System: Started out by focusing on the kangxi radicals, once I understood those 213 characters reiterated form (including abbreviated forms) ALL the other characters. I then figured out that there are pictographs, ideographs, picto-semantic picto-phonetic characters. Then I discovered Bai Shuangfa’s hanzi gong 白双发 汉字宫 which confirmed what I figured out. Hanzi gong teaches pictograms first, then ideograms, then associative compound characters, and then picto-phonetic characters. That is definitely the right order to learn characters.
To remember and understand characters I look at their original forms in the oracle bone script 甲骨文 where the pictograms had not yet been simplified and were tougher to write but much easier to read. for that I use chinesecode
which is awesome
which is also very good.
When you understand what the character REALLY depicts what it REALLY means it is MUCH easier to remember the characters meaning. Then it’s just a matter of remembering pronunciation, for which I use mnemonics such as:
Outside TO SHOW DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE EXTERIOR biao.
Biao3 is literally a bearskin coat. It’s figuratively the idea of such clothing which is impressive, exterior, i.e. to show demonstrate display
Narrow SHALLOW STREAM SUPERFICIAL SWORDSTREAM qian.
Jian1 is a river on the left and crossed swords on the right; SWORDSTREAM.