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Asked 128 months ago by steerpike  
I have been working with Trainchinese for  over a year and I am still unsure as to how to train in the best way.

My current system is to use a book which has 30 new words plus another 30 which are a combinations of the 30 words.  I enter the first lot of 30 and train using all 4 methods until the words sleep, then add the 30 combined words and repeat. My goal for this is one week  and with 120 repetitions - plus writing on paper - should be achievable in an hour or so, every day. The book has 25 pages so I will have a  vocab of 750 words.

By the second week, I am repeating the process but the first weeks words are waking so I have up to 120  words to train.  I find I can not train more than 30 words at once if I want to finish and complete training but if I miss a night or two. can find myself with a backlog of  over a 100 words to work through. As the intervals get longer,  the earlier words do not come back as frequently but they do not become 'learned' for months.

The system seems to require 7 cycles, each with 4 modes. Allowing 15 seconds per  learning mode. each word should be learned after about 10 minutes. Perhaps I am putting in less time than I think but I find I have great difficulty learning 30 new words and 30 combinations of these words a week. I also study using a tutor and a conversational book and with a full time job, think I am putting in a reasonable effort.

The change to the subscription may also give me problems. To give me motivation and an illusion of progress, I prefer to train in 30 word chunks. Adding a 100 new words to a list and then trying to 'learn' the words through all the modes is too much for me to handle in one session.

I would be interested in comments on my learning methods and how others use this site.
 
  
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Answers
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I\'ve started to not worry about working on all lists of words at one time, or to address them as soon as they wake up.  I have two 45 minute sessions per day (to and from work) where I pick lists that will give me 150 to 200 cards to review.  I go through the set once and stop.  If there is still time in the ride, I pick another set of lists and work on it.  I don\'t try to get through all 4 methods at one sitting, it may take a week or more to get through all 4. 

Recently, I have also taken a long vacation, and on coming back had lots of words waking up - I forgot to set the vacation pause!  Now as I work through the words, I recognized that I had many words per session going to sleep again for 40 days, or 80 days - thus they will all wake up at the same time.  Not a good situation. So I abandoned those lists after putting a few to sleep, and moved on to new words.

This probably seems disorganized and probably overwhelming, but I\'m finding it works - old words get reviewed (and if I forget one for a few repetitions, who cares?), and new words get added. 

I guess I should say that I\'m not working on writing the hanzi, only the other three modes.

Simon

Answered 127 months ago by nomis
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Hi steerpike,
You are facing the same problems as some of us:
1. How to manage the increasing number of words
2. The time period between two repetitions

Here is my personal experience.
I tried for a while to add 7 words a day (our brain can remember/process only 7 'things' at a time, this is why I choosed this option ), and it's true, one very rapidely comes to 100-150 words a day to practice.
Perhaps this was a bit too much for me too... But on the otherside, each lesson of the my Chinese book contains about 40-50 new words. If I learn one lesson a week, this matches those 7 words a day, I think we should be able to mange it.

The second problem is the interval between repetitions. My experience is that I have no problem until I reach the 16 days repeat interval, but in the next levels, sometimes the words that I mastered before looks like if I had never seen them before!!! And then they will sleep again 32/64 days, ... and I will probabely forget them again. So to summarize, the application has to solve a quite complexe problem : how to practice 'long term memory' in a short time???

The trainchinese team is aware of this problem, and has already implemented a more flexible algorithm called 'Advanced Algorithm' were the repeat interval is not fixed, but adapts to your progress. This is however still in the 'beta' phase but you can activate this feature already now in your settings on the web site. Klaus will for sure give you more precise information very soon.

Regards
Jacques

Answered 128 months ago by ribenguniang