Prioritizing Vocabulary Study
I believe the creators of ChinesePod have placed limits on what grammar structures and vocabulary are introduced in each level. I wonder if anyone knows any more information?
For instance, I discovered that Newbie and Elementary levels each tend to have a "bank" of acceptable grammar structures so the lesson never exceeds the level of the student taking it.
I wonder if this is also true for vocabulary? I did notice that more-complicated verb constructions were omitted until Intermediate level. And perhaps some other simplifications were preferred as well in earlier levels (红色的 being more likely to appear than, say, 粉红色的). However, if there are any other patterns I am having trouble discovering them. Is there any information about this? I tried looking through the forums. Maybe someone has even made word lists by level?
In particular it does seem that specialized vocabulary is often introduced, even in the Newbie lessons, to ensure a wider variety of interesting content. I have about 8,000 vocabulary flashcards in my deck, and don't expect to study Chinese full-time for more than 3 additional months, so I am trying to prioritize the selection of words to study. In the beginning I added all new words to my deck but I am now trying to avoid wasting time by learning words that contribute to the lesson content but which don't really benefit me later. For instance, I may never go to 闵行区 and I almost certainly will never need to use it in a conversation.
Cutting to the chase: does anyone have any suggestions for prioritizing the study of words？ I found an excellent 汉字 list, sorted by frequency, which was very helpful in figuring out which characters are high-impact. How can I apply this idea when I study words in general? I want to be functional as soon as possible so sometimes it makes sense to avoid studying words which are not very useful. Do I just use my judgment and ask myself, "How often do I need to use this word?" Or does anyone have any other ideas?
pretzellogicJanuary 27, 2014, 11:22 PM
If you want to take a word focused approach, then maybe looking at the following words in the following order might be helpful:
Action verbs: make, do, put, carry, bring, take, put (on), use, consider, paint, eat, go, follow, want. focus on negating these, and using them in a sentence.
Nouns: park, house, car, hospital, food, fruit, meat, etc.
Having thought about the approach you're taking, I'd actually consider instead answering the following questions, then doing the following:
1: are you preparing to live in China, or just visit for a few days/weeks?
2: Do you have a Chinese girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse?
If you are serious about learning Chinese, and If you're planning on not coming to China, but have a Chinese girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse, then plan on coming to China by yourself for at least a week or so to force yourself to practice speaking and listening. Focus first on words that you will use to get yourself around first, then focus on eating, then focus on buying words. There are many paths, but going to China will get you there fast listening to people real-time without the crutch of using your partner's Chinese.
sherrielynnjensenSeptember 14, 2014, 11:37 PM
One thing that was suggested to me is to try to convert your daily conversations into chinese. Obviously this is easier if you have someone who speaks chinese, so that your conversations aren't one sided, and they can tell you how to say stuff.
Since you have a relationship with someone who is chinese, you could pretend you're in china and only speak chinese to them. Try to go out to places, like the mall or the movies, and then you'll have more interesting topics to talk about.