I find it weird how, in English, my attention to detail is pretty amazing/anal but in Chinese, it’s abysmal. Thanks to my past experience in editing and proof-reading, I will often notice (and be irked by) something as minor as an italicised comma, even when just reading for fun. I won’t even mention spelling or punctuation mistakes. I’ve always been a good speller, because I could usually tell a word was spelled wrong if it didn’t look right.
In Chinese though, I will often completely mix up characters that look similar – and even some that don’t! The first ones I noticed myself mixing up were: 陪 and 部. An understandable mistake. Same with 夏 and 复. But then I also found myself mixing up 填 and 坝, which are really not that similar at all. I created a list of characters that I kept mixing up, thinking that if I figured out which particular element was confusing me, I would be less likely to mix them up in the future. That has helped, to an extent. Continue reading