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Tips and tricks to help you learn Chinese

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The secret Chinese technique to pass your exams

Currently studying for your exams? How’s it going? Did you plan ahead your studies or are you resorting to cramming methods to ensure you know everything you need to know to pass your exams? Well, here’s a secret Chinese technique you simply need to know. It’ll help you stay focused, study… and ace your exams! Find out what this technique is after the jump!

A hair-raising exams technique!

Ok, so this technique is sort of extreme. And not really what we recommend you should be doing to study! But as the first semester’s finals are looming near for Chinese students, some have taken to resorting to strange techniques to study. Or rather, to relieve the pressure a bit and relax in these stressful times. The girl in the picture was the first to show off this innovative but painful studying technique, which in turn inspired many other students to do the same! Who knows, maybe clothespins, shackles and smelly shoes really are the best way to stay focused and studying!

secret of Chinese student

Inspired by a real chengyu

Maybe you’re wondering: Where on earth did the idea for this curious, albeit fake, study technique come from?  Well, from this very real Chengyu:

悬梁刺股 xuán liáng cì gǔ

A litteral translation would be to tie one’s hair on the house beam and jab one’s side with an awl to keep oneself awake.

Character breakdown: “悬(xuán)” means “to hang”; “梁(liáng)” means the “house beam”; “刺 (cì) means “to pierce” and “股(gǔ)” means “legs”.

The meaning is slightly less literal and is “to grind away at one’s studies, to study tirelessly and assiduously…”, but hopefully withou hurting oneself.

Talk about extreme! Guess at some point, this technique was really used?! Curious to know more about this chengyu’s background story and how it came to be? Then check out this animated short film about it (in Chinese).  While this chengyu isn’t really used anymore (its use has gotten really ironic and outdated…), it certainly continues to inspire Chinese students!

An obvious but real study tip

Fancy having to hurt yourself to make sure you don’t fall asleep by mistake! That’d be taking cramming too far, don’t you think? Here’s my (real but far less funny) study tip: take a few short naps from time to time (20 minutes tops!)! It’s simple but it works wonders and helps you stay refreshed while studying. In any case, we hope you never get driven to using such extreme techniques! And we promise we’ll teach you much more efficient Nincha techniques to learn Chinese on Ninchanese! No hair hanging for you! For those of you studying for exams right now, 加油 (jiā yóu)! Keep at it, it’s all worth it! Happy studying!

The Nincha Team

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