Useful Knowledge: Arithmetic and Chinese

Long ago, a friend told me that when she was in first grade, she had a lot of pennies. She knew how to add but not subtract so after she spent some, she would have to count them again to know how many were left.

I have finally reached the last lesson (Lesson 12) in my beginning Chinese textbook, which I have been using (fitfully) for more than a year. Later lessons build on earlier lessons. When I didn’t know a word in a later lesson, I scanned the new-word lists from earlier lessons to find it. I have just discovered there is a word index.

2 Responses to “Useful Knowledge: Arithmetic and Chinese”

  1. Elizabeth Molin Says:

    I did the same thing when I was tutoring a Dutch high school student in English. We were reading a YA book together, and I was making her translate as we went along. When she didn’t know a word, I would have to come up with a Dutch equivalent for her. When we got to the end of the book, we discovered the glossary.

  2. gwern Says:

    > “Irritating! Whenever a man finishes building his house, he discovers what he needed to know to begin. The melancholia of finished things! …”

    –Nietzsche, _Beyond Good and Evil_