LongTerm Motivation Language Learning

I may be reaching that point again where my motivation is fading.

I think I understand it better know though so I want o address a few things.

One is that getting a good night’s sleep, and I mean sleeping at the right hours as well as for 8 hrs minimum makes

a big difference to me. I’m more creative when coming up with mnemonics, my memory is better, and I can almost enjoy myself sometimes.

What seems to happen after a while of learning hanzi, is they become easier to learn, but not so easy that I don’t have to actively learn them, just that the components are more in my head and many characters are just other characters but with one element added or changed. The more of them I learn, the easier learning other ones is becoming and my default way of recognizing characters has switched from seeing the whole to seeing the parts making it easier to discover new hanzi and maybe even understand them in some capacity on the spot. For instance I know the element moon when on the left side often means a body part, and the element hand often means an action using the hand, ect. It might not be the same to memorize that those elements often mean those things. I feel that the actual experience with learning enough of them adds a level of confidence and imaginative direction and understanding that can’t be had otherwise. Basically, I have context.

This is one reason why the motivation to learn strictly hanzi at 10/day for a year starts to fad. I’m maybe a month in now and it feels like going for a year may become redundant.

So I wonder, do I just press on and make it a habit, or would the inefficiency make it inauthentic for me?

I am thinking it may be better to add sentences as well. Maybe 5 a day. This way I’m doing a bit of everything every day. I could even move hanzi learning down to 5/day so 5 hanzi + 5 sentences(with probably around 1 new hanzi each) /day.

This way I think it would be the same amount of effort more or less, but with a far greater pay off especially if I keep learning some hanzi separate so that I continue to practice thinking of hanzi as their components.

It’s just that, unlike most people I think, I enjoy trying to guess at the meanings of the hanzi, and why they mean what they mean, so it would almost be more fun to have some sentences which allow me to do that. It would allow me to use my brain in it’s most efficient way, instead of just memorizing and trying to ignore my strengths.

I mean, the way the Hanzi are created, is based on a style of cognitive thought, so if I am developing an intuitive sense of how these words are being formed and if using that sense is enjoyable, I should be doing so.

Oh, and another example of that inuition based on something I talked about before.

Funeral, temple(of a persons head), and beach, all have the really huge element and I learned that element means visit.

Funeral is death + visit  like we visit the dead
temple is hair+ visit   like hair visits the face
beach is water + visit  like water visits the land

It seems the unspoken rule in all of these is that the thing the person or the people are either the visitor or the visited.
Or in case of funeral if we were to assume that the dead are the we, or that a funeral is when death visits us, then in all three cases, we would be the thing that is visited. So this is one of I’m sure many rules based on the creative thought of the originators of this writing system.

Anyways, the fact that I have been looking through the characters instead of simply memorizing them makes me feel like I ought to not spend as much time on memorizing them as on understanding them and that therefore I could maybe handle learning the hanzi in context of words sentences.


The other thing I worry about is that I may be thinking too much about this learning in general. Wanting to meet Chinese girls both inspires but also might over-encourage me in this separate goal.

However, the thing that will keep me going is knowing I will always want this, as proven by past experiences, and that the power of small habits, will enable me to achieve this in time.

To be safe, I’m thinking I could learn ten Hanzi, and then maybe just try to read for 5 extra minutes or so, and focus my reading on my immersion environments maybe. I feel like when I get into reading, I’m not sure I’ll want it to be with anki,

Still deciding though.



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