Posted by Grace Feng on May 9, 2012
If you haven’t heard of the Chinese idiom 一目十行 yī mù shí háng , you’d better get to know now because you might can set it as your eventual goal for your reading capabilites on Chinese. :-) Literally, “一目” means “one eye”, it can be translated as “one visual scan”. “十行” is quite straightforward: “ten lines”. The idiom is to describe a fast reader that can capture the content of ten lines in one visual scan.
Then is it even possible for a native Chinese to do it: one scan ten lines? Well, in my opinion, one scan ten lines might be a bit stretch, though it’s not impossible for well trained people of certain occupation. That being said, scan one line in very short second and process it in the brain accordingly is absolutely possible.
If you’re a Chinese learner, you might wonder how could this be possible for you? Or what is the point here for you if you’re still struggling with your Chinese reading, and always have to stop to look up for new words here and there no matter what level you are?
Well, the point that I intent to make here is to show you some ways to train your reading capabilites on Chinese. It might benefit you better if you are already on intermediate or advanced levels.
1. Get familiar with Chinese sentence patterns.
Lots of patterns are structured with two or three fixed keywords. If they are familiar to you, once you read the first one, the rest keywords will pop up in your mind. Therefore you can skip read on them. This will save some of your reading time.
2. Guessing the meaning of unknown words by their radicals and context.
Most Chinese characters are composed of two parts, one part implies the meaning, the other part gives you the clue of it’s pronunciation. I’ve had a full list of Chinese radicals on this blog for your reference.
3. Grow your “visual feel” of Chinese characters, words, and compound words through vocabulary learning and reading practice.
For example, if you are reading a Chinese article and you do follow what have been read, then you should have a rough idea on what will be discussed in the next paragraph. Let’s say it’s going to talk about a beautiful woman, then if the character “倾 qīng” got caught in the corner of your eye, you should quickly flash the following two words through your mind: 倾倒 qīngdào (be completely drawn to) and 倾国倾城 qīng guó qīngchéng (extremely beautiful), because they are the most relevant words that have “倾 qīng” . In that way, you are not reading character by character, you’re reading block by block. A block could mean a very long compound word, or even a sentence.
OK then, today I’ll stop here and leave it to you to think about how to improve your reading speed and quality in the long run. Feel free to leave your comment for discussion.
Good night, my friend!
Category: Learn Chinese tips and strategies
|You can share this post here:|