Our Best Advice: Slow = Fast

We recommend learning 3-10 new words per day (about 1,000 to 3,500 words per year).

If 3-10 new words per day seems too "slow" for you, remember that each word you learn creates future commitments to refresh your memories with review. Slow and steady almost always wins the race; those who learn too much too soon usually become overwhelmed with "reviews due" and give up on a learning methodology that works well!

Let's look at two examples:

This student learned 44 words per day in the first 6 days on Hack Chinese.

It probably felt great to learn 264 new words in such a short amount of time. But then he missed a day, and was never able to catch up with the number of reviews due. 

For the first day or so after coming back, he may have been highly motivated to "get through his list of reviews", but unfortunately, most of his memories were truly gone. He was forgetting most words in his study sessions, which felt unpleasant and frustrating.

"This doesn't work for me", he may have said.

This student learned 5 words per day in her first month using Hack Chinese.

She spent about ten minutes studying each day.

Each time she studied, she reviewed a few words and learned a few new words. Her review sessions were generally a positive experience: lots of remembering and lots of growth.

And best of all: she was in and out quickly, leaving her more time for other types of practice with Chinese, like reading her textbook or listening to podcasts.

9 times out of 10, slow and steady yields the best results:

If your number of reviews due is overwhelming and you are just finding this article now, let us know.
We can delete your review words and help set you on a more sustainable path. While it may feel like you are going backwards, correcting course is always worthwhile. And the sooner you do it, the better!

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