I just officially wrapped up my first week of self-study on Chinese. We’ll call this Self Study Week 1. 🙂 Here are some thoughts and lessons learned.

This week I tried to focus on just getting familiar with Chinese, resources, pinyin rules/exceptions and not really worrying too much about vocab or Chinese characters.

As I mentioned in the Learning/Resources post, I have been using the Anki mobile app for flash card studying – it is awesome.

The Anki Mobile app gives me stats about my how I am learning and automatically reminds me of things I need more work. It also gives me an idea of how well I am For example, today, I reviewed 40 cards including pinyin initials, finals, exceptions, some basic vocab and a few VERY basic sentences.

According to the app, the average amount of time I studied cards was 12.9 minutes per day (this obviously needs to increase). Also, the app is telling me that I am around 80% accurate on “learning” cards (new ones) and 92% accurate on cards I am “young” mastery on (ones I’ve been consistently accurate). The app then uses these statistics to ensure I continue to review the right cards until all of them reach mastery.

I’m a believer that the best progress is made when you work hard but push yourself beyond your limits. So, 80-90% in my bood is just about right. And it’s definitely time to push on.

The goal for next week is to start working on some basic vocab. “This”, “That”, “It”, “He” “Good”, “Bad”, etc. etc.

The ChinesePod app has a Newbie track that I’m going to follow fairly strictly until further notice. Unlike many of the other resources, this track has the right amount of foundation/basics and introduction of new content without jumping right into complex sentences. More to come.