Language Learning Observations: Walking, Hanzi Order, Slowing Down

The first observation is one that I’ve talked about before I’m sure but it’s important enough that I need to mention it again. Doing cardio like brisk walking for an hour really helps to increase a persons level of satisfaction with not only life in general, but with their work environment. What I mean by this is that after a nice walk, sitting down to work is way less taxing on the emotions and motivation. The serotonin (and maybe dopamine) is just there and so things don’t feel as draining.

I still don’t recommend doing more than 10 Hanzi per day, but just that this is way more doable after a nice walk. Also add music for even more of a boost in feel good chemicals and even a boost in general sense of purpose. I use video game/anime music that is meaningful to me for this. Long soundtracks that take more than one session to get through.

Next observation is about how the order of the hanzi allows for better mnemonics. All I will do here is introduce the idea though. I use an anki deck called taiwan grades 1 – 8 which introduces over 3000 hanzi. I sorted them I think by “hanzi” or by “question” in the browse thing. I’ll describe what the order results in and then you should be able to figure out what to sort by to get that result. Well it’s sorted I guess by pinyin so that it starts with a, then ba, then bian, ect. In sorting this way you get to see how some hanzi use the same elements. Not radicals, but larger 2 and three radical elements. If you just look through all the bians for example you will see some large elements that keep showing up. What this allows for is for you to learn those elements and use them in your stories and they get more review cause they are in more than one character in the same session.

Next observation is about how some hanzi already make sence. This is for people who are using mnemonics, but not the RTH by Hesig. If you go to zhongwen.com it shows etymology of characters and for the most part those make sense. However, you don’t even need this if you are the type that like guessing games and figuring out things based on context. I mean, and easy example would be if you see “tree” and “white”, then u learn the answer is “cedar” u can rationalize that it’s cause cedar trees leaves have a whitish tint to them, or something. A harder example is the character for paralises has “feild” with a line through it, and a cross on it’s side below. Then you see that the character for slave girl has that same complex element and “woman” beside it. So you can rationalizd that the complex character means being unable to move or some reason, and you can name it somehow.

The last observation I’ll make is that I found I was kind of rushing through the sessios for the first few days but I found my stress was building the more I tried to rush. So I just decieded to purposely slow down, write the characters more neatly(I don’t use stroke order yet) and try to enjoy the experience with the music I had on. It’s only around a 30min thing(could be shorted by I review and write out each character as I go) I felt better as soon a I decided to do this.

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