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Learn Chinese in China

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About this blog

Documenting a learning progress.


Usually I update my efforts in the Weekly intermediate study thread. However, it is anything but weekly and I decided that I could really be a bit more organised about practicing listening skills and adding vocabulary. Doing a blog hopefully will give a better overall view of the progress. 


One is supposed to study what's interesting to oneself, but that does mean I get frequently bogged down into new material that's too advanced and overloading. Combined with a short attention span, little progress is made. When I talk with native speaker well-intentioned language partners, they always over estimate my ability. 


Finding native material at basic/advanced beginner level is a bit difficult. In this thread, there are links to cartoons at a slower pace of delivery. Bite sized pieces of simpler material sounds like a good start. 


Documentation :


Vocabulary can be classified into A) learnt before and now reinforced, B) can guess from context, C) need to look up. 


Number of difficult sentences. I. e. Know the words but listening was hard.

Entries in this blog


3Q 2022

3Q 2022

Basically I did nothing for three months. 

I went to no listening and no exposure from July onwards. I was in Malaysia and used English or Cantonese there, possibly more Cantonese. Just the odd smattering of mandarin here and there when I need to. There, many of the 20’s and under group only speak mandarin. Their knowledge of dialects is decreasing markedly.


I went back to Hellotalk a couple of weeks ago for some random chats and my tones were very Cantonese. I could recalibrate fairly quickly when the person on the other end corrected me.


 I got a bit tired of electronic flash cards. Decided to go old school and write characters and notes on a paper card. Picked up a few characters and the vocabulary I pick up from one language exchange I recite with another partner. It’s a nice change to physically write characters. Hopefully, there is some benefit on the imprinting in the brain process. 


One conversation was quite unproductive. I spent more than half an hour listening to one lady’s marital (mainly childcare) issues in her English but very little Chinese coming back. The good thing is, the topic is a great ice breaker during language exchange. I can gradually build up more vocabulary with repetition when speaking to different people using the same topic. Seems quite an enjoyable topic for those who have children. Limited English doesn’t seem to be an impediment to expressing one’s feelings on this topic.


Maybe what I should do is take new vocabulary from lessons or past notes and just try to use them on language partners in a very informal way. Not just have random conversations and hope what comes up commonly will come round again. 


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