Seb's Study Log

I’ve started a couple of weeks ago with Hanzihero with a bit of exposure before, thanks to traveling Taiwan and China.
It’s be going like a breeze today, I’ve been using Anki before for learning my Vietnamese vocabulary, but having everything ready and readyset Memnomics makes it so easy.
So far I’m on rank 4 and about a third in HSK1. (Right now still at 20 new items/day, let’s see how long I can keep that up)
My learning goal is to travel again back in one year, so a basic of vocabulary would be great.

What I’m not sure about right now is

  1. at what number to set the daily word limit? Words are easy to learn, but then sometimes feel repetitive. (I have it right now set at 9)
  2. to what set “Character unlocking”. when they are learned or when they are familiar. I try out both to see what’s the difference, but not sure what is more useful.
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I recommend setting the daily word limit to approx 2/3 of the total daily limit. So if the daily limit is 10, set it to 7. This is because we have at least two words per character currently (for all characters before HSK 4). I filed a ticket for us to make this recommended value more clear in the settings UI.

For character unlocking, the default is “learned”, so I recommend that. If you find yourself feeling unfamiliar with components when going through mnemonics, then it may make sense to set it to “familiar”.

Hope that helps!

Thank you for your reply.
I agree, I think “learned” is much better.

I just feel that many words are not that “useful”, for example learning many many ways to say children, or right now the word high noon 正午. I don’t think it’s word I will be needing soon. Maybe adding an option to skip words directly on the learning screen would be helpful.

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Arrived at rank 5. Busy in life, still keeping up with 20 new lessons a day, but I’m doing them late at night before sleeping, so next day, my memory of them is often not great. I should probably reduce them, but my lust for learning is bigger…

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Arrived at rank 6. Still only doing hanzi hero, I’ve checked some grammar on this site, which seems quite helpful as a start A1 grammar points - Chinese Grammar Wiki

I haven’t kept up with my 20 new lessons a day, but this then reduced my daily lessons to between 60-70, which is more easy to handle than 100. It also feels now, I’m having many chinese words (150) in my head, so it will be interesting to see if I can recall the first ones I’ve learned. So far it looks good.

I will be meeting a mandarin tandem the coming days, let’s see how that goes!

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What’s this? I’m guessing a different service or something? :thinking:

It’s how I called my mandarin language exchange partner ^^
There is an app called Tandem (another one called Hello Talk) that I use a lot, when learning languages and when traveling to meet locals.

I couldn’t keep up the last two weeks with my reviews here, there were too many and I didn’t have enough time and energy. Finally yesterday I got them to 0 again and started some new lessons again…

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If you have any suggestions on how to make reviews more approachable/less time intensive let me know :slight_smile:

  • Have you considered allowing users to mark something as known rather than have to type it out? I think having to type out every pinyin in e.g. 信用卡 can really increase review time. It’s an easily abuse-able feature, but then again, that’s how Anki works.
  • Better synonyms. I’ve added “to-verb” on pretty much every verb card. This takes a decent amount of time. Also I often have to look up the meanings of cards in Wiktionary and add synonyms from there. Not sure what the solution would look like, maybe allow users to add to a common pool, maybe use chat GPT to add synonyms?
  • Longer learning intervals. This would reduce the number of reviews per day. You could analyze the data from our cards to see if there are opportunities for lengthening the intervals. I’d suspect that vocab cards behave differently than characters for example. Another one is, allowing users to fast track certain cards during lessons. When I see 桃花, I know right off the bat that this card will be very easy. I wish I could bump it to the 1-wk interval, or even higher. A card that starts with a 1 day interval contributes 7x the “density” of a card with a 7 day interval, assuming they have the same pass/fail rate.
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I think typing it out partly helps remembering it better in the beginning, but then with Anki I can go through many words very fast if I know them well. Especially on the phone.

Me too, adding to-verb to all the words that can be used as verbs as an alternative meaning would be helpful.

For me marking words as easy or hard is helpful not to get annoyed by them, on the other hand they’ve pointed to decision fatigue: Way to make reviews take up less time - #6 by phil

Which i guess in Anki it works well as I use the keyboard and on space it’s next word and rating it as “good” so 90 percent of words I just give the standard rating without much thinking.

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Yes, we’ve given though to having some sort of mode like this. The value of typing out the answer is – at least in my experience – quite high, though perhaps there’s a diminishing sort of return when you get to higher SRS levels.

Yeah, the user synonyms are a nice escape hatch, but it would be nice to have it all configured out of the box. The “to” verb issue is something we’ll look into :slight_smile:

We’ve also discussed revisiting our SRS intervals and refining them more. Depending on the current day fuzzing, it can happen where one gets a card three days in a row :grimacing: – this may be the path of least resistance in relieving the burden of reviews

Sometimes I think about whether multiple choice would strike a good balance between typing and flashcard right/wrong – though with multiple choice you definitely are shorting the active recall part since the answer is right in front of you :thinking:

Thanks for the feedback!

Oh another one - if a user accidentally writes the meaning instead of the reading or vice versa, why does this result in a blocking warning instead of just accepting the correct answer + soft warning?

This only happens if you put the correct answer down. In that case, it seems like the user is able to answer the question. I don’t see why they should be retested some number of cards later.

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One reason for this is the case where a user has answered the e.g., meaning question already, but not the pronunciation question. In that case we would still need the blocking warning, otherwise the user could just submit meaning or pronunciation for both answers. We could technically make it so the blocking guard ONLY happens for this specific edge case, otherwise doing what you outline, but we think having a uniform behavior in all cases is a bit better overall.

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I’ve finally reached level 7.
One problem I see is that my new word recall rate has been dropping, so I spend much more than in reviewing the recent new words and so don’t have time for new lessons every day. I guess now comes the difficult part of mandarin, many similar characters and sounds…

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One reason for this is the case where a user has answered the e.g., meaning question already, but not the pronunciation question. In that case we would still need the blocking warning, otherwise the user could just submit meaning or pronunciation for both answers. We could technically make it so the blocking guard ONLY happens for this specific edge case, otherwise doing what you outline, but we think having a uniform behavior in all cases is a bit better overall.

Another option is caching the wrong card type but correct answer, but then repeating the card and having a blocking warning. So it would look like

  • HH: What’s the meaning of 口袋?
  • User: kou3dai4
  • HH: Reading of 口袋 accepted, please typing the meaning:
  • User: pocket
  • next card

One problem I guess is users can effectively ignore the card type in order to speed up review time.

I feel you! There is so many characters that i just keep confusing especially the characters that have 青 in it T_T cause they all have varying pronunciation and tones that all sound kind of like qing to me. But we can do it!

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