Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Blogs

Featured Entries

  • Tomsima

    At the dog beauty parlour

    By Tomsima

    Spotted in the dog beauty parlour today (yes, they exist, yes there was a walk in wardrobe of dog clothes, no I was not a customer). Made me smile.   What's going on with 愛犬島 and the UK picture? Am I meant to understand the UK is "isle of dog lovers"?
    • 3 comments
    • 599 views
  • anonymoose

    又一张西昌的

    By anonymoose

    What does this company appear to trade in?
    • 4 comments
    • 450 views
  • js6426

    Week 11 - 我怎么学习

    By js6426

    One of the reasons I now enjoy writing this blog so much, is the feedback and help that I get when I do.  I think that at the end of my first year I might try and make a list of the resources I have used, as it will include many things that get suggested over the weeks.  This week gwr71 was incredibly helpful in suggesting a cultural visual dictionary, one for measure words, and a grammar book, all of which I now have an am beginning to tuck into.    Last week I was also asked about my
    • 7 comments
    • 725 views
  • js6426

    Week 15 - 城堡!

    By js6426

    This week was a standard week with not much to say.  I don't really want to write posts just for the sake of writing them, so I think this will be my last post until we start our finals, which is 3 weeks from now.  Then I will do a post to finish the semester, including areas I feel I have grown in, and areas that need the most improvement.  Perhaps also some goals for the break.  I will then do a post after my finals, and maybe a mid-break post to try and keep myself working!    The t
    • 1 comment
    • 381 views
  • roddy

    Signese Revival 8

    By roddy

    One fairly random photo of Chinese characters in action, per week, until sometime in 2018. And perhaps longer if I'm encouraged. Those who want to contribute their own random photos of Chinese characters are welcome, just get in touch and I'll add you to the contributor list so you can post directly, from computer or phone.   I like to think of some poor foreign student recognising the first character and assuming from context he can get his puncture sorted out off to the left.
    • 1 comment
    • 602 views

Our community blogs

  1. PROGRESS 80/80

    Though I'm going to double it and go for 160. This includes going through the podcast, doing the audio review (using vocab in context) and recording my own version of the dialog. I will passively listen to Intermediate episodes while on subway, train while I work on the next 80 elementaries.

  2. Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it.
     



    The bird that flew from the desert, it told me
    It's desolate there, all that's left is paleness
    The bird that flew from my hometown, it told me
    Mother's wrinkles are already old and gray-haired

    On this kind of night, why do I always
    I think of you again, the girl I abandoned
    On this kind of night, why do I always
    I think of you again, I think of you again

    The bird that flew from the grasslands, it told me
    It's grown wild there, all that's left is vastness
    The bird that flew from the south, it told me
    The beloved girl already has flowing long hair

    On this kind of night, why do I always
    I thought of you again, the girl I once loved
    On this kind of night, why do I always
    I think of you again, I think of you again

     


    clip.mp3

     



    Answer
     

    Spoiler

     

    Title: 悲鸟
    Artist: 慕滨阳
    Link: https://youtu.be/VmKIDubLaj8
    Translation: https://www.notion.so/976258269890449f9e5889db4d22a791

    Chinese lyrics

    从沙漠上飞来的鸟儿,它告诉我
    那里荒凉的,只剩下苍白
    从家乡飞来的鸟儿,它告诉我
    妈妈的皱纹已是白发苍苍

    为什么 总在这样的夜里
    我又想起你,被我抛弃的姑娘
    为什么 总在这样的夜里
    我又想起你,我又想起你

    从草原上飞来的鸟儿,它告诉我
    那里荒芜的,只剩下苍茫
    从南方飞来的鸟儿,它告诉我
    心爱的姑娘已是长发飘飘

    为什么 总在这样的夜里
    我又想起你,曾经心爱的姑娘
    为什么 总在这样的夜里
    我又想起你,我又想起你

     

     

  3. Adventures in Mandarin

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 61
      views

    Recent Entries

    księżycowy
    Latest Entry:

    I'd like to start this blog off with some notes, and the first few exercises from PAVC. I'll also make note of the hanzi I learn as well.

     

    Grammar Notes:

    This lesson, in addition to going over basic greetings and asking about names, introduced the following structures:

     

    -Sentences with 姓,叫,是

    The textbook notes that 姓 is used only with last names, and 叫 is used with either full names or first names.

    It also puts 是 in this group, but I'm not sure if it's possible to say something like 「我是王大衛」or not.

    The textbook doesn't give any such examples.

     

    - Questions with 嗎

     

    -Using question words to ask questions.

    The interesting thing to note here, is that the question word goes where the answer would go.

    So you can have「他姓什麼?」which is different from English word order.

     

    -Reciprocal questions with 呢

     

    Vocabulary Notes:

    不 is generally pronounced bu4, unless it is followed by another 4th tone where it changes to bu2.

    哪 is pronounced na3 when it means "which", but it is pronounced as nei3 when it means "which one" (a contraction of 哪一)

     

    Hanzi Learned:

    您,貴,姓,李,先,生,王,我,叫,好,是,美,國,人,嗎,不,英,你,什,麼,名,字,哪,呢,中,他,她,誰,台,臺,灣,華

     

    Exercises:

    I'm going to put the exercises behind a spoiler tag.

    Spoiler

    Syntax Practice 1:

     

    1907621418_Section1.thumb.jpg.5998e9a019bd508c472609adef9a889a.jpg

     

    1. 王美美是臺灣人。
    2. Yoshiko Suzuki 是日本人。
    3. Michael Wilson 是美國人,不是英國人。
    4. 王小姐叫美美。
    5. Yoshiko 小姐姓Suzuki。

     

    Syntax Practice 2:

    45100656_Section2.thumb.jpg.a64de24cc7f1b69ac5f606134854a679.jpg

     

    1. 是,王小姐是中國人。
    2. 不姓,Yoshiko 姓 Suzuki。
    3. 是,Michael Wilson 不是英國人。他是美國人。

     

    Syntax Practice 3:

    1068506757_Section3-1.thumb.jpg.1537da5a18e8906f1755abfd6c36e9ec.jpg107089636_Section3-2.thumb.jpg.951c690cc10714acede4a5fd0ce09ddd.jpg

     

    1. Micheal Wilson 是美國人。
    2. Suzuki 小姐是日本人。
    3. 王小姐叫美美。
    4. Micheal 姓 Wilson。

     

    Syntax Practice 4:

    607734616_Section4-1.thumb.jpg.24dc93f6c9faf1a8f0d635926802c4b4.jpg985736998_Section4-2.thumb.jpg.5e4438302e364b99c46b1135f26c1060.jpg

     

    1. Yoshiko Suzuki 是日本小姐。
    2. 臺灣小姐姓王。
    3. 美美是中國名字。
    4. 日本小姐叫 Yoshiko Suzuki。

     

  4. Enjune Zhang
    Latest Entry:

    几多愁

    Grief unable to fade away

    Original by 邓丽君

    Translated and performed by Enjune Zhang

     

    春花秋月何时了

    Autumn moon and spring blossoms fade away

    往事知多少

    Gone are those splendid days

    小楼昨夜又东风

    East wind breaks into my window

    And awakes my aches

    故国不堪回首月明中

    It's my country no more tonight

    I look back and sigh in vain

    雕栏玉砌应犹在

    Moonlight smooths the palace ornately engraved

    只是朱颜改

    It stays but owner of it got changed

    问君能有几多愁

    How much more sorrow could I take

    恰似一江春水向东流

    It grows deeper like the spring tide

    East it flows away

     


    Grief unable to fade away.m4a

  5. A reply to a recent comment from @murrayjames spawned into something perhaps more worthy of an additional entry. The comment reads,

    Quote

     

    Inspired as I am by your experiences, professional language interpretation and translation seem crazy to me. The work entails intentionally, repeatedly launching yourself into unfamiliar linguistic territory under strict deadlines. Why do that to yourself?

     

    With language interpretation, when you fail, you fail in front of others and in real-time. That’s scary stuff. It reminds me of music performance, which also contains a risk of public failure. Maybe in language interpretation, as in music, your confidence in your skills and ability to perform grows over time.

     

     

     

    This is correct - there is frequent public failure, unrealistic deadlines and demands, and non-specialists taking on specialist jobs. Here are my thoughts on why the industry is like the way it is at present in the West.
     

    There is an obvious disconnect between client and interpreter, which, already so wide as it is, is only exacerbated by the fact the market is unregulated and rife with interpretation agencies offering specialists for every field, which they couldn't possibly afford at the rates the real specialists work at. Of course, clients don't know this and don't care - they just want someone in the booth who is 'fluent' to interpret their conference on a niche topic.

     

     

    Most interpreters rely on a good reputation to build a specialism in a certain field - eg. 'life sciences', 'renewables', and gain repeat clients in this way. It is this which results in the growth of confidence and ability. But such a trial and error approach to finding and building up good interpreters is clearly the wrong way to go about raising great interpreters in the field. The same is of course true for translation, but generally translators have the time and space to do the necessary research during the project, whereas interpreters can only guesstimate what might come up in their next job based on a description from the arranging party who is hopefully well-enough informed themselves.

     

     

    On specialist interpretation:

    IMO, Interpreters should be in-house specialists in specific fields whenever possible. They should be an integral part of the planning process for any event they will be interpreting at. However organisations these days are always looking to cut costs, and when there are cheaper rates from a general agency rather than employing a specialist freelancer, too often it seems the former is opted for, usually by someone who does not understanding what interpreters do.

     

    The latest high profile example of this which caused quite a lot of embarrassment was the interpreter for Sun Yang at his WADA doping hearing (watch here). The interpreter clearly was not a specialist in the field of swimming, drug testing, etc. and the result was quite shocking.

     

     

    On non-specialist interpretation:

     

    Non-specialists are a necessity, but will never be able to do a good job. I specialise in arts translation, specifically exhibitions and books on Chinese art. This is too narrow a specialism to build a career in, with science, medicine, law etc. being the best paid routes. But even the 'narrow' field of Chinese art is obviously not narrow at all - you could study a lifetime and still not be finished. But there are people that need the job done in narrow, underfunded areas, and 'non-specialist' is better than nothing in their eyes. The result is, all non-high-paying fields get bunched together and given to 'non-specialist' interpreters. People need the job done, and there are those willing to do the job, but the job will almost never be done to a high standard.

     

     

    Conclusions:

     

     

    1) While there is money to employ and support specialists as full time interpreters, cost-cutting leads to non-specialists occasionally taking on (or being pushed into) jobs they are unable to do. Result: quality interpretation cannot be guaranteed due to organisations cost cutting at the expense of interpreters.

     

     

    2) Niche fields need interpreters, but there is no money for specialists in these areas. Non-specialists end up taking on a wide-range of jobs they are not specialist in. The result is bad interpretation, but better than nothing.

     

    Ultimately, the problem lies with the misunderstanding of clients as to what ‘interpreting’ and ‘translating’ actually is, as well as an abundance of people willing to take on jobs when they’re not actually qualified. Contrary to popular belief, being ‘bilingual’ does not qualify you as an interpreter, but so many organisations think and hope it is the same thing, and to top it off (and who can blame them) there are bilingual speakers who reinforce this hope, because there is money to be made.

     

     

    A fairly hopeless situation, and I’m sure the market is very different in China, where many people are by virtue of the education system are to a certain degree bilingual (speaking not just of English, but other forms of Chinese beyond Putonghua) and understand at the very least what this means (ie. ≠ able to interpret).

    • 2
      entries
    • 0
      comments
    • 79
      views

    Recent Entries

    大块头
    Latest Entry:

    vocabulary

    • 席殊 = xi2 shu1 = author of 《席殊3SFM实用硬笔字60小时训练》
    • 摹帖 = mo2 tie4 = to trace a model character as calligraphy practice
    • 笔顺 = bi3 shun4 = stroke order
    • 临帖 = lin2 tie4 = to copy calligraphy
    • 偏旁 = pian1 pang2 = character components
    • 部首 = bu4 shou3 = character radicals
    • 谐调 = xie2 tiao2 = harmonious
    • 活页 = huo2 ye4 = loose-leaf paper
    • 字帖 = calligraphy copy book
    • 任意 = ren4 yi4 = arbitrary
    • 巩固 = gong3 gu4 = consolidate
    • 函授 = to teach a correspondence course
    • 摹写 = mo2 xie3 = to trace
    • 临写 = lin2 xie3 = to copy
    • 行书 = xing2 shu1 = running script calligraphy style
    • 相邻 = xiang1 lin2 = neighboring
  6. Enjune Zhang
    Latest Entry:

    不浪漫罪名

    Charged as being unromantic

    Original by 王杰

    Translated and performed by Enjune Zhang

     

    没有花

    Without rose sweet

    这刹那被破坏吗

    Is that very moment incomplete

    无野火都会温暖吗

    Are you still warm within without the fire

    无烟花一起庆祝好吗

    Shall we celebrate without firework bright

    若爱恋

    If love between you and me

    仿似戏剧那样假

    Is nothing but a play fake and dim

    如布景一切都美化

    The setting's far from real but beautified

    连相拥都参照主角吗

    Is the embrace of drama style what you like

    你说我未能定时

    You've said that 

    令你每天欢笑一次

    I failed to make you smile every day in time

    我没说出一句美丽台词

    I haven't got you that perfect line

    是你心中一种缺陷定义

    It's the flaw that you define in mind

    流进了眼角里的刺

    Like a thorn in the corner of your eye

    为何不浪漫亦是罪名

    I'm charged as being unromantic

    Please tell me why

    为何不轰烈是极坏事情

    Why placid like water running deep is something bad 

    从来未察觉我每个动作

    You haven't realized that

    Every little gesture of mine

    没有声都有爱你的挚证

    Is silent but the proof of love identified

    为何苦不浪漫亦是罪名

    I'm charged as being unromantic

    Please tell me why

    为何总等待着特别事情

    Why you are expecting something particular

    从来未察觉我语气动听

    My tender tone is something you haven't realized

    在我呼吸声早已说明

    I have made it clear with the breath of mine

    什么都会用一生保证

    I will promise you everything with my whole life

     


    Charged as being unromantic-enjune.mp3

  7. mungouk
    Latest Entry:

    By mungouk,

    One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Beijing is the very big red and white banners which appear to have propaganda/slogans on them.

     

    I can translate them literally, but I wonder if there's a proper way of expressing them in English which has the right tone and vocabulary to make them sound like the voice of the Party?

     

    IMG_4454.thumb.jpg.3f72bd336bb9529122fc8ead8e5c495c.jpg

     

    IMG_4390.thumb.jpg.56ce45e626c1641c8b6959cc67b1e3c5.jpg

     

    IMG_4385.thumb.jpg.e8573416b325b5a0f5967edf44a0f681.jpg

     

    IMG_4357.thumb.jpg.782e278bf169a4ef107702852e6c0a25.jpg

     

    IMG_4444.thumb.jpg.e510dfac7f673f3a3127dee3d451ab9d.jpg

     

    IMG_4354.thumb.jpg.173f1d39126ac396421e4bcc13b81330.jpg

  8. Ladies in TV plays as charming agents (I)
    影视剧里的美艳特工 之一:于曼丽

     

    A legendary agent in The Disguiser (伪装者) with complex background
    https://www.bilibili.com/video/av5175971/?spm_id_from=333.788.videocard.0

     

    People see how stunningly glamorous she is, not knowing what she has been through. What’s on her is shining, making you trapped in the way she looks fascinating. What’s behind her is a mystery, a disguiser trying to get rid of suffering.


    She’s silent, indifferent and unusual in the crowd. Staying in the same military camp, no one knows where she’s from. All they know is that she’s far from easy to get along with, or even get near to. She gives everyone a break in his arm when she is approached by someone in a way deemed offensive to her.

     
    She’s supposed to be trained to be a weapon killing without a blink, and she’s close to that end step by step, a cruel assassinator cold in blood, without sense of love, kindness or mercy but the proficiency in certain mission. She doesn’t need feelings to survive, just a task is enough. She was told not to let anything warm settle in her heart, or that will be the most aching barrier pulling her from staying excellent and professional as a qualified agent.


    She met him as her partner, an unwanted guy stepping right into her fence, bringing her back to a lady with innocent wish from a killer caring for nothing but endless assignments, together with a rhythm disordered and the experiences unexpected .


    She’s a condemned prisoner for killing three bandits without mercy. They picked her as a potential agent for the way she looks and the way she acts, pretty face with innocent eye contact, sexy figure disarming enemies of their defense, and a swift response supported by ruthlessness that’s going to pull the trigger before the prey knows it’s too late.


    She got killed by the way she loves a man. I have been cursing the stupid arrangement dragging her into a partnership for times. Idiot captain, if you do want to keep a knife sharp, keep it away from anything that’s possible to get it rotten or weakened. Stop asking why it is rusty when you put it in the water contained environment away from scabbard. No more unnecessary test, since woman can hardly stand the test of mission over true love.
     

    the  disguiser.jpg

    the disguiser.jpg

  9. js6426
    Latest Entry:

    Mid terms are all done.  For the most part they went pretty well.  Not really a huge amount to share at the moment, we're in a routine as far as classes go, learning lots across the board. 

     

    I've been trying to be a bit more active in increasing my input.  I started reading the first Harry Potter, and I'm a few pages away from finishing.  I marked characters I didn't know so that I could come back and learn the new words, and I've noticed that I've gone from multiple characters being marked in each paragraph near the start of the book, to sometimes 2/3 pages with nothing marked at all.  I've also been really encouraged to see lots of the stuff coming up in class appearing in the book, thus further cementing both the term in question, and it's usefulness for me at this point in time.  I'm not yet sure what I will read next. 

     

    I am doing a lot of running at the moment, which looks like 4/5 treadmill runs a week, for anything up to 3 hours per session right now, simply because it's too cold to run outside.  The plus side of this is that the treadmills in my gym have TVs, so I have been watching various TV shows.  As with my reading, I have again found that lots of the things I have been learning in class are coming up. 

     

    All in all I am feeling pretty encouraged right now!  There is a very long way to go, but there is also noticeable improvement. 

  10. murrayjames
    Latest Entry:

    A few days ago, I finished reading the short story collection 《樱海集》 by 老舍. This brought my reading total above one million characters, completing my goal for the year.

     

    《樱海集》 was first published in 1935. The collection contains a funny and self-effacing preface plus ten short stories of varying lengths (from six to forty-two pages). The stories deal with classical human failings—hypocrisy, pride, envy, bitterness, cowardice, lust, revenge, greed, anger—and the consequences that arise from such failings. Though the stories are thematically related, they differ considerably in their characters, plots, point of views, and settings.

     

    Below is a brief synopsis of each story, along with some amplifying details and concluding thoughts.

     

     

    1. The first story in the collection, 《上任》, is about a recently promoted government official named 尤老二 and the opium-smoking thugs he employs. Much of the story is concerned with 尤老二’s inability to pay for his thugs, who show up at odd times asking for money for travel and other expenses. This story was difficult for me to get into. I found the details of the plot hard to follow and the language more challenging than any other story in the collection.
       
    2. 《牺牲》 is a character sketch of 毛博士, a bizarre 崇洋媚外 teacher educated in the United States.
       
    3. 《柳屯的》 is about a small village, a powerful Christian family, and an unrestrained woman who tries to take over them both.
       
    4. 《末一块钱》 is about a young dissatisfied college student who yearns for the kind of life enjoyed by his more affluent classmates.
       
    5. 《老年的浪漫》 is about an old man who, cursed with greedy former colleagues and a foolish son, decides to settle old scores.
       
    6. 《毛毛虫》 is a very short story that asks the question: What does a community think about that unenviable husband and wife who live down the street, and that husband’s former wife, and their new children?
       
    7. 《善人》 is about a well-to-do woman who sees herself as generous but is oblivious to the suffering of those around her.
       
    8. This story was my favorite story of the collection. 《邻居们》 is about the tensions that flare up between two neighboring families after one receives the other’s mail by mistake.

      The 明 family and the 杨 family are neighbors. 明家 is selfish and uncivilized. 杨家 is altruistic and lettered. The husband and father in the 杨 family, 杨先生, is described as a “最新式的中国人.”

      One day, 杨先生 receives a letter addressed to 明先生. 杨太太 attempts to deliver the letter, but 明太太 misunderstands her neighbor’s intentions and rebuffs her. 杨先生 then writes his own letter explaining the situation. 明太太 refuses this letter, too. Tensions between the two families escalate. 杨先生 believes that he and 明先生 can resolve their differences like rational gentlemen, and continues to write his neighbor letters. 明先生 sees 杨先生 as a weak man and despises him for his bookishness and inaction. Eventually…
       
      Spoiler

      the 明家 children go into the 杨家 garden and stomp their flowers to smithereens. When 杨先生 comes home from work and sees his ruined garden, he flies into a rage and smashes every window of the 明家 house. 明先生 is not mad at his neighbor, but impressed with him. It turns out that 杨先生 is a red-blooded man of passion, after all.

    9. 《月牙儿》 is a longer story about a girl and her hard life after her father dies and her mother is forced out of exigence into prostitution.
       
    10. 《阳光》 is about the life of a beautiful, proud, and dissolute woman from a rich family. Her eventual arranged marriage to a prominent morality-promoting Daoist is comfortable, but stifling.

     

     

    《樱海集》 is the second work I’ve read by 老舍; the first was his delightful science fiction satire 《猫城记》. There is something irreverent about 老舍’s style in these two works. 老舍’s stories foreground the character defects of early 20th-century Chinese people, whatever their station in life. Opioid-addicted menial laborers, wives of rich businessmen, the orphaned, the educated, the religious and the ideologically possessed—none are spared.

     

    By pointing out character defects in such a wide-ranging way, 老舍 advances a kind of criticism of the Chinese society of his day. But 《樱海集》 is not a “critical” work, at least not in the sense that modern people use the term. It isn’t a systematic, theory-driven critique of Chinese society; nor is it especially tragic or concerned with issues of justice. Rather, 《樱海集》 is a moral work. The stories in 《樱海集》 are cautionary tales filled with negative moral examples. They are the modern literary equivalents of fables.

     

    The stories paint a pessimistic and probably unbalanced picture of Chinese life. Readers interested in positive moral examples—the righteous government official or revolutionary, the loving and longsuffering mother, the diligent young student who succeeds in life despite enormous opposition—will not find them here. Some of 老舍’s negative moral examples are also offensive to contemporary Western sensibilities. His portraits of women are pretty unflattering. 老舍’s women are ostentatious, stubborn, and quick to anger. (To be fair, the men don’t come off much better. Most of 老舍’s male protagonists are feckless hypocrites.) Others will find 老舍’s portrayal of poor people unsympathetic. The peasants in 《樱海集》 are lazy and spend what little money they find on drugs:

     

    Quote

    他拾起钱来,吹了吹,放在耳旁听听:“是真的!别再猫咬尿泡瞎喜欢!”放在袋中,一手扫地,一手按着那块钱。他打算着:还是买双鞋呢,还是……他决定多买四毛钱的“白面儿”,犒劳犒劳自己。

     

    It is interesting to consider 老舍’s portrayals of Chinese people in 《樱海集》 in light of then-upcoming theories about politics and art in China. In his lectures at Yan'an in 1942, Mao advocated a new pro-proletariat literature and denounced “petit bourgeois writers” that write “pessimistic literature” and “harm the people.” Were 老舍’s mid-1930’s stories compatible with the new Chinese literature Mao would soon advocate? Was 老舍’s literature “pessimistic”? [For the curious, I blogged about Mao’s Yan'an literature lectures in an earlier post on this blog.]

     

    The Chinese language in 《樱海集》 is not especially difficult. The vocabulary is more challenging than contemporary Chinese fiction writers like 余华 and 韩寒, but far easier than writers like 张爱玲 and 莫言. 老舍’s word choices are frequently different from those found in contemporary fiction. This may confuse language learners unfamiliar with early 20th-century Chinese literature. For the uninitiated, try reading other authors from the same period. (I read short stories by 丁玲, 沈从文, and 施蛰存 before. That helped.)

     

    My new year’s resolution was to read one million characters in books and articles in 2019. I have now reached that goal with a little over a month to spare. This year I read mostly fiction. I also read Mao’s literature lectures, an article by IBM, a undergraduate thesis on the music of American saxophonist Sonny Stitt, and a third of the Bible. It’s been a great and rewarding experience.

     

    From time to time, people ask about the value of studying Chinese language given recent political and economic changes in China. It’s a fair question; there are many reasons to study Chinese and people differ in their motivations and goals. For me, the desire to engage in the cultural and literary traditions of a large and important foreign world was and is a main driver of my Chinese study. This desire was sustained and strengthened this year. I intend to keep reading in Chinese, both fiction and non-fiction. For literature, my near-term goals for the next couple years are to continue with works at or slightly above my current reading level; to move on to major works by 张爱玲, 莫言, and 阎连科; and to tackle tougher early 20th-century works by authors like 鲁迅. I’d like to wade into 文言 someday too, though that day is still a long way off.

     

    I had a lot of fun writing these posts and interacting with all of you. In the future, I may continue writing posts here. For now, however, because of many pressing demands on my time, I will put this blog on hiatus and return to posting intermittently in the excellent and underutilized “What are you reading?” thread.

     

    Thank you to everyone who read or commented on this blog this year.

     

     

    Link to《樱海集》:
    https://www.aixdzs.com/d/117/117466/

     

    Some statistics: 
    Characters read this year: 1,000,931
    Characters left to read this year: 0
    Percent of goal completed: 100%
      
    List of things read: 
    《三八节有感》by 丁玲   (2,370 characters) 
    《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲   (10,754 characters) 
    《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东   (18,276 characters) 
    《自杀日记》by 丁玲   (4,567 characters) 
    《我没有自己的名字》by 余华   (8,416 characters) 
    《手》by 萧红   (7,477 characters) 
    《牛》by 沈从文   (8,097 characters) 
    《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲   (693 characters) 
    《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲   (2,176 characters) 
    《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM   (25,098 characters) 
    《夜》by 丁玲   (4,218 characters) 
    《虎雏》by 沈从文   (46,945 characters) 
    《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存   (6,181 characters) 
    《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》   (5,483 characters) 
    《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文   (61,154 characters) 
    《致银河》 by 王小波   (17,715 characters) 
    《在细雨中呼喊》 by 余华   (132,769 characters) 
    《熊猫》 by 棉棉   (53,129 characters) 
    《1988:我想和这个世界谈谈》 by 韩寒   (81,547 characters) 
    《偶然事件》 by 余华   (20,226 characters)
    《第七天》 by 余华  (84,847 characters)
    《圣经》 (新译本)  (1,055,606 characters; 315,144 read in 2019)
    《樱海集》 by 老舍  (83,649 characters)

  11. I have been quiet but then decided to do some self studying.

     

    Here's a little project I have been doing for listening skills. See if it helps you

     

    I prepared some Growing up with China flashcards as a training listening deck.

     

    Why did I pick this series?

     

    - available on Youtube

    - text and translation easily cut and from here - https://hanyufanting.com/category/other/growing-up-with-chinese/

    - Short, manageable dialogue to prepare

    - sometimes two versions of the same sentence being said - the dialogue from the actors and the host ( Charlotte MacInnis ) repeating it.

    - said to be beginner level but I tell you when I really was a beginner, I couldn't make head nor tail of what they were saying because of.....

    - they speak at native speed but short sentences

    - the actors sometimes speak with words slurred together or using erhuayin which perhaps is more real life like; not typical standard mandarin teaching material

     

    How are the Notes within the deck arranged?

     

    - The pinyin and traditional characters were inserted using Anki's chinese pack. The pinyin maybe incorrect in places

    - The recall and recognition cards are hidden

    - A new card called "listening" was created - this will repeat the sentence automatically five times so if you didn't get it the first time of listening, you don't have to waste time pressing anki to repeat the audio. If after five times, you want to listen again, then use Anki to replay the audio and you get another five chances.

    - Reveal the back of the card - it gives all the information and then repeats the sentence another 16 times to burn the sentence pattern into your brain.

    - if it's not enough, use Anki to replay the audio.

    - if you want to practice shadowing the sentence, then replay the audio and you will get another 16 repeats. If you want 80 repeats, you will only use the Anki replay command five times. 160 repeats would be replaying ten times. So you can very easily build up numbers of repetitions.

     

    Some sentences were really hard. I have one language wechat group and I would play the sentence to the group  and ask them what they heard. I would do this to try and confirm the subtitles with the audio. Sometimes I would get different answers but mostly the subtitles would be correct and I would be thinking "what the heck......"

     

    So far I have done episodes 26 to 30. See what you make of it and what you get out of it

     

     

     

    GUWC 26-30.apkg

  12. Enjune Zhang
    Latest Entry:

    Titanium

    天性防弹

     

    Original by Sia

    Translated and performed by Enjune Zhang

     

    You shout it out

    你高声呼喊

    But I can't hear a word you say

    具体说什么都与我无关

    I'm talking loud not saying much

    我只发话却不摊牌

    I'm criticized but all your bullets ricochet

    我饱受指责 每一颗子弹击中我都会反弹

    Shoot me down but I get up

    你枪声刚落 我又站起来

    I'm bulletproof nothing to lose

    我天性防弹 无所忌惮

    Fire away fire away

    我不惧射击 请你随意

    Ricochet you take your aim

    子弹落地 你再度瞄准吧

    Fire away fire away

    不惧射击 请你随意

    You shoot me down but I won't fall

    你一发即中 我安然无恙

    I am titanium

    我天性防弹

    You shoot me down but I won't fall

    你一发即中 我安然无恙

    I am titanium

    我天性防弹

    Cut me down

    你让我陷落

    But it's you who'll have further to fall

    但你也绝不会因此而好过

    Ghost town and haunted love

    往昔不再 爱已没落

    Raise your voice sticks and stones may break my bones

    你放狠话 石头木棍使我开口但我不说

    I'm talking loud not saying much

    我只回话拒不坦白

    I'm bulletproof nothing to lose

    我天性防弹 无所忌惮

    Fire away fire away

    我不惧射击 请你随意

    Ricochet you take your aim

    子弹落地 你再度瞄准吧

    Fire away fire away

    不惧射击 请你随意

    You shoot me down but I won't fall

    你一发即中 我安然无恙

    I am titanium

    我天性防弹

    You shoot me down but I won't fall

    你一发即中 我安然无恙

    I am titanium

    我天性防弹

    I am titanium

    我天性防弹

    I am titanium

    我天性防弹

    Stone-hard machine gun

    心硬若磐 枪已上膛

    Firing at the ones who run

    向你开炮你就别想逃

    Stone-hard as bulletproof glass

    心硬若磐 如玻璃防弹

    You shoot me down but I won't fall

    你一发即中 我安然无恙

    I am titanium

    我天性防弹

    You shoot me down but I won't fall

    你一发即中 我安然无恙

    I am titanium

    我天性防弹

    You shoot me down but I won't fall

    你一发即中 我安然无恙

    I am titanium

    我天性防弹


    titanium 天性防弹-enjune.mp3

  13. feihong
    Latest Entry:

    Terrace House is a pretty big hit on Netflix, but did you know that there are already three Chinese clones of Terrace House? The latest one, 遇见你真好, set in Shenzhen, is definitely the best one yet.

     

    I'm a huge fan of 中国好歌曲, the music competition where artists sing their own songs, and now there is finally a spiritual successor in 这!就是原创. Two episodes in, here are some of my favorite performances:

     

     

     

     

     

     

  14. He says Xi says

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 572
      views

    Recent Entries

    Tomsima
    Latest Entry:
    Quote

     

    意思是:对照明镜是为了看清自己的面容,研究古事是为了知道今天的时势。说明研究并借鉴古代的经验教训,才能更好地作出决策,求得好的形势。

     

    语出《韩诗外传》卷五 原文是:夫明镜所以照形,往古所以知今。夫知恶往古之所以危亡,而不袭蹈其所以安存者,则无异乎却行而求逮于前人也。成语 却行求前 即出于此。

     

     

     

    I heard it in:

     

     

    同舟共济创造美好未来——在亚太经合组织工商领导人峰会上的主旨演讲 (2018年11月17日)

    Jointly Charting a Course Toward a Brighter Future – Keynote Speech at the APEC CEO Summit

     

     

    然而,不是所有故事都这么美好,人类也有过惨痛教训。上世纪发生的第二次世界大战,让人类陷入了滔天浩劫。就在离我们不远的地方,曾经爆发第二次世界大战期间惨烈的珊瑚海战役、瓜达尔卡纳尔战役。今天,这片海面已经波澜不惊,但我们不能忘却历史上的风风雨雨。“明鏡所以照形,古事所以知今。”我们回顾历史,是要以史为鉴,不让历史悲剧重演。面对历史大潮,如何才能为世界经济发展把握正确方向?如何才能为国际社会找到有效治理思路?这里,我愿提出以下主张。

     

    my English version: "Like looking in a mirror, the past can be looked upon to understand the present"

  15. grawrt
    Latest Entry:

    Haven't really had a chance to update since the new term began, I had my thesis proposal in early September which felt like more of a defense than a proposal. Out of my panel only one of the professors could really ask me questions because the other two didn't have a background in cognitive linguistics and didn't really understand my topic. So I spent 20 minutes of defending my topic with this one professor (Actually my old Consecutive interpreting professor)  who began with "honestly this just feels like an idea on paper" ... ummm.... yes.. thats what a proposal is lmfao. but I continued to humor her and stand by my topic. It was rough, actually the entire classroom went through this slurry of vicious attacks toward our topics that if you were unable to defend yourself you would just be stuck standing there listening to them shit on you for 20 minutes. The hardest part was that everyone had to stay in the room so it was roughly 4 hours of listening to each student present and defend themselves. But I survived and my proposal passed somehow even though one of the panel told me that she felt that my topic was really interesting but just not for me. 

     

    This term I only have 4 classes. Written translation on Mondays, And 2 simultaneous interpreting courses on Friday. Our Tuesday classes (4 hours) began sometime after the holidays and every week since then has been a mental torture. The original teacher for the class "cross-cultural communications" was supposed to be an interesting guy from Australia. Unfortunately this guy is under Confucius scholarship studying his Phd and cant continue his teaching so we got stuck with the same guy who taught us last semester in 4 hour brackets. 

     

    Yes... that professor. I don't like to judge but this class should just be renamed "My musings" because every class has just been about him rambling off  things from his mind for four hours. Nothing he says has anything to do with the class or to anything even remotely useful. It actually feels like he's just trolling the class, because I don't understand how someone can talk about an ant and tiger analogy for four hours straight. I think the worst part of this class is that his musings always lead to something totally inappropriate. So something extremely racist or sexist, or homophobic crosses his mind and he just goes on and on and it really hurts me to hear that so many of my classmates find this "PHD" so interesting, when he would literally be crucified in my country for the things hes said. I don't know how someone like him has studied in America. I've been bringing my study materials and books to read in class so that I don't have to listen to that garbage that he says, but you know its really hard to block out something so completely inappropriate. 

     

    But other than his inappropriateness his classes are just a waste of time. I'm not even kidding when I say that I had to listen to him talk about colors yesterday. He started from Red and ended on Gray and then looked at the time and we had about 20 minutes left of class and he mused "what other colors have i missed? Oh yeah Brown!".

     

    The Monday translation professor is a close second to a professor I have no respect for this term. This lady prepares nothing for class. Her classes are prepared by a different classmate each week. And I'm not talking about just a short presentation. No. I'm talking about a full class, including creating group work exercises etc. She does nothing. What she does is sit there and when shes given the remainder of the class to add anything (roughly 20 minutes) her response is "well what am I supposed to do?" ...... um. Teach. That's what you get paid for . That's your job. In the very beginning of the term the professor wasn't clear she wanted us to basically teach the class every week so in week 2 when we came to class this lady had some nerve to criticize us all for being irresponsible and unprepared for class. She does this from time to time when people are late. I'm legit rolling my eyes in that class every week. 

     

    The only class worth mentioning is our simultaneous interpreting classes held on Fridays. The classes have been really difficult but really good for exercise. The only qualm I have is that I have my recordings played every class for both sections, so every week I have to hear my lousy interpretations twice in the same day (from E-C and C-E) its rough but I've gotten so used to it that Its kind of like meh whatever to me. Though its kind of irritating that its always the same people played every week. I haven't heard half of my classmates in that class even once. 

     

    So other than classes what have I been up to? Its a semester that leaves a lot open. I've been trying to work on honing my interpreting skills, especially in simultaneous interpreting which I find to be quite challenging. My professor suggested shadowing for about 10-15 minutes a day to get used to keeping up with the pace. A problem that many of us have with simultaneous is waiting too long to begin, and only speaking in 3 word clusters instead of having a fluid sentence. I've been shadowing with this program 《绝密档案》 from the app 蜻蜓。 The app itself has a lot of different podcasts to choose from to listen. I just find this program particularly interesting so after 15 mins of shadowing I just continue listening to the rest of the story. I've also made use of going over some of my old resources that we had from past classes so Ive been going over speeches that have Chinese and English to work on a more formal register and also to get a feel for collocations. 

     

    I wanted to work this semester but I think that with the thesis and everything I'd rather just focus on my studies this term. Its sad to be without the extra cash but I have my whole life to make money but just this year to really work on my studies. I've still been keeping my eyes on jobs because I'd like to find a job after my studies and stay here for another year. As much as China kills me at times, I'm not ready to leave. 

     

    That's it. Our first draft of our thesis is expected to be ready by December for our pre-defense. The date hasn't been confirmed yet but we've been told already we should have a minimum of 19,000 written. I still need to set my study up and get a move on it.  I'll try and keep this blog up to date! 

  16. Paradox Diary

    • 3
      entries
    • 2
      comments
    • 922
      views

    Recent Entries

    Paradox
    Latest Entry:

    我很失望。

    七月十四号我开始新的日记只用汉语。

    到七月十五,我停了!

    我停为了集中提高我的听力。[See Note 1]

    从今天我会集中写句子因为。

    我很难写对法语的句子。[See Note 2]

    这使得说汉语很难。[See Note 3]

    我先提高我汉语写的能力然后我提高我的口语能力。

     

    Note 1: Can I use 了 here? I've been told I need to use 下 but not sure why.

    Note 2:  Trying to say "I find it very hard to write grammatically correct sentences."

    Note 3: Trying to say "This makes speaking Hanyu very difficult."

     

    我正在看《如若巴黎不快乐》。

    我觉得不很好中国戏剧。

    为什么在中国戏剧主要男的演员常常逼女人做不想做的东西?
    女人说“不,不,不” 可是男人还逼她。
    在英国,观众会抱怨。

     

    Sorry for my poor writing!!!!

  17. Shelley
    Latest Entry:

    Hello everyone,

    It has been a while since I last updated my blog. There were a couple of reasons for this - My eyes:shock:

     

    My vision was deteriorating quite a lot and last November the decision was taken to under go cataract surgery. As this was in the UK and on the NHS the wheels grind (no complaints it just the way it is) and eventually I now have 2 new lenses and can see better than I have been able to for many years. I found it was becoming increasingly frustrating trying to read characters with bad eyes and magnifying glasses are a pain, hard to scan pages with one.

     

    I am still in recovery, it is only the third day after my second eye so slowly slowly does it. 

     

    My intention is to return and update my blog with my new learning schedule and updates as to my successes and failures and hopefully help myself and others to progress with learning Chinese.

     

    Just wanted to update anyone who was interested that my hiatus from learning is now turning slowly into a return to learning.

  18. Daniel ZHPY
    Latest Entry:

    In most of the world's languages, you can turn a word into its respective occupation by adding affixes to it. However, as Chinese doesn't conjugate, we attach an additional character to a word instead to form that corresponding job. One aspect in which Chinese differs from English when forming occupation words is that in English, what suffix is used depends mainly on the origins of words, but in Chinese people choose occupation particles based on the properties and characteristics of that job. Here're some practically and frequently used occupation particles in Chinese.

     

    1.家

    家, with its original meaning of a family or a clan, can be extended to refer to a particular philosophy, theory or ideology. Hence, when it's used to form an occupation word, that occupation would be usually related to a professional skill, interest or talent. For example:

    -文学家: a person who has been educated on literature — a litterateur.

    -画家: a person who is professional in drawing — a painter.

    -科学家: a person who has professional knowledge about science — a scientist.

    -音乐家: a person who is well-educated and professional in music — a musician.

    -美食家: a person who is passionate and authoritative in appraising foods — a gourmet.

    It's good to note that when two different occupation words are derived from the same origin, the one with 家 added often has a higher level of profession, authority or recognisation. For instance, 歌手 and 歌唱家 are both people who take singing as their jobs, but 歌唱家 is definitely regarded as an artist while 歌手 is probably just a public performer or a pop song singer.

    Another interesting fact is that when we come to players for specific musical instruments, the only two that are conventionally named with 家 are 钢琴家, a pianist and 小提琴家, a violinist.

     

    2.师

    师 originally means a teacher or an adviser. When a job is named with 师 attached, it refers to people who are well-trained or experienced in a particular area. The difference between it and 家 is that a 师 may not necessarily have the profession or talent. Here're some examples:

    -教师: a person who is trained to teach others — a teacher.

    -厨师: a person who is trained to work in a kitchen — a cook.

    -理发师: a person who is trained to manage people's hair — a barber.

    -会计师: a person who is trained to account money — an accountant.

     

    3.手

    手 means hands, thus referring to people who have high skills or talents, but only in a small area. Unlike 家, a XX手 usually doesn't have an overall profession in a general field, but in a much more specific section. It is very often seen in players of a particular instrument. For example:

    -鼓手: a person whose task is to play the drums — a drummer.
    -吉他手: a person who plays the guitar — a guitarist.

    -小号手: a person who plays the trumpet — a trumpeter.

    -舵手: a person who is responsible for managing and controlling the helm — a helmsman.

     

    4.工

    工 means originally work or labour. Hence it is usually used to name those jobs that need hard labour or manual processes. For example:

    -技工: a person hired to manage technical issues — a technician.

    -水管工: a person paid to repair waterpipes — plumber.

    -电工: a person paid to check and fix electrical devices — an electrician.

    -油漆工: a person who paints buildings — a painter.

     

    5.匠

    匠 basically means a craftsman, so it is used for any job related to crafting and designing. Though it also involves laborious processes often, it's different from 工 as the labour is done in order to craft or make a certain object or artefact. For example:

    -木匠: a person who uses woods to do handicrafts — a carpenter.

    -铁匠: a person who crafts metal objects — a blacksmith.

     

  19. DrWatson
    Latest Entry:

    Two-unit characters are characters that can be divided into two units based on the shape of a character. This can be a division based on left-to-right, top-to-bottom, or outer-to-inner. If you are familiar with radicals then the concept is not so alien. For left-to-right often a spacing, or lack of connecting from the left side of the character to the right side of the character, is where the the character is divided up into two units. For top-to-bottom it can be more tricky, but again if you think back to character radicals it is not a leap. For outer to inner, there is an outer shell unit that encompasses the inner unit.

     

    Once the character is divided up into two units, the following rules apply for determining the Cangjie input code:

    1) The first unit may only have up to two Cangjie symbols input. If there are more than two symbols in the unit, then only the first and last Cangjie symbols are input on the keyboard.

    2) The second unit may have up to three Cangjie symbols input. Again, if there are more than three, some skipping is involved. In this case, the first, second and last Cangjie symbols are input on the keyboard. 

     

    This may seem a bit abstruse, so let's look at some examples. Unfortunately I am on my android device right now and I don't yet have a very good Cangjie input method tool, so I'm still looking for a better way to bring up just the Cangjie symbol to show how things are built up. As such, to make sense of the following I suppose you need some familiarity with Cangjie symbols. I will try to update this post later if I can figure it out.

     

    1) 風 / 风    

     

    A quick visual examination yields a clear outer-to-inner relationship in both the traditional form and simplified form of the character. The outer unit is 几, which can be made up using Cangjie codes that look like 厂乙 (note these are radicals on don't reflect the exact Cangjie symbols, but I wanted to provide something to help see how the unit is broken down to Cangejie symbols. To build the unit, the input code is HN for the outer unit. The inner unit looks like 虫 with a "hat" on top. This unit requires four symbols, so we have to skip the third, with the Cangjie code being HLI. The resulting Cangjie code for the entire character is HNHLI.

     

    For the simplified character it is similar. The first unit is HN still, but the innter unit is simplified. It turns out that this unit actually represents a Cangjie symbol, so the Cangjie code for this unit is just K. Putting it all together, the resulting code for the entire character is HNK.

     

    2) 鍾 / 锺

     

    Upon visual inspect, this character is a left-to-right two-unit character. The first unit is 金 or钅, and the second unit is 重. Well, 金 is actually a Cangjie symbol, so for both the traditional and simplified forms, the input code for the first unit is C, and that completes the unit. The second unit, however, has four Cangjie symbols in it, so we have to skip the third since we are only allowed up to three symbols. The unit is made of a "hat" stroke on the top, 十 just below it, then skipping 田 because it is the third symbol, and finally 土. This turns out to HJG, and thus the entire code for this character is CHJG.

     

    3) 規 / 规

     

    Again, this is a left-to-right two-unit character. Based on the Cangjie symbols, the left side is built with the codes QO. For the right side, the code comes out to BUU for the tradtional. For the simplified, it is BHU. Again, I wish I could input just these Cangjie symbols for reference, but this one is proving challenging for my Android input method. The final code is QOBUU for the tradtional version,a nd QOBHU for the simplified version.

     

    Well, that is it for today, looking back at this post I am not even sure if it is useful. But oh well, this is kind of my journal too. When I am back on a real computer I will see what I can do.

  20. mlescano
    Latest Entry:

    This morning I finished day 90. I used two types of content: 

     

    1) Clearly spoken stuff:

    Slow Chinese, HSK5 recordings, and a magazine podcast for natives. Sometimes I prepared subtitles beforehand using WorkAudioBook, and during the transcribing session I thus was able to do corrections immediately after each line. This lead to time "wasted" doing the corrections, but also stopped me from repeating the same mistake again. Other times, I did not prepare subtitles, and just used WorkAudioBook for automatic segmentation, and did the corrections after finishing each session. This, of course, can cause an accumulation of errors in repeated words, but also means I could write more in a session, as I was not distracted with corrections. So... The left column in the data is not very consistent in how it was done, and even less with the material used. In day 52 I forgot to start the pomodoro clock, so I got an outlier score. I'm leaving it out of the monthly averages.

     

    2) A TV drama called Great Marriage.

    I downloaded both mp4 video and srt subtitles from YouTube and used them with the fantastic Lingual Media Player, which can automatically stop after each subtitle line and makes it easy to toggle subtitles. In 90 days I only reached episode 8 of a 40+ episode drama, and that's watching long parts without transcribing! So, with this abundance of ready-made material, the right column is consistent both in source and in execution.

     

    During the first 75 days, I did 2 pomodiri (50 minutes) per day for each column. But two weeks ago I signed up for December's HSK5, so, to make time for vocab study and practice tests, during the last 15 days I only did 1 pomodoro (25 min) per day for each column. So, in order to "normalize" the scores with the previous days, I added a *2 in the formula.

     

    You can also notice that around day 32 I also started to seriously attack my Pleco SRS backlog. The number here is how many pending cards I have each morning. 

     

    My observations:

     

    Clearly spoken stuff

    You'll notice that during the last month my average score actually dropped for "clear stuff". Maybe in part because I switched exclusively to a magazine podcast for natives in day 60. I must add that, although this podcast is for natives, the magazine is a Chinese translation of the English original, and the podcast is actually just read from the magazine, so it's not at all like 原来是这样 or any similar 100% native, conversational podcasts.

     

    TV drama

    In the graph, you'll also notice that, after a fantastic increase in comprehension from the fist month to the second month, the're no such big increase for the third month. Maybe I'm hitting "diminishing returns" with this particular drama. Still, I've learned a lot!

     

    HSK5

    As mentioned, I'm attacking HSK5 on December, just as a personal challenge, not for scholarships or anything. My cousins, who are Chinese teachers at the local Confucius institute, passed this exam two years ago and then went on to get their Master's degrees in China, but my current level is nowhere near what theirs was two years ago! My current level fits perfectly the B1 description given by the Europeans. Still, after measuring myself with a couple of old HSK5 papers, I discovered I can pass, even if they completely discard my two essays. So in part I'm taking the test to prove a friend of mine that HSK is actually just B1... So I signed up for a test preparation class at the local Confucius. Nobody else signed up for level 5, so I accepted being put with level 4 test takers. My teacher can't speak Spanish, which helps.

     

    Conclusion

    So yes, this helps. The data shows it. I believe this has mostly given me confidence with my handwriting, as, before this, I only wrote individual words. This will certainly come in handy during the HSK5 writing part, because the only option available in my country is the paper test. During my attempts with past papers, I found this part to be the most relaxing. I can finish it in half the time. Of course, with awful grammar! (My teacher will help me with my writing). I haven't really done any traditional study of grammar after an introductory course back in 2012. It's been mostly input, input, and more input, particularly after I finally took Chinese seriously in 2015 and started with Heisig's Remembering Simplified Hanzi. Of course, I've checked difficult to understand points with Pleco and the Chinese Grammar Wiki along the way.

     

    So, what will my listening practice be now? I'll be attacking every single HSK5 past paper I can find, so that will be it, for the most part. I'll also keep watching the drama with LaMP, but without transcribing it. I might transcribe dubbed videos of talks, however, just to keep writing.

     

    Thank you for reading! Suggestions are welcome. I'm attaching the raw data, the monthly averages and a sample of my "day 90" handwriting. Now my focus will switch to reading speed, as it's currently my weakest point. I'll soon write another post about it.

    part1.PNG

    part2.PNG

    graph.PNG

    IMG_4272.jpg

  21. Chinese listening challenge

    • 2
      entries
    • 7
      comments
    • 1631
      views

    Recent Entries

    neverending
    Latest Entry:

    A little embarrassed to notice I haven't updated on my progress since the first post - perhaps should have been predictable given how far down my list of priorities it this blog sits, but all the same...

     

    On the other hand, the challenge is still going strong - 74/112 days completed now, none missed so far! My method for keeping track of this, and motivating myself, is the old but classic crosses-on-a-calendar method. I've tried some phone-based "don't break the chain" apps in the past, but none of them have quite the same impact as keeping physical track of my progress. It's gotten to the point that, when planning excursions or family days, my first thought is often "how can I plan my hours around that to guarantee I don't miss a day?" 

     

    20170417_180905.thumb.jpg.99f8d82b99626cd3499f9ac72d0b1c70.jpg

     

    That's not to say it's become easy. I've almost never felt like the 2 hours were effortless. It's just without this motivation I'd probably do less and less every day until I stop altogether. Anyway, if you're struggling with motivation to keep a daily habit (as I often have), I can definitely recommend buying a cheap calendar and just marking it off every day. Super effective.

     

    So what have I learned over the 46 hours of Chinese since I last updated this blog?

     

    Firstly, just as intermediate learners often observe, the rate of progress feels slower every week. I'm still on the boundary between intermediate/upper intermediate on ChinesePod, and when I listen to hard dialogues I downloaded three weeks ago, I don't feel like they've become any easier to decipher in the intervening time. New stories and dialogues introduce just as many new words now as they did two months ago, and I'm getting a visceral sense of just how vast a task learning a language is. The number of near homonyms makes this no easier, and I'm constantly confusing the meanings of words that to a Chinese speaker sound nothing alike.

     

    On that topic, tones in particular continue to frustrate me. I'm not exactly tone-deaf - a few weeks ago I tried Olle Linge's tone training - 100% on the initial level placement - and John Pasden's tone pair drills - no problem there either. But I still often make comprehension mistakes in full sentences due to tones, and still can't reliably predict the tones of an unfamiliar word when spoken as part of a larger utterance. Even when hearing a tone isn't necessary to understand a sentence (at my level context is still mostly enough) it feels like full comprehension is slower than it should be, I'm using grammar/context as a crutch, and the other shoe is going to drop when I try to advance to native materials. It seems like there's a big gap in the market for intermediate tone training - forcing students to listen for tones until this habit is fully internalised. Does such a product already exist? I'm also quite curious what others think about this problem, and whether it's really an issue - particularly from those who have learned Chinese to a very high level of proficiency.

     

    On the other hand, I do feel like I'm currently developing in three related areas. 

     

    • "Chinese subconscious" - occasionally in the past two weeks I have found myself following some non-trivial material without actively concentrating on the language at all, just thinking about the subject material. This is one of the things I had been hoping to achieve through mass listening, and it's good to feel it might eventually pan out. I have very limited stamina to fully concentrate on spoken language (I can't maintain 100% concentration for more than a few minutes!) so this is very necessary in the long run. This point might seem trivial to many here, but it's a big breakthrough for me!
    • Speed of listening. The 4th level of the Chinese Breeze books has helped with this, as the narrators have stepped up the speed a bit for this level, forcing me to internalise more of the very high frequency words and grammatical structures. (I'll give a more complete review of the Chinese Breeze books later if I can find the time)
    • Ability to learn. The more words I learn, the easier it seems to be to remember new words, and the better I can distinguish between similar words. And because I can listen faster, I can hear more words and grammar structures in 2 hours. It feels like entering a virtuous cycle. Of course because I've properly hit intermediate level now, it still feels like my rate of progress has slowed in spite of all of this.

     

    Finally, I've entirely dropped SRSing of new words in isolation. I've just found it a drain on my mental energy with seemingly little-to-no gain. The SpoonFed Chinese Anki deck is doing a great job of introducing me to new words in context, and providing regular reminders. I re-listen to ChinesePod episodes at regular intervals when they have lots of new vocabulary (is there SRS software that can schedule this for me more conveniently than Anki?) The graded readers use the same words so often that there's no need to SRS them. And best of all, all of these activities are simply more fun than grinding Anki decks of words (well SpoonFed isn't much fun, but is definitely more effective). The only thing I'm losing here is the ability to recognise characters of words I'm learning, but given that all of my learning material currently comes with pinyin, this is something I can tolerate (and will probably fix through extensive reading after the challenge is over)
     

  22. pon00050
    Latest Entry:

    Here is the line that made me write this blog post.

    奇点:那结果怎么样?找着了吗?

    I am familiar with the 着 for a continuous state.

    However, 着 in this line doesn't seem to indicate continuous state.

    What is 着 doing in this line?

    It does look like people say 找着了吗 based on the quick search online. LINK

     

     

     

  23. Bigdumogre
    Latest Entry:

    Well its been a while since I updated this blog and I have tons of excuses why and why I haven't studied for 6 weeks until last week. But that's what they are just excuses, and I should of never of stopped. So I am going to redo all the NPCR chapters I have already finished, redo most of the pimsluers I have completed and re listen to podcasts that I already know. I know this will take a few weeks but I will be back up to where I was and with accurate tones and words. Has this happened to anyone else? Seems like at times stepping back a few steps will help your get to your destintion.

×
×
  • Create New...