Particularly, intricacies of pronunciation.

I am just starting to learn the language, and what bothers me is that after finally managing to learn proper pronunciations of the language sounds, I may then forget it all if there comes a period of time when I’ll not be able to practice my skills.

So, if anyone had a personal experience with this—how long of not practising did it take to forget what you have learnt and how easy was recovering the lost knowledge?

  • 1
    I would say it depends on the depth of knowledge of certain characters, e.g. how often you used it in the past, was your encounter with that character a volatile one (looked it up in a dictionary just to forget it immediately), and also how specific (meaning or meanings, compound words in which it occurs, etc.) a certain character is. There are characters I could never forget having seen and used them day by the day over the years, but of course there are many you will struggle to recognize and guess how to write and read them after having not used them in a few weeks.
    – imrek
    Nov 15, 2014 at 22:42

2 Answers 2


As a native English speaker, I've found that after leaving China for four years now, my ability to remember tones has been negatively affected. Second, is remembering words. Weirdly enough, having not read much these past years, I never really lost an reading comprehension (though as before I may forget the meaning of a word and/or its pronunciation).

The best way to recover (other than returning to China and speaking with Chinese friends- obviously) is to watch/listen to movies and TV as this triggers those neglected neural connections, that you would be surprised to learn are quite resilient.


I am a Taiwanese.

I have the same problem of English vocabulary lol.

However, learning English is easier because the most of the newest news are written by English.

You should find a person to practice it each day.

One day an hour or more is better for your learning : ).

Also, you can listen some Chinese song. It can help you to remember words faster.

Hope this help.

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