I was in a meeting in Taipei recently which was being run in Mandarin. Although I was able to follow the general flow of the discussion, the extensive use of technical terms meant I was really missing the meaty bits.
There was one word which, during part of the debate, kept coming up: "hé li" (although I couldn't quite get the tone on the second character, given the pace of debate).
Back at the office, I looked it up in my usual MDBG dictionary, and saw a few words that matched 'heli', being:
合理 hélǐ rational / reasonable / fair
河狸 hélí beaver
合力 hélì cooperate
These are all good words, I decided, and I didn't want to forget them. So I copied them into my flashcard pack. However, rather than copying them as separate words, I thought their similarity made them easier to learn as a pack (in the usual WordPack logic), like this:
合理 / 河狸 / 合力
hélǐ / hélí / hélì
reasonable / beaver / co-operate
(And amusingly, each time one of these words come up, I immediately hear the sentence "reasonable beavers co-operate" in my head. Now I'll never forget!)
I wrote this short article, not specifically to teach you these three words (although it would be a pity if you didn't take the time to learn them quickly now), but to challenge your thinking ...
When you come across a new word, what thoughts go through your mind?
- [no thoughts]
- Oh, that's a new word (... now what's for lunch?)
- I will come back and memorise it later
- I'll quickly memorise it now
- Do I know any synonyms for that word?
- What other words sound the same?
- Let me try make a sentence with that word
- I will use that word at least once today (and also once tomorrow (and also once next week (and also ...)))
How active a learner are you?