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🚧 Funny sign translation in China
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Today we’re breaking down this funny warning sign at a construction site in Chinese.
This confused me a lot the first time I read it with the translation.
Do you know what it says?
Step 1: Pre-test
Try to read the text above without any help.
You may not understand much but this is important, don’t skip it.
This is called pre-testing and it’s proven to enhance memory by focusing your attention.
Students who pre-test learn significantly more compared to those who don’t, even if they feel like they “bomb” the pre-test.
Step 2: Listen + Read
Listen to the audio file below and read along with the characters, pinyin, and translation (shadow).
Look up any words you don’t understand (vocabulary list below).
Construction in progress,
*施工 was translated as “erection” in the picture as in erection of a building, but it obviously has other meanings…
Bù zhǔn shǐyòng!
Use not allowed!
Dive deeper with interactive vocab lists, flashcards, study tracker, and more here.
Step 3: Repetition + Retrieval
Most learners stop here, but they miss the most important step: repetition and active recall/retrieval (also scientifically shown to enhance memory).
Read the characters out loud without audio. Focus on getting the correct tones/pronunciation.
Try not to look at the pinyin, but use it like training wheels if you forget.
Repeat until you don’t need to look at the pinyin.
Bù zhǔn shǐyòng!
Step 4: Final “Test”
Final stretch. Re-read the original text again.
How does it feel? Do you feel more confident reading it?
The system I use here is just one of the many ways I leverage the science of learning and real-world materials to get tangible results fast.
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See you next week for another breakdown!
PS If you’re looking for more help, here are some other ways I can help you:
Speaking Course: Struggling to speak Chinese? This course is a step-by-step system to help you start speaking like natives, sound more natural, and have more meaningful conversations (even with limited vocabulary and no one to practice with).
The Language Learner OS: An all-in-one language hub to help you organize your studies, track vocabulary + habits, and stay productive, so you can learn languages faster.