I remember one day, way back in my living with my brother in Vancouver days, he came home and I had the whole apartment covered with little sticky notes. haha, he freaked! But later thought it was interesting and actually started calling the things in the refrigerator by the Chinese name (butchered pronunciation from both of us at that time). Then, it was just pinyin on the notes (one of the phonetic systems used for learning). The thing about learning Chinese vocab is, there is the basic pronunciation that needs to be learned just like any other language, but unlike other languages the pronunciation is not how it's written, it's just a phonetic system. The pinyin needs to be remembered, the added tones need to be remembered, and then the corresponding character need to be remembered and be retainable without the pinyin or tone markngs. For each vocab flashcard, I have a minimum of 3 cards -- one with character --> pinyin. One with pinyin --> English (with the words grammar usage, N., V. Adj., etc.). And one with English --> character. However some words have more meanings/ different grammar usages so that means more cards. I use a flashcard program called ANKI. Anybody else use flashcards?