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Kunming College of Eastern Language
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Best Tips for Learning Chinese Characters

It is often said that comprehension is the first step of memory. In daily life and work, there are often many things that should be remembered but have not been remembered. The reason is that we only attention to the non-essentials, but the neglect of the understanding of the essence.


Lincoln, former US president, was born poor. He could not afford to buy books when he was young, so he had to borrow. As long as someone was willing to lend books to him, he would go to get the books no matter how far the distance was. With books in hand, he would read them over and over again until he fully understood and remembered the contexts. By reading, understanding, and memorizing, Lincoln had accumulated a lot of knowledge. Finally, he became one of the best presidents in the history of the United States. Since understanding is the premise and foundation of memory, understanding is the most basic and effective way of memory. As the saying goes, "if you want to remember, you must first understand". The slogan advocated by the Japanese education circles is "Understanding instead of memorizing mechanically!" If economy permits, participating in elite speedy reading and memory training is also very helpful. The “thinking” mentioned here also refers to understanding. Czech's famous educator said, "Students should first learn to understand things and then remember them." "Only those things that are thoroughly understood and remembered can be regarded as psychological property." Since understanding is so important to memory, we should try to learn and master this memory method. Only by understanding can we remember it well.

Best Tips for Learning Chinese Characters
write mandarin characters

Steps of Comprehension Memory Method

1.Understand the general meaning

When you memorize a certain matter, first you should get a clear idea of its general content. As for memorizing books, read through or browse the book at the beginning. If it is music, first listen to the whole song. Only by understanding the whole can we have a deep understanding of the part, which is called "synthesis".

2.Local analysis

After having a general understanding of the things, and we need to analyze them in depth gradually. For example, for a paper, in order to find out its arguments, we can divide it into several paragraphs according to its structure, find out the main meanings of it one by one, that is, the "information points", and then carefully analyze and think so as to gain the ability of writing the outline of the article.

3.Find the key

As mentioned in Han Yu's work Study, when one reads articles, they should point out the outline and the main contents of the article in a concise way. Find the essentials, key points and difficulties of the article, understand them and then keep them firmly in mind. Only on this basis can we understand and remember the articles’ secondary or subordinate contents. Seizing the key knowledge is just like drawing the main peak of the landscape painting and bringing up the neckline of the clothes.

4.Achieve mastery through a comprehensive study of the subject

That is, linking and comprehending all kinds of local contents that are understood and remembered. This is more conducive to deepening memory.

5.Practical application

Whether or not we really understand what we learn depends on whether we can use it in practice. If we get stuck when practicing, which means that it is not really understood. There is a specific standard testing the degree of understanding. First, the learned knowledge can be explained in language and text. Second, the knowledge can be applied in practice. In practice, we will continue to deepen our understanding.w
Best Tips for Learning Chinese Characters