Pinyin - A necessary evil, but a terrible way to learn Chinese
I’ve just come to the incredibly late realization that pinyin is a horribly inaccurate approximation of the actual sounds in Chinese.
Learning pronunciation by relying on pinyin instead of my ears is a terrible idea, and even after I hear the correct pronunciation of a character, every time I see the pinyin, I will focus on what I see and forget what I heard.
The longer I rely on pinyin, the longer I hold myself back from improving my pronunciation, because every time I see the English-like text, I go back to a bad, approximate pronunciation instead of trying to recreate what I heard.
Even knowing this, I can’t do much at this point. I have to use pinyin as a crutch until I learn the hanzi and remember the pronunciation of all the characters that I need for now, at which point I can hopefully stop relying as much on the pinyin.
Ah well. Another day, another completely random insight.