Preparing for Heisig: Remebering Simplified Hanzi

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin Monday, 12 October 2009
I ordered Heisig's the 'Remembering the Simplified Hanzi' last week as you may know if you read my post about my excitement. Whilst learning with this method I am still going to be carrying on learning sentences from books and carrying on with Rosetta Stone (although I have been finding my progress in it rather slow recently.)

I won't be doing much preparation before I start this method of learning the Hanzi. Though, I did hunt out the list of all of the 1500 Hanzi characters published in his first book to see what I would be trying to overcome. (Thanks to John @ Chinese Quest for helping me find them. Also check out his great post about the Heisig method and its criticisms)

If you want to download the excel file with all the hanzi, hanyu pinyin, stroke numbers and lesson numbers for the first Heisig book (this is the ANKI file for simplified hanzi in excel essentially) I include the link here for you.

Heisig & Richardon say that these characters (shown below) are the most frequently used 1000 hanzi plus some additional Chinese characters that make sense to learn with the primitives learnt along the way.

(If you would like to download the sample chapter from their book Remembering Simplified Hanzi 1: and give this method a go yourself you can do so here. I have breifly looked over it, but havent commited to learning them yet. I will start when the book gets here.)

Below, I list the hanzi in order they are taught in Heisig & Richardson's 'Remembering Simplified Hanzi'. It really serves its purpose for me because I wanted to print them out and stick them up in my room. But also illustrates quite how many characters I aim to learn and how dizzy 1500 hanzi can make the uninitiated.


Remembering the first 1500 Hanzi (with Heisig)

一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九 十 口 日 月 田 目 古 胡 叶 吾 朋 明 唱 晶 品 昌
早 旭 世 胃 旦 凹 凸 自 白 百 皂 旧 中 千 舌 升 丸 卜 占 上 下 卡 卓 朝 嘲
只 贝 贴 贞 员 儿 几 见 元 页 顽 凡 肌 负 万 匀 句 旬 勺 的 首 直 置 具 真
工 左 右 有 贿 贡 项 刀 刃 切 召 昭 则 副 丁 叮 可 哥 顶 乙 飞 子 孔 吼 乱
了 女 好 如 母 贯 兄 克 小 少 吵 孙 大 尖 夕 多 够 外 名 罗 厂 厅 厉 厚 石
砂 妙 肖 削 光 太 省 奇 川 州 顺 水 永 脉 求 泉 原 泳 洲 沼 沙 江 汁 潮 源


That is the first 150 hanzi ^ And only 1/10 of the way through the book.


活 消 河 鱼 渔 湖 测 土 均 肚 尘 填 吐 压 哇 寸 封 时 寺 火 灭 灰 烦 炎 淡
灯 点 照 里 量 埋 墨 黑 冒 同 洞 丽 向 响 尚 字 守 完 灾 宣 宵 安 宴 寄 富
贮 木 林 森 梦 机 植 杏 呆 枯 村 相 本 案 未 末 沫 味 妹 查 渣 染 李 桌 杂
若 草 艺 苦 宽 莫 模 漠 墓 苗 瞄 兆 桃 犬 尤 厌 状 妆 将 获 默 然 哭 器 臭
狗 牛 特 告 浩 先 洗 个 介 界 茶 合 哈 塔 王 玉 宝 球 现 玩 狂 皇 煌 呈 全
理 主 注 金 钟 铜 钓 针 钉 铭 镇 道 达 远 适 过 迈 迅 造 逃 巡 选 逊 逛 车

That brings us to 300 hanzi, and will only be a small victory.


连 莲 前 剪 输 逾 条 处 各 格 略 客 额 夏 洛 落 备 冗 沉 军 辉 冠 坑 亩 高
享 熟 亭 亮 京 景 就 周 士 吉 壮 学 觉 攻 敌 败 故 救 敬 敞 言 警 计 让 狱
讨 训 识 话 诗 语 调 谈 式 试 戈 战 划 或 贼 载 茂 成 城 诚 威 咸 钱 浅 贱
尧 烧 晓 止 步 涉 频 肯 企 武 赋 正 证 政 定 走 超 越 是 题 延 诞 建 楚 衣
裁 装 哀 袁 初 补 衬 农 浓 巾 帅 师 狮 布 帜 帽 幕 棉 市 肺 带 滞 刺 制 雨
雷 霜 云 运 冰 况 冲 减 凉 冬 天 吴 娱 误 夭 乔 桥 娇 立 泣 站 章 竞 帝 童
商 滴 匕 北 背 比 昆 混 皆 此 些 它 旨 脂 论 轮 每 梅 海 乞 吃 复 腹 欠 吹
歌 软 次 资 姿 咨 赔 培 音 暗 韵 竟 镜 境 亡 盲 妄 望 方 妨 放 激 旁 兑 脱


500 so far... ... If I am learning 15 hanzi a day I will reach this just after a month of learning.


说 曾 增 赠 也 她 地 池 虫 虾 独 虽 蛇 蛋 己 起 改 记 已 包 泡 导 顾 逐 家
场 汤 羊 美 洋 鲜 样 兰 烂 差 着 养 集 准 谁 售 午 许 羽 习 翔 困 固 国 圆
因 烟 园 回 图 广 店 库 裤 床 麻 庄 心 忘 忍 总 态 志 思 恩 愿 意 想 息 恐
感 憾 忧 惊 怕 忙 惯 必 手 看 摩 拿 我 抱 抗 批 招 打 指 持 担 括 提 挥 推
搅 执 热 接 挂 按 掉 拉 啦 找 无 抚 开 研 弄 异 鼻 刑 型 才 财 团 存 在 乃
奶 及 吸 极 史 更 硬 又 圣 友 双 汉 戏 观 欢 怪 对 树 难 摊 投 没 设 股 支
技 枝 叔 督 寂 反 板 返 后 质 派 乐 爪 抓 采 菜 受 授 爱 么 雄 台 治 始 去
法 会 至 室 到 互 充 育 流 梳 购 构 山 出 础 岁 密 入 分 贫 公 松 谷 浴 欲
容 溶 赏 党 常 堂 皮 波 婆 破 被 歹 列 烈 死 葬 耳 取 趣 最 职 敢 曼 慢 漫
夫 规 替 失 铁 臣 力 边 势 动 励 历 另 别 拐 男 功 办 协 苏 为 奴 努 加 贺


750 hanzi. Chinese characters starting to make my head spin a little.


架 务 雾 行 律 得 待 往 德 微 街 禾 程 和 积 种 移 秋 愁 揪 利 香 季 委 秀
透 诱 米 粉 迷 谜 类 来 数 楼 竹 笑 箱 等 算 答 策 人 认 价 份 伪 尔 你 您
称 什 值 做 但 住 位 件 仍 他 仅 休 体 信 依 例 健 停 倒 仁 优 伤 保 堡 付
府 俯 代 袋 化 华 哗 花 货 何 便 丈 使 久 内 呐 丙 柄 肉 腐 从 众 坐 座 巫
喝 渴 任 廷 庭 头 实 买 卖 读 以 似 并 拼 吕 侣 荣 劳 营 善 年 夜 液 旅 施
游 勿 忽 物 易 赐 尸 尼 呢 泥 屋 握 居 锯 剧 据 层 局 尺 尽 户 房 雇 护 示
社 礼 视 福 标 禁 襟 宗 崇 祭 察 擦 由 抽 油 甲 押 申 伸 神 果 课 颗 斤 听
所 近 斩 暂 渐 断 折 哲 逝 斥 诉 乍 怎 昨 作 雪 灵 妇 扫 寻 急 当 档 录 碌
争 净 事 唐 糖 康 尹 伊 君 裙 群 而 需 儒 瑞 端 曲 斗 料 科 用 确 昔 借 错
散 撒 廿 席 度 渡 半 伴 胖 判 眷 拳 片 版 之 乏 眨 不 否 坏 环 杯 还 怀 矢


1000 hanzi. This is how far Greg got in 6 weeks. It is certainly something to aim for.


族 知 智 矛 柔 揉 予 序 预 野 班 临 坚 贤 弓 引 弥 强 弱 单 弹 费 佛 弟 第
巧 号 身 射 谢 老 考 烤 与 写 泻 孝 教 者 著 猪 追 官 管 父 交 效 较 校 足
跑 跳 路 露 骨 滑 阿 啊 随 阳 阴 荫 防 附 际 阶 院 阵 队 坠 降 穴 究 突 空
控 深 探 丘 兵 丝 织 线 维 统 给 结 终 级 纪 红 约 细 纵 绿 经 轻 续 继 药
系 紧 却 脚 服 报 命 贸 留 溜 聊 柳 节 卫 令 冷 零 领 通 勇 仓 枪 创 犯 危
脆 印 酒 配 酋 尊 遵 豆 短 厨 鼓 喜 血 盖 温 监 篮 蓝 银 跟 很 根 即 退 腿
限 眼 良 浪 娘 食 饭 餐 馆 既 概 平 评 坪 乎 呼 希 稀 杀 风 讽 冈 刚 网 画
凶 胸 脑 恼 离 禽 义 仪 蚁 辛 辩 辟 壁 避 亲 新 薪 幸 叫 收 亥 核 孩 刻 该
术 述 襄 壤 寒 赛 毒 麦 素 青 精 请 情 睛 清 静 责 绩 表 生 星 姓 性 胜 丰
害 割 慧 韦 围 伟 春 泰 奉 棒 击 陆 专 传 转 勤 谨 垂 锤 睡 今 含 念 东 栋
冻 陈 练 拣 西 要 腰 票 漂 贾 南 门 们 闲 问 间 简 闻 非 排 罪 靠 侯 候 决
快 块 筷 干 岸 旱 赶 于 宇 余 除 途 束 速 辣 整 重 懂 病 痛 疯 区 枢 欧 医
仰 迎 登 发 废 形 影 彩 须 参 惨 修 珍 产 彦 颜 文 蚊 这 齐 济 率 摔 央 英
唤 换 巴 把 爸 吧 色 绝 艳 甘 某 其 期 基 甚 斯 贵 遗 舞 且 姐 组 祖 助 普
业 显 亚 恶 严 共 供 巷 港 井 讲 进 角 解 嘴 再 扁 篇 编 典 氏 纸 昏 婚 低
底 民 眠 甫 辅 博 搏 都 部 郎 帮 乡 段 锻 幻 司 词 书 舟 船 般 盘 搬 瓜 孤
益 假 暇 气 汽 面 革 鞋 勒 馨 声 承 蒸 牙 穿 呀 释 番 翻 播 毛 尾 笔 托 宅
展 丧 长 张 涨 雁 应 兴 举 检 脸 险 鸟 鸡 鹰 鸭 岛 遇 缺 遥 摇 兔 逸 免 晚
象 像 马 妈 吗 骂 验 骑 虎 虑 虚 鹿 熊 能 寅 演 辰 晨 关 送 联 鬼 魔 龙 袭
那 哪 两 俩 满 县 悬 窗 电 掩 丑 扭 黄 横 赤 亦 弯 湾 恋 变 卑 牌 套 曰 属


That is the first 1500 Chinese characters that Heisig proposes we remember. That is a lot of Chinese characters to take in, in one go. Having done some quick maths, if I learn 15 a day from now until my birthday on January 20th 2010. I should be able to complete the first 1500 hanzi thanks to Heisig and you guys for inspiring me.

Here are the hanzi all printed out and stuck up in my room. :D Whilst at the moment they are achieving not a lot by being there. By my 22nd birthday I hope to be able to understand them all.



So here is to Heisig. And here is to to a journey of learning many Chinese Characters. Here is to remembering the hanzi. Hopefully I will see you on the other side.
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18 comments

  1. ChineseQuest Says:
  2. Very cool. And thanks for the link.

    I've found that having the poster helps with motivation. I use a red marker to cross them out as I go, which is a great visual representation of how far you've gotten.

    One tip: don't stop. I've stopped and started back up too many times and I've still not managed to finish, even though I ordered the book the day it was released. I have learned a good amount of Chinese in that time, but it sucks that I haven't finished RTH yet. Don't be like me.

     
  3. I'm undecided yet whehter to cross them out, or have my girlfriend test me randomly from the ones I know. It may even trick her into learning a few too.

    I am going to try not to stop, and thank you for all your help with sorting out those characters earlier. Glad to link to your post.

    :)

     
  4. 一天学六个生字就好。
    贵精不贵多。

     
  5. only 6 a day?

    Is that with pronounciation as well?

     
  6. Kristyna Says:
  7. Is hanzi the same as kanji? [There's also Remembering the KANJI by Heisig and I'm slightly confused]

     
  8. Jacob Says:
  9. Wow, thanks for posting the Excel file and all the characters! I just ordered RTH on Sunday and hope to start on it next week (after I knock out 3 tests and 2 papers in the next week of college). I was hoping to find a list of the characters to make some printed study aids with, so this post is a huge help and time-saver. Where did you the Excel file come from?

     
  10. Kristyna,

    Some of the Hanzi will be the same, the Japanese use a lot of the same characters.

    However the Kanji are different. My housemates are learning Japanese too.

    I reccomend reading this blog if you are learning the kanji:

    http://2009kanjichallenge.blogspot.com/

    Heisig wrote his first book about remembering the Kanji. Hope this clears it up for you.

     
  11. Jacob,

    I am glad I could be of use. I struggled for ages to find this resource, but gladly the online community on twitter.com are great for helping out with any Mandarin learning questions.

    MY friend John downloaded the excel file from the version that is hosted by ANKI Which is some repetivive flashcard learning software which will probably help out loads.

    If you are just starting as well, if you fancy it I am going to try and learn 15 a day, would love to be able to chat about it with people as I go.

    Please do keep on dropping by. Good luck with your tests!!!

    Charlie

     
  12. Jacob Says:
  13. Ah, I didn't understand that the Excel file was pulled straight from the Anki deck. Good idea. I have been using Tuttle's Learning Chinese Characters for a few months (not very diligently, unfortunately) and have made it through about 250 characters that way; I've accompanied studying them with Anki, so thankfully I've already figured out the program. I'm glad that RTH is on there as a shared deck. That's going to really make studying out of it efficient.

    I'm subscribed to your blog, so I'll definitely be reading :)

    Jacob

     
  14. Jacob,

    Thanks ever so much for subscribing. :) I had the Traditional tuttle book (by a previous accident) and it looks like an incredible tool.

    I have to admit for pure understanding of language, the tuttle probably wins out. For ways to remember characters and stories Heisig looks like a very strong way of utilising some brain power.

    How long have you been learning Jacob?

    Charlie

     
  15. Jacob Says:
  16. I started with the Tuttle book in June, and have studied it here and there. I've focused on characters with little of anything else so far. However, a little later this semester, or maybe next semester, I'm going to see if a Chinese teacher at my college will begin tutoring me.

    You had the same "Learning Chinese Characters" book? I don't think it would help understand the language any more than Heisig since it's just characters with a similar approach to Heisig--breaking down characters into parts and constructing stories with them. It adds pronunciation mnemonics as well, which are nice and I've used, but I think I would rather go for just meanings.

    Jacob

     
  17. Jacob,

    To clarify I think that as a language tool learning the pronounciation is a great tool. But like you and Heisig, I think that maybe it is too much for someone just starting the language to take in.

    AS for college I am jealous. My university does not offer or support any second languages at all. So I am self studying.

    I think that both of these books are built in ways which can really improve language learning. Moreover, they can radically change the way we learn anything. By making stories it must improve our memory by leaps and bounds.

    I am working on ways to implement stories into my daily life to remember certain university related things and can see why acronyms in Marketing (what I study) are so useful.

    I will be very interested to hear your story alongside mine, as we both start Heisig at a similiar time.

     
  18. Yes, in 10 days you'll know 60 words.

    100 days 600 words.
    1,000 days 6,000 words!

    So, 2~3 years you can write your blof totally in Chinese!!!

     
  19. That is a really exciting prospect!!!

    It would be great to write entirely in Chinese. Maybe then I will write

    Discovering English: For Chinese people looking to learn about English culture.

    :D

     
  20. Jacob Says:
  21. Well, we only have two teachers from China at my college (they're married). The wife teaches Chinese (my guess is there are only a few students taking it); her husband teaches some of the science classes. I know they're good people, so I think she'd be willing to help me.

    The college (we have less than 900 students) brought in a new Spanish professor last year. He's done a lot of study and research in the role of mental images in learning Spanish. He encourages students to link concepts in the Spanish language to images like Michael Jordan or Romeo and Juliet in order to solidify the concept until fossilization has set in. I'm not going to explain here exactly how they're linked, but they are definitely effective for learners. I'm hoping to do some similar things with learning Chinese (besides Heisig) and also when I teach English in China (I'm hoping to do so for a few weeks this next summer, and possibly as a career in the future).

     
  22. Jacob, I do hope you will share some of these methods as we progress. This Spanish professor sounds very interesting.

    I think I would love to teach english in China too. Not sure what timescale that idea is on though.

     
  23. Anonymous Says:
  24. 17th Jan, 3 days away from your birthday master charlie.

    How are you doing?



    I am up to the 30th chracter having just started.


    Your test is soon, let us know how you do?

     
  25. Anonymous Says:
  26. I've found the combination of Tuttle's "Learning Chinese Characters" and Anki effective. I'm using an Anki deck for Tuttle from http://www.uz-translations.net/?category=chinabooks-chinese&altname=anki_flashcards_for_the_book_learning_chinese_characters_tuttle1

     

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