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Learn Chinese in China


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About this blog

I'm starting this blog because sometimes I feel like saying something about (my) Chinese learning that isn't really worth a forum post or is not a question. Somewhere to document my progress. It has been just about exactly a year now of consistent work, so I'm interested to see where my 普通话 is next New Year's holiday. I will try to use this space to post some interesting things I find along the climb!

Entries in this blog


Chinese Breeze progress


I was reminded by the "2022 goals" thread that I had listed a goal of completing all the Chinese Breeze level 2 and 3 readers. Up to now, I had only completed 3 of 7 of 二级 and hadn't cracked one open in 6 months. So last week I banged out the remaining 4 books of 二级. The nice thing was that I was able to read them extremely easily. I remember a year ago I found them very slow going. Now I was able to read them in one sitting of about 1.5 hours each and not looking up anything , just glancing at a few footnoted items. I also rarely had to re-read a sentence to get the meaning. I put that down to reading DuChinese intermediate every day and just general improvement.



I also ordered (and received next day - 京东谢谢!)four of the five level 3 books and will start in on them next week.




4上 to 下


Finally finished Hsk-4上. Took me six months. That's a bit slow but I'm simultaneously studying the Chinese Made Easier 4 book and almost halfway through that as well. The CME and Hsk series have a different focus, but also overlap in many places. Tomorrow I will break the seal on the 4下 book. I definitely feel it's getting harder, but not overly difficult, so I think Im at my sweet spot.




I happened to be near Beijing Foreign Studies university today and saw there was a bookstore, so I popped in for a look. They had loads of Chinese study books, graded readers and so on. I need more resources like I need a hole in the head but I couldn't help myself. I can NEVER have enough listening, so I picked up 汉语听力系列教材( hanyu tingli xilie jiaocai). I assumed intermediate level but was surprised to see:

Elementary 上 = hsk3

Elementary 下 = hsk4.

Intermediate 上and下 comprises hsk 5


So I took the hsk 4 one for now and the hsk 5 for later. These have downloadable mp3s by scanning the QR code.


I also bought Short-Term Listening and Short-Term Reading, again Elementary corresponds to Hsk 4(Elementary sounds so low 😕). This came with a CD of mp3s, so I will have to go to a copy shop and get them to put it on a usb for me.


Finally, I took a sort of Hsk4 dictionary 词汇学习手册 and a book of cloze practice for Hsk4 words. Altogether ran me 165 块. Not for dust collection, I will finish them all 💪





It took me quite a while to knock these off since I only did one lesson a week with a teacher on this book. (I'm also busy working my way through Chinese Made easier - book 1 and 2 done, halfway through book 3.) I feel a sense of accomplishment having stuck with the BASIC series consistently and finishing the Spoken, Written and Practice books. I think it's a fantastic set of books and found lots that has been useful in real life. I also found it to contain quite a bit of language that I haven't come across in other places and even enjoyed some of the more "dated" vocab. The books ( especially the practice book) feels like a somewhat modernized version of FSI. I am now going to begin the Intermediate level books of the same series.

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