[Course Forum] Characters 501 - 1,000 in Mandarin Chinese by BenWhately

This is the course forum for Characters 501 - 1,000 in Mandarin Chinese by BenWhately.

If you have a question or find an issue with the course, please feel free to post it here :slight_smile:

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And will Ben Whately add any changes, or is it you that is going do that kind of thing, @neoncube?

Just curious …

As far as supporting personal courses goes, BenWhately appears to not be very active. (Which is fine – I’m not trying to knock him).

I recently asked Lien to please add me to several Chinese courses, which she did. I ran a couple of scripts on them to try to help fix them up, created these course forums, and modified the descriptions of the courses to point to the course forums, but I don’t want to support the courses. In fact, most of the courses I haven’t taken and don’t really haven’t much interest in – it’s just that with the changes to how commas are treated and the removal of the old course forum system, I feel like some of the courses needed some help, and I wanted to help a bit.

I’m hoping that now that these course forums have been created and that there are links to them in most of the courses’ descriptions, maybe some interested parties will come along and end up being contributors.


@extantpanda, @davjd, and @Danny1, I see you’re listed as contributors for this course, so I wanted to alert you to the existence of this thread, if you weren’t already aware of it :slight_smile:

@Lien; @neoncube; Can I perhaps be granted contributor permissions for this course? I’m trying to do minor edits. E.g. 旁(pang2: “next to”) would benefit from alt or hidden alt (“beside”) see Yellowbridge (https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php). Thanks!

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Sure thing! You’ve been added :slight_smile:

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Thanks! Much appreciated. =D

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No problem! :slight_smile:

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Is there anyway for me to edit this course on my own? There are a number of inaccuracies. (For instance 阳 is listed as meaning yang ((as in ying-yang)), which while technically true it’s much more common meaning is Sun. Most language learners would never use the word for its meaning of yang ) there are a number of these types of issues where the meaning for a character in the course is a rather misleading or inaccurate word.

I just checked on 阳, I noticed ‘sun’ was already in the DB as a hidden answer. I went ahead and un-hid it as an option.

Yang may have been chosen since it’s a single character word in this instance. Yang as sun is more like a word fragment, where you’d have to say 太阳(tai4yang2) to actually mean ‘sun’. Whereas ‘yang’ (as part of yin-yang) stands alone, perhaps. I have not confirmed if this is the hard rule with all 2000 chars, but I’m just giving one possible interpretation. There were other cases ostensibly of less prevalent terms being chosen as the lead word. FWIW, the Yang(energy) term also dovetails well with Yin(energy)form from 1001-1500 and association of sun/moon + sun already has associated ideograph 日; TBF, the current choice of ‘yang’ doesn’t appear to be an extraordinarily egregious choice.

Honestly I would prefer Memrise give option of flashing all correct answers once sufficient set of answers has been chosen (or user option to selection minimum1, 50%, or 100% possible answers, but this mechanism does not currently exist for Memrise (or at least as it’s current configured for this course as far as I can tell.) For the time being, I try to check on alt word meanings every time I answer the question and suspect there are others I don’t remember. (you can click/type correct answer but still click the “see answer” which will refresh one’s memory of all answers.)

My guess is this course is primarily single character course; for whole word and typical word use. I’m wildly guessing some words may have been chosen intentionally for single word testing uniqueness, or perhaps more arbitrary reasons.

I’ve intentionally tried to keep words as they were originally for learners that have habituated to any question/answer pairs or at least keep old answer as hidden option unless it was was somehow absolutely wrong.

=== Bug Catchall Living Post ===
This as temporary issue/RFE tracker/log for (course)[Characters 501-1000 in Mandarin Chinese by BenWhately]

施 ‘measure’ set primary to ‘use(apply, execute, grant, exert)’ (inc. hidden ‘to’ and non-‘to’ variants). Parenthetical clarifier for ‘measure’ usage (e.g. ‘protective measure’ as in processes or mechanism.)
绝 fixed typo; incidentally ‘disappear’ (spelled correctly) was already a hidden answer; ‘absolutely’ was likewise already an existing hidden answer; un-hid to address user feedback.
势(conditions) changed: (power; trend; situation); alts and variants:
/ power(influence,potential,force);_influence;_potential;_force
/ trend(tendency,momentum);_tendency;_momentum
/ conditions(situation,circumstances);_condition;_situation;_circumstances;_circumstance
/ outward appearance(of a natural object);_outward appearance of a natural object
/ sign(gesture,posture);_sign;_gesture;_posture
配(to join): omitted ‘pei’ (for now, considering this isn’t pinyin test); added: 'to [mate/accompany/harmonize-with]
股"added rump; disambiguated “share” type via parentheticals; added counting examples
恩"grace": added alt chinese dictionary terms; unhid ‘kindness’ from alt list.
归"to go back to"; a few hidden options unhidden; “to revert to” & “to return to” added (inc. alt. hidden word variations)
牌"game piece; brand" - added ‘playing card’ to existing ‘card/cards’ option.
番"times; foreign" - updated to add ‘iterations’ for disambiguation;
赤"bare; naked" - added ‘nude’
泽 (Edit #3) ‘beneficence’ changed to ‘(literary)beneficence(damp, bound forms: {marsh, swamp, grace, brilliance})’; numerous other bound-forms and corresponding synonyms added. Keeping beneficence since it dovetails with 丽泽(li4ze2 friend derived benefits) & 世泽(shi4ze2: ancestral gains/privileges) and is okay to retain for continuity/consistency. (not egregious enough to remove IMHO.)
族 (Edit #4) ‘social group’ properly split into it’s own discrete term so its multiple choice answer will now work.
著 (Edit #5) ‘zhuo2, zhe5, zhao2, zhao1’ alts added; alt defs added. only zhu4 kept as primary for simplicity sake. Users will just have to live with pinyin hints on this one for non zhu4 pronunciation as it was more straightforward way to keep alt-def lists manageable for me.
(Edit#7 edit for char from 1001-1500 moved to correct forum)
供 (Edit#8) removed ‘gong’(not pinyin test and not surname); removed ‘to allow’; defs consolidated; ‘worship; enshrine; offer sacrifices’ and variants added. gong1 tone added. base def. updated to include at least one def. corresponding to each tone.
余 (Edit#9) (1)excess(extra, leftover, remainder, residue, residual, spare, surplus) + (2 of time)‘beyond’ or ‘after’(an event) (inc. all variant phrasings) + (3 Surname)Yu.
质 (Edit10) (1)material(matter, substance); (2)quality(character, essence, nature) of an object; (3)person or thing given in pledge (e.g., collateral, hostage) (and alt phrasings); Zhi2(Tw. pr.) added as alt. (b.f) to pawn; (b.f. of talk)plain(honest, plainly, simple, truthful)

@kevinspacey4ever, It’s possible for @omnivore or I to add you as a contributor. Given that @omnivore is an active contributor, I think it might be best if I left it up to him to decide if he’d like another contributor or if he’d prefer to have things posted here so that they could first be discussed.

As far as 阳 goes, I think I’d personally support changing the definition to “sun”, but “yang” is also a valid definition, and as Omnivore pointed out, the full character for sun is 太阳.

@neoncube I’m relatively ok if you’re ok, I think. I’m mostly new to this (Memrise course management) and am just moving slowly since the Memrise course guide suggested caution/prudence w/ contributor selection since they can cause major inadvertent changes.

@kevinspacey4ever, I wouldn’t mind someone to “lighten the load” at some point in the future --or perhaps now for that matter-- (esp. if I decided to add all missing audio samples at higher levels or add re-recordings of lower level ones --still making up my mind since Forvo audio isn’t for commercial use), but how about filing a report or reports for now on prelim. basis; can you give detailed example list of change you have in mind or optionally perhaps what you’d like to bring to the table.

If you’re filing words from other sections (e.g., 1-500; 1001-1500; 1501-2000, please file those in the corresponding forum as I monitor there and it’ll minimized test module confusion/ambiguity)

Citing the specific cluster of 25 words would be nice, but I think I can make do if you just list the hanzi character since I made an offline list.

@neoncube, I haven’t seen the other contributors comment on the forum, is there some changelog tracker to see course change activity somehow?

With regards to a unified approach to this course, right now I’m just trying to converge toward a more consistent mechanism to handle:

  • ‘To’ non-‘to’ verb words while being cognisant that ‘to’ version is easier to spot at a glance as semi-approximately a ‘verb’ in manner most of these tests have already been written as.
  • Defer to consensus dictionary def. (not putting too much weight on any individual dictionary as there seems to be outlier/esoteric definitions.
  • Cognisant that existing word pairs may possible have been chosen to reduce duplicates or have more of a unique word-to-ideograph pairing. (this gets reduced somewhat if I add alt answers.)
  • Try to group dictionary definitions by similar types in alt-word list when possible. Furthermore, efforts are made to keep variant duplicates hidden to reduce definition list clutter. E.g.: “hard; rock(boulder,stone);[enter]_rocks;[enter]_boulder;[enter]_stone;[enter]”
  • Give some degree of primary precedence term deference since lots of mems are made for existing primary definition and there’s not an automatic mechanism notifying users that primary def. has changed and a new Mem. may be warranted.
    corollary to above: If primary is changed, keep it as alt-option or at minimum hidden definition to not break legacy mem. compliance & legacy word:pair trained users.
  • Unless it’s explicitly listed in dictionary definition, I’m somewhat wary of pronunciation overt or hidden options on English answer portion. Unless dictionary def. is “Cow; Surname XXX”, don’t add “XXX” as a valid english answer, since that inappropriately turns the English answers test into a pinyin test.
  • If primary term has many entries, I’m trying to cluster them based on part of speech and parenthesize them to make things easier for mobile users (that otherwise may have tapping tests where they have to hit all variations to get it right!) (see: A Guide to Typing Tests, Tapping Tests and Memrise Punctuation).
    • List item E.g., Primary {bovine, to milk, bull, suckle, cow} changed to
    • Primary: bovine(bull,cow); to milk(to suckle). Alt: _bull; _cow; _to suckle; _milk(v.); _suckle(v.)
      • Optional amended alt: “_bovine[enter]” and “_to milk”[enter] in order to make mobile user behavior match desktop(i.e., single option passes, rather than being forced to select all possible variations from Primary words:definitions pairup.)
      • Edit4: Note: I typically now mark set it as bovine(bull, cow, to milk, to suckle) now since Memrise (bug?) seems to require the user to type in “bovine(bull, cow); to milk” in order to get a multi-word primary answer correct (i.e., it fails to properly exclude “optional” parenthetical if the answer spans into a semicolon delineated 2nd definition). FWIW, Memrise does not appear to allow alt multi-word alt answers from alt-list either (RFE/bug?) (all variations including primary are added to alts
  • Opt. worth discussing putting (a.) (n.) (v.) (~adjective, noun, verb) disambiguation in definition list.
    • Pro1: disambiguates ‘part of speech’.
    • Con1: breaks multi-term(i.e., >= 1 '; separated answer) answers (in some cases Memrise requires strict parenthetical content typing)
    • Con2: cluttered.
    • Con3: assuring DB consistency is challenging (but ad hoc updating is not insane)
    • Con4: It may give too much hint* to test taking (esp. multi-choice options); and we should be cognizant of mobile users which are majority portion of Memrise userbase count (IINM). Or confusing ‘false negative’ when ‘parts of speech’ as listed in main line has not been harmonized

@omnivore, Since you’re the only contributor that has posted in this thread, I’ll leave it up to you if you want another contributor at the moment or would rather people just post her. I think you should be able to add contributors by going over to the “contributors” tab, which I think is next to the “databases” tab.

Also, as some general advice, I’d try to not go overboard with making the course perfect. Perhaps due to how the Memrise official courses are treated in the app (and on the website, to a lesser extent), it seems to me that perhaps very few new people are enrolling in user-created courses nowadays.

It’s easy to let editing take up too much of your time, and you might be better off spending that time learning new vocabulary or practicing, etc., IMHO :slight_smile:

@neoncube Thank for the feedback. You are right; the editing has taken up an expectedly large amount of time at times which delayed character study/practice. I just didn’t know what kind of guidelines / rules-of-thumb were in place for one to evaluate a new contributor. If you are okay with adding the user, then I therefore would be as well (I was merely hesitant due to no background posting to evaluate baseline thought process other than their preference for ‘sun’ to ‘yang’ ref. (which I don’t disagree with.))

I usually would want a little bit more data to evaluate with, but if you think it’s okay that I be more risk-tolerant, I’d like to add the user and request s/he to please just retain/shift sub-optimal (but technically correct word pairs) as visible “alt” answers if said contributor prefers to outright replace the primary answer rather than append another def, and trust what they think is best will be okay. I certainly would appreciate the extra bandwidth (eyes, hands, mind) of an extra contributor.

@neoncube If you confirm that my suggestion above doesn’t sound too crazy, then I’m going to go ahead and add @kevinspacey4ever as contributor.

@omnivore Yes, you may go ahead :slight_smile:

@neoncube thanks =).

@kevinspacey4ever I’ve gone ahead and added you. Please use your abilities responsibly.

If you’d be so kind,

  1. Try to give a heads up here if you change the primary def. if you can do so without too much overhead to you. (I will try to update my corresponding Memrise mem. to your changes if you do so.)
  2. If greater than 1 primary answer, please add primary defs. to _alt list so that single (of multiple) primary answers is considered a valid answer (makes mobile and pc behavior match) when modifying any (or if you see them normally.) * Note: Memrise currently does not allow mixing primary & alternate answers in same input field (e.g., when separated by semicolons). I should maybe file a web bug, but primary item selection also seems to require strict ordering “X; Y” marked right whereas “Y; X” marked wrong (may be impacted by use of parentheticals in def. I have not tried to isolate the bug/UX-bug down to minimum repro. condition.)
  3. Try not to spam too many writing variations (e.g. colour/color); keep either 1st or 2nd one as “_color” which makes it a hidden (but still accepted) option; this keeps the user facing alt. answers list from getting too cluttered.
  4. If you’re updating defs. try to verify that [part of speech] column matches any def. changes.
  5. I suggest checking defs w/ more than one dictionary, don’t simply default to one or another. I’ve gotten occasional unusual results from wiki.

I’ve avoided adding or deleting columns to be conservative and minimize impacting users, and suggest that we both refrain from messing with columns (i.e., adding/removing entire categories). * modifying the columns is much more ambitious and would be more of a long term project (If very interested, I’d suggest we both plan out and coordinate better if you’re interested in doing so. It’s non trivial IMO so it’s on long backburner at best for me and a “would be nice” (i.e., low priority.))

泽 as beneficence was discussed at the time as one of the most blatant “mistakes” Ben imported from the Pleco dictionary/ap.

would one please please finally correct this entry?

  • pool; pond; (of metals etc) lustre; damp; moist; favour (or beneficence) -

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! :slight_smile:

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著 is given only as (zhù), but it has various pronunciations, with different meanings (zhuó zhāo zháo zhe)

Many thanks