When you want to learn Chinese, you need to go for it and work on it every day. Everyone will tell you that. It’s true for every language you are learning. Regularity is the key. As is reviewing words you’ve just learned, so they go from your short-term to your long-term memory. We know, however, that it’s not always easy to stay focused and to review daily. It’s even more complicated when you’re a beginner to intermediate learner since you can’t enjoy Chinese content from TV (for example) passively yet. So, you may skip one or two days. That’s alright! But what happens when you skip learning for weeks? Or even a month? Your words to review start to pile up. Is there any way to start learning Chinese again? To handle your word reviews? The short answer is YES.
Let’s say you are really going for it and use it intensively every day. But life is life, and for whatever reason, you skip learning Chinese on Ninchanese for one or two weeks. And then, life is going ok again, and you come back on Ninchanese. And then, you realize having 400 reviews to do! Screaming (internally) and wondering how you can review all those Chinese characters?
No worry, 朋友! We’ve tactics to tackle down all these reviews. Don’t feel bad; it’s ok and normal, you need to know how to be back to it, and this article is here to help you overcome that mountain of review.
When you’re using Ninchanese every day, the comprehensive and general review system (as you can see on the screenshot) is the way to go.
The general Chinese character review system will take all the Chinese characters you need to review for your memory to stay fresh. It’s all according to the SRS that calculates the review you need to do to remember the Chinese characters.
To maximize the memorization, you should do them as soon as the algorithm calculates you to do. But when you see 498 reviews, you are wondering how you can successfully do them.
The first thing to know is that the number can be divided by two since it represents the Chinese character and their pinyin. So it means you only have 249 reviews of Chinese characters to do. I bet you are already feeling better. 249 Chinese characters is still a lot of words to review. If you want to take them all, you can use the general review system for a few days. The next day, it will be less and so on.
You’ll do your review by a pack of ten characters this way, and the system will analyze your answers as you go and will give you a more or less comfortable review. You won’t feel struggling too much. But still, it’s quite some review to do so, and you can’t do it with a 10 min review like you were accustomed to do. So, in this case, it could be interesting to do your review differently.
The Chinese characters you are reviewing this way are not organized by theme but by difficulty remembering them (because they are fresh or because you’re having a little more trouble learning them).
” I actually graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a MA in Chinese.
I’ve used Ninchanese daily, and it has helped me a lot! “
– Connor, Ninchanese User
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Do your review by stage to ease your review.
When you feel that the number of reviews is way too high to do in the general review, you can do them by stage. What do I mean when I say you can do them by stages?
Let’s retake this situation: you’re in the middle of world 3, forget to do your review for a few days, and have too many reviews in the general review.
Then what you can do is going back to a previous world, take any of the vocabulary stages in that world, and see how many characters you need to review in that stage. See this screenshot:
So here is a stage from world 1, where I have 0 words left to unlock but 20 reviews to do.
Review Chinese characters by stage should be easy (if you’ve done your review relatively often) since you should know them at like 3 or 4 stars. And what’s interesting too, the Chinese Characters you’ll be reviewing in that stage will be only from that stage and then groups into a theme here going to the restaurant. Doing it by stage is generally more tranquil, and you’ll also feel like you have completed something, reviewing words for going out in the restaurant.
Redoing Previous Worlds to review Chinese characters with grammar and dialogues.
When you learn Chinese on Ninchanese, just unlocking stages and never going back to previous stages is not optimal. That’s because, to master the elements of Chinese you’ve learned so far, you’ll want to use what you’ve learned in context. Redoing vocabulary stages and the following grammar and dialogue stages is the way to truly improve your Chinese and become a natural.
So let say you’ve already completed World 1, 2, and 3; then, you need to go back to world 1 and 2 from time to time and redo them completely. That’s where you’ll use the excellent feature: “Pick up where you left off.”
This feature is great since you pick up on the last stage in the world you are.
I mean, even if you’ve started the world 3 and be at half that world. If you go back to the stage selection of world 1, you’ll pick up on the last stage of world 1 you’ve done. If you redo the first stage on world 1, then the feature “pick up where you left off” will say to continue on the first stage, even if you already completed the first world!
This feature is great to use when you want to redo world 1 while unlocking stages in world 3. It works the same way in any world; that’s practical since you don’t need to remember the last stage you did. All you need to do is pick up where you left off in the previous world and redo some stages and make your way up to the last stage you were on —reviewing well enough all the words, how to use them in the grammar stage, and how to say them in the dialogue stages.
If you feel you have too many reviews, stick to method 3 for a few days until you don’t have too many Chinese characters to review. It’s the key to continue improving your Chinese and be back at the level you really are and deserve.
Both ways to review on Ninchanese are excellent. It happens to the best of us to be busy at times. When things get hectic, we understand it can be challenging to use the general review system. Sometimes, it’s great to stop unlocking new stages and words and just go back on previous stages and the review there. Doing the grammar and the dialogues reinforce your knowledge of the characters and your Chinese in general.
Once you’ve made your way up to the last stage you are, doing the general review again will keep your memory fresh, and then you can start again unlocking new stages. But don’t forget to redo grammar and dialogue stages from time to time.
The Nincha Team