao,” you’re able to exploit it for a number of words instead of having to reinvent the wheel again and again. To give another quick example, 别 or “bie” is simply represented by a bumble bee and I follow that little fellow all over the place in one Memory Palace loaded with “B” words. This Memory Palace also includes “ban,” “boa” and “bei” words, amongst others. The Bridging Figure technique is a huge part of the Magnetic Memory Method and not to be missed.

      Other than that, it’s all just a matter of practice. The more you use the technique, the better, faster and more certain you get at it.

      I hope this helps and look forward to an update about your progress! 🙂

      • Georg says:

        Marvellous Anthony for coming back on my comment. Haven’t expected that quick response. What a nice surprise in the morning.

        For sure I’ll follow your advice and look out carefully for the bridging words.

  8. JK says:

    Great post Anthony.

    What do you think about “The Marilyn Method for memorizing the pronunciation of Chinese”?

    Google it and it will be the first result.

    • Hi JK,

      Thanks for posting about the Marilyn Method.

      Alex Mullen and I talked about it when he appeared on this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast.

      At that time, Alex seemed to be making great use of it. He and I are scheduled to speak further on the matter in the fall, but I think you’ll really enjoy his thoughts on that episode.

      For myself, I’m using a different approach at the moment, one that allows for the memorization of pronunciation and meaning at the same time. I’ve always done this with vocabulary memorization, but here the trick is not just pronunciation and meaning, but also knowledge of the specific tones.

      To solve that, I just brought my card memorization images together with the standard Magnetic Memory Method principles for memorizing vocabulary en masse. It works a charm.

      The coolest thing is that you can then go back over the Memory Palace journey and in many cases, find ways to layer on or integrate imagery that will help you memorize the characters as well. This isn’t always the case, but for simple ones, it’s very effective.

      That’s the status quo now. Keep listening to the podcast for more details going forward. In the meantime, I’ve tried before to get in touch with the author of Country of the Blind to interview him about his mnmemonic approach to Chinese pronunciation, but cannot find a means of contact apart from posting on his thread. If you’re ever in touch with him, please let him know that I’d love to have him on the show! 🙂

  9. David Kreutzer says:

    Wow, Anthony, I had no idea you had published this new tract on learning Mandarin, which Ive been doing intensively for the last month on the Rocket Language website after ending up there after a year long of pursuing every lead for learning German, including you article and book.

    I just mentioned you and your techniques in the Members Forum there in a short article-blog I wrote about the research that has just been reported that drawing pictures of words doubles word memorization performance.

    I sent it to you elsewhere but it would fit right in this blog here.

    New Memory Research shows drawing pictures doubles recall performance for memorizing words.
    David K
    ——————————————-
    I’ve been fascinated by techniques for enhancing memory in language learning and thought this latest research, just published in the latest issue of The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, might be interesting to students here – especially the Chinese languages students. Here are links to both a short topical report in the Huffington Post, as well as link to the original publication.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/drawing-memory-study-jeffey-wammes_us_57bb1648e4b0b51733a48c35?section=&

    Then, all students were made to perform a “filler task” to distract them from the previous exercise. Afterwards, they were asked without warning to recall as many of the 40 words as possible. Those who drew them remembered over twice as many as those who wrote them.

    To hammer the results home, Wammes conducted a series of secondary experiments, inviting students to partake in similar memory-related tasks ― like looking at pictures of objects, creating mental images of objects, listing physical characteristics of objects, writing words with visual details. Those who drew pictures of the words still remembered more than those who participated in the secondary strategies.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17470218.2015.1094494?journalCode=pqje20

    Journal
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Volume 69, 2016 – Issue 9

    Abstract

    In 7 free-recall experiments, the benefit of creating drawings of to-be-remembered information relative to writing was examined as a mnemonic strategy. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants were presented with a list of words and were asked to either draw or write out each. Drawn words were better recalled than written.

    Experiments 3–5 showed that the memory boost provided by drawing could not be explained by elaborative encoding (deep level of processing, LoP), visual imagery, or picture superiority, respectively. In Experiment 6, we explored potential limitations of the drawing effect, by reducing encoding time and increasing list length. Drawing, relative to writing, still benefited memory despite these constraints. In Experiment 7, the drawing effect was significant even when encoding trial types were compared in pure lists between participants, inconsistent with a distinctiveness account.

    Together these experiments indicate that drawing enhances memory relative to writing, across settings, instructions, and alternate encoding strategies, both within- and between-participants, and that a deep LoP, visual imagery, or picture superiority, alone or collectively, are not sufficient to explain the observed effect. We propose that drawing improves memory by encouraging a seamless integration of semantic, visual, and motor aspects of a memory trace.

    Modern Chinese characters have evolved through many stages, but if one goes back to “oracle bone” inscriptions circa 1400 BCE many of the original “logograms” were pictures.

    This research is consistent with many of the memory techniques I’ve been practicing and reading about. I just bought a book called “Chineasy” by Shaolan in which she offer pictures to help remember 400 basic characters, about 140 of which are component building blocks used to compose more complicated characters.

    I was having a difficult time remembering the genders of the German nouns used to determine the definite and indefinite articles. A fellow named Anthony Metivier has written several papers and offers workshop on memory methods for learning languages suggested using colorful and wild images and Memory Palaces for remembering vocabulary and including in the image a boxer or masculine symbol in the image for masculine nouns, a ballerina for feminine, etc. So I tried out using Mohamed Ali, a Ballerina, and an image Farinelli, the famous castrati for neuter. I was astonished at how well that works.

    Does anyone else have memory enhancing techniques they use to accelerate learning?

    David

    • Thanks for this, David. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment over in Rocket Language and repost here. That’s great!

      Yes, drawing is a very effective way to remember information. You’ll see that more and more I’ve been including drawings on the site, such as on this post about remembering names at events. There’s a drawing for a Chinese word here as well too.

      I think Chineasy is a good book, but like so many books on mnemonics, it is example-based. What we need are more principle-based trainings so that we’re teaching people to fish. The core of the research that you’ve mentioned is that people are doing their own drawings. Looking at what someone else does risks trying to make their outcomes work for you, when in reality, Shaolan (I assume) already knows Chinese. What would be more helpful for serious language learners interested in mnemonics is learning the principles that underlay memory techniques and then finding the encouragement to practice them as a way of life.

      Maybe I’m getting more and more old-fashioned, but I’ve seen thousands of people getting extraordinary results based on principles compared to middling results based on mnemonic books grounded on examples.

      I look forward to any further thoughts you have on this important pedagogical matter and thank you again for your time and thinking. It’s impressive and inspiring! 🙂

  10. HP says:

    I use memory palaces for learning Chinese characters.

    Creating images for them (character structure, pronunciation, tone, meaning) is tedious but not so difficult.

    The problem I have is: I don’t really know WHERE to store them BEST in the palaces.

    I read your book “Learning German vocab …” and you recommend to store items according to alphabet A-Z and then just in a sequence in rooms of the A or B, etc-building.

    But with Chinese it’s quite different.

    You can store them according to radicals (all mouth-, tree-, heart- etc. characters in a mouth, tree, etc-building) (–> easy access when you see a character).

    Or you can store them acc. to Pinyin pronunciation ai, an ba, da, dang, deng, etc. (easy access when you hear something).

    Do you have any recommendations or tips for this problem?

    Thanks in advance for an answer and thank you for your great blog, podcasts and products.

    • Thanks so much for your comment and questions, HP.

      I’ll be putting out a book on Chinese later, but for now, I suggest you organize by Pinyin, which lets you harness the power of the A-Z alphabet. I’ve gotten huge benefits from doing this. I layer in some – but not all – of the characters later.

      I recommend spending time memorizing Radicals in and of themselves as part of your journey, but for now, I don’t have much more to say about memorizing characters than what I’ve already discussed in this post. I’m learning a lot of oral Chinese as well, so characters are not always an issue for me.

      It also seems to me that the sound and meaning of words and the characters are very different memory issues. They can be treated differently and probably should be. For my purposes, I just want to be able to chat in Chinese, sing songs and recite poems first. With my busy schedule, memorizing characters hasn’t proven worth the effort because I’m not spending any time reading in Chinese. But I have the opportunity to speak Chinese all day long, and so that’s where I focus. It’s fun and I experience a lot of “quick victories,” which is a very important part of learning any language.

      Thanks again for taking time to post – I look forward to your next one and hearing how you’re doing with your Chinese very soon! 🙂

  11. Matt says:

    Do you have any examples or pictures of the mnemonics you’re using for Mandarin? Everyone concerns themselves with the characters, but I’m having trouble just learning the pinyin vocabulary. So many repeating sounds and homonyms, and few instances where they sound similar to English words I know, is making it hard to retain vocabulary or create vivid mnemonics that I can hold onto. Maybe I’m just not creative enough.

    • Thanks for this, Matt. Have you seen this Chinese mnemonics playlist I have on YouTube?

      I’ve filmed all 30 days of the challenge, but lost an assistant who was helping with uploading. At the moment, all 30 mnemonic examples are available in the Secret Chinese Facebook group I have, so if you’d like more examples, please consider joining that.

      In the meantime, please don’t second-guess your creativity. We all have the same amounts. It’s just a matter of finding the door and opening it as wide as you like. It’s just a matter of consistent practice.

      If you’d like some group practice, the Masterclass has Implementation Bootcamps you can attend as well, which will give you an extra boost if you need it.

      Thanks again and look forward to hearing back from you again soon! 🙂

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