So, I have mentioned this before in another post, but I remember Chinese words by attaching a funny word and image association with them. In this post I am going to give you a few examples that might help you start to remember words that you are struggling with. During our last Phrase book walkthrough live stream I remembered some new vocab real time. The stream is here-:

Chǎnpǐn

Which means Product. My association for this was Jacky Chan holding a pin as a new product in an advert or a bottle of water. Why a bottle? because pǐn sounds like Píng (bottle) from Píngzi to me. This image of Mr Chan holding a brand new bottle or pin and smiling to the camera was a fun image, so my mind decided to hold onto it.

Using this technique really does work, as long as you use the word occasionally. Here are a few more examples i have used to remember words.

下雨

Xià yǔ

Rain

Down fish (Yú)

Fán

Annoying

An actually fan getting faster and faster (rising tone). Can’t stop the fan from blowing. That’s annoying.

眉毛

méi mao

Eyebrows

Beautiful Fur (Máo). She has beautiful fur above her eyes.

挫敗

Cuòbài

Frustrating.

Cuo reminds me of Thor the God of thunder. And to see him fly away would be quite frustrating because I would love to do that. Thor….bye. Oh.

尷尬

gāngà

Awkward.

Reminds me of the pokemon Gengar from Pokemon. Which is awkward.

I use this technique because it works for me. I often use a word of a different tone to help me remember the meaning of a new one. For example…

Tíng

Tīng

Táng

Tāng

Stop, Listen, Sugar and Soup. Makes my life easier because although they have a different pronunciation, to my ears if said quickly they sound very similar. This is where context is so important to a learner.

When you hear a native speak you won’t be connecting the tones at all. You will concentrating on body language, facial expressions and context. Also they will not slow down (unless you ask them to) so you will need to understand the premise of the conversation before starting it.

If you are in a supermarket and you manage to ask where the milk is, they are going to be given directions to the milk, so be ready to pick up some direction words and follow the gestures.

Anyway, try and use the funny image method to remember some vocab. If you can’t think of something, get as close as you can. Or try singing it. I wrote another article on remembering things not too long ago. here -:

https://mandarinmonkey.com/2018/12/07/remembering-vocab/

Leave a Reply