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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

Flickserve

Did I do better?

Despite learning Chinese Mandarin, I don't get the chance to use it very often. I get the feeling of minimal progress.

 

I haven't really been watching many intermediate learning materials since my last post. A bit boring for my liking...

 

I wasted a lot of time on the hellotalk app. Being a native English speaker is a big advantage when learning Chinese. Eventually, I decided to tell people I am only interested in talking verbally and real time conversation. This proved helpful in screening out quite a number of people who just wanted a friendly text chat with a foreigner. I tend to screen out people who have a strong 南方 accent though Taiwanese are fine. In the end HT is just an area for practice and I cut down my time on it.

 

For learning, I have been using Glossika. 25% through the A1 course. It's a bit boring but I stick with it. I don't like that it only gives two reps of a sentence. I prefer 3 or 4 at one time. Does it have an effect? I think it is hard to say for me - maybe a longer duration of practice would help.

 

I recently dug out some old ankicards that I made long ago. These were made from the Growing up in China series. I remember I had tremendous difficulty in following the speech at time of making them. Well, amazingly, I found my listening comprehension is definitely much better. There are words which I forgot but definitely relearn much better and it's much less frustrating.

 

I recently went to Qingdao for business and badminton. Initially a bit apprehensive yet looking forward to trying out the field experience. Last time I was by myself in China was two years ago in Guangzhou and I fell back to using Cantonese much of the time.

 

Pleased to say I didnt really have any major problems using the language for day to day life. Of course there were the trip-ups. What I particularly liked was I had to use the language for some simple problem solving which sharpens the mind considerably. Although there is still a lot to learn in terms of extending conversations, the initial handling of issues went quite smoothly. I had a couple of nice conversations with taxi drivers and made a large number of wechat contacts from playing badminton. I played a lot of amateur competitions in the past and when I played my trickshots on this trip, they were really well received. Of course, there was also the novelty factor of being an overseas Chinese.

 

So a great morale booster that there is some progression and I got a lot of extensive listening experience even though I didn't understand all of it.

Flickserve

https://youtu.be/OB5bL3Ow4-c

 

卡特家庭 5: 在超市) | Level 3 | Chinese

 

Methodology recap : listened a few times not looking at subtitles. Watched the video to help context. 

 

 

guessed meaning, characters known

放进 put in

过道 aisle

汽水 fizzy drink

 

Couldn't guess meaning, characters known. 

放进去 to put inside

放回去 to put back

 

Guessed the meaning pretty well, didn't know words before

架子 shelf

薯片 crisps

收银台 cashier's counter 

 

Previously completely unknown 

叹了口气

皱了一下眉头  wrinkled eyebrows (frowned) 

耸肩 shrug shoulders

曲奇饼干 - apparently usually it's 曲奇 for cookie and 饼干 for biscuit. The two words (four characters) are rarely used together.

 

 

Flickserve

Wouldn’t it be good...

....is a favourite song of mine by Nik Kershaw.

 

Wouldn’t it be good to just get a bit of time to oneself just to study without life getting in the way.  It’s been very busy.

 

At at least I have glossika to fall back on. It’s now very convenient - connect up my earphones, go into the browser on my phone and start the course. If I don’t finish, then do some reps later at another time.

 

So far I have managed about five days out of seven for the last three weeks. Nice. 

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