As I’ve mentioned before, I am a king amongst men as far as veering wildly off course is concerned. Most recently, I’ve started adding Chinese characters unnecessarily to my Cantonese cards, despite the fact that I’d resolved not to do this several months ago.
I therefore thought it’d be handy to come up with a timetable to pin up on my wall to remind me what I’m supposed to be doing at any given time – here it is, in all its GIMPy glory:
There’s an overlap between Cantonese grammar and other sentences which is why they’re drawn on top of each other; as it happens, I’m almost at the end of my grammar quest (2,000 flashcards in the mix to date with maybe another 500 to go). If I go at full speed I should be able to finish it by the end of the month as per the above schedule. Adding other Cantonese sentences to this deck (from TV shows, Youtube clips, rap etc.) will continue for the rest of the year.
I then plan to move onto written Chinese grammar. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of months (absolute tops, it might only be a couple of weeks) because there’s an 80% overlap between written Chinese and Cantonese grammar. The cards for this will be approximately the same as those for Cantonese grammar – Jyutping will be on the question side, and the task will simply be comprehension.
Next will be to apply the Heisig method to the 3500-odd characters that make up the Taiwan grades 1-8. Transferring knowledge of 2000 common-use kanji to 3500+ common use hanzi was never going to be much of a success (thanks a bunch, hindsight – late as always) – realistically I think I’ll be learning afresh another 1800 characters and revising the meanings of a further 800. It took me eleven weeks to Heisig 2045 kanji whilst working full time and so I don’t anticipate it’ll take much longer this time around.
The final phase will be to start a collection written Chinese sentences; obviously there will be some overlap with the previously learnt Chinese grammar. The difference will be that the card format will finally include characters in the question.
At the very bottom is the time limit for finding a job. It’s already almost 10% full – it feels just like a computer game when graphicked up like that!
This might seem an odd order to learn things in, especially focusing on written grammar before nailing Hanzi once and for all; stranger still perhaps to learn how written grammar works whilst largely ignoring how Chinese is written.
There are good reasons for doing so, although they’re really just peculiar to me because of the way I’ve been studying so far. It boils down to the fact that I have partial knowledge of many aspects of Cantonese and I think learning elements in this order will let me crack on fastest with the ongoing mission of reaching 10,000 Cantonese sentences.
I’m going to post a revised version of the timetable every six weeks or so because I think it’ll be interesting to see how well my time predictions hold up, and indeed how well I keep to it. We shall see.