I’ve constructed a new list based on the 3000 most common words according to SUBTLEX-CH-WF:
My goal was to try to recreate some good experiences I had early on with curated lists like Skritter 101. I find it much easier to learn when things are grouped by similarity:
- Characters that have similar components (either phonetic or radical). Seeing them together makes patterns more obvious, and multiplies the number of reviews you get for the common parts.
- Words sharing common characters. This multiplies reviews for the common character, and also serves as a group of examples of how a character is used that is easier to understand than its definition alone.
This kind of clustering is going to work better on your own personal list of goal words, since any words you are already studying will be skipped in a new list. The list I’m sharing is one I built for myself as an experiment to see if my ideas worked in practice.
One of the reasons that I’ve made a fairly large list is that you need enough material to make the clustering interesting. The list roughly retains the frequency order (though words are often moved by hundreds of positions) but it needs enough material to make meaningful clusters.
Here’s an example of how the clustering works out (starting around position 215 in the list). Several of those words moved by about 50 places (earlier or later), for example 以后 and 以前 are about 100 places apart on the straight list by frequency:
The character clustering does not have as big an impact because the goal for this list was to learn words, so single characters are only prominent near the very beginning of the list. One amusing stretch is where it clustered a bunch of interjections together because of the common 口: