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爬中文山

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Trying to get back into he swing

suMMit

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Well, I took about 10 days break from studying Chinese while the virus news started breaking. However, over the last week, I've resumed studying.  I'm still somewhat distracted and finding it harder to focus. Partially because of the virus and partially because I've temporarily left China, in S.E. Asia at the moment. But, I'm with my wife and mother in law, so there's still plenty of Chinese spoken around me. I've doing a lot of Chinese podcasts and other online study material. I probably did about 3 hours worth today. I have been keeping up my Skype lessons with my teacher, who lives in Hubei. She looks totally normal, but I still worry for her and feel sorry for her that she's locked down in her house. I think she enjoys doing the lessons though as something to keep her busy.

 

 I'm going to really try and take advantage of having no work this month and do as much Chinese study and practice as I can.



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Wait a minute your wife and her family are Chinese?! Why waste time and resources on classes books etc? 

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36 minutes ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

Wait a minute your wife and her family are Chinese?! Why waste time and resources on classes books etc? 


A wife doesn’t have the same enthusiasm and patience to help teach as a girlfriend does...?

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teach? she doesn't need to teach anything, the very fact that she can and does speak Chinese with family (and I'd assume friends, listen to music, watch tv) means all one has to do in this situation is be present. Learning will happen naturally

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PerpetualChange

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On 2/12/2020 at 5:50 PM, 道艺黄帝 said:

teach? she doesn't need to teach anything, the very fact that she can and does speak Chinese with family (and I'd assume friends, listen to music, watch tv) means all one has to do in this situation is be present. Learning will happen naturally

Learning will not happen naturally. The adult mind does not work that way. I could introduce you to half a dozen guys with Chinese wives who've intended to learn Chinese at one point or another, and can still barely speak a lick. I can introduce you to numberous immigrants here in the US who have never learned decent English despite being here for decades. Learning will not happen without making an effort. 

 

Even if learning did happen naturally, he still wouldn't become literate naturally. Even kids can't do that.  

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On Fri Feb 14 2020 at 9:56 AM, PerpetualChange said:

Learning will not happen naturally. The adult mind does not work that way. I could introduce you to half a dozen guys with Chinese wives who've intended to learn Chinese at one point or another, and can still barely speak a lick. I can introduce you to numberous immigrants here in the US who have never learned decent English despite being here for decades. Learning will not happen without making an effort. 

 

Even if learning did happen naturally, he still wouldn't become literate naturally. Even kids can't do that.  

trust me, I know, I've had to interpret quite a bit for ppl in this very situation in the US. I guess I'll never quite get it, so I'll just have to accept it as just another thing that makes this life fruitful and interesting! 

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On 2/12/2020 at 6:04 AM, 道艺黄帝 said:

Wait a minute your wife and her family are Chinese?! Why waste time and resources on classes books etc? 

Ahhh hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

 

Wait give me a second to stop laughing out loud.

 

On 2/13/2020 at 5:50 AM, 道艺黄帝 said:

teach? she doesn't need to teach anything, the very fact that she can and does speak Chinese with family (and I'd assume friends, listen to music, watch tv) means all one has to do in this situation is be present. Learning will happen naturally

Are you actually serious? Then geez, how come the vast majority of expats in China haven't just magically absorbed the language? Hell, they are SURROUNDED by it! Yet, when they go back home to Cleveland and their friends say "your Chinese must be fluent!" But in reality about all they can say is "Fuwuyuan lai yiping pijiu. Bingde"  or "Ni hao Wu Choo naen jan".

 

How is it a waste of time and resources to have classes with a TEACHER and books that are STRUCTURED to help you understand the basics? 

 

So, let me see,  in your mind I would talk to my wife, and anytime I didn't understand something, I'd say "wife, could you just say that again more slowly? Now what did that mean when your mom said she could "我 ti4" 你买菜? Oh, I see, is that different than 帮? Oh, ok sounded like 1st tone, say it again, oh wait maybe its 4th tone...which is it? You're so great, this is why I married you!" 

 

No, I didn't actually learn ti4 from my 老婆, I learned it from my teacher yesterday.

 

You know what, teaching me Chinese is not a 老婆 responsibility, its not interesting and its not fun. She is also not skilled as a teacher. She already has a jo, in a different field. She speaks English far more fluently than I speak Chinese. She studied it in school since she was a kid and she went to a language school as an adult. There's a lot she doesn't know, but you know what she rarely asks me about any English vocab or grammar. Because I am also not her English teacher. I find teaching English incredibly boring. 

 

We like to do other things together rather than study language.

 

I love learning from books, online resources, and my PAID Chinese teacher. There is nothing wasteful about it. I learn new words and/or characters every single day. I hear them pronounced in a variety of different accents, both genders, various ages. I am able to do lessons on all sorts of topics that I find interesting or useful to me. It entertains me. It gives me something to do on my own.

 

Does that mean I gain nothing Chinese language-wise from my wife and her famlily? Of course it doesn't. I get to practice speaking with her mother all the time because its the only way we can communicate. A percentage of the time I speak Chinese with my wife, as long as its something I know how to express, I will. When it's her together with her non-english speaking family, I'm fine to struggle though anything I want to say. I also get immense amounts of listening practice from hearing them converse, from overhearing their phone conversations, from sitting with my wife watching her TV programs. However, I rarely learn NEW things from them. Because when I hear something I don't understand, it usually just goes over my head. 

 

And every day/week/month I can understand and respond to more and more of what they say, because I've learned the word/grammar/phrase and now it sticks out instead of going over my head. So, its a chance to use or reinforce what I have learned from those so-called "time wasting classes, books and resources."

 

PS: For the most part, with some exceptions, I only take language learning advice from people I've actually heard speak the language in question. Would love to hear a sample of your skills posted on the "pronunciation" thread so I can see how good you've gotten from the old "All you need to do is be present" method.

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Wow bud clearly I hit a soft spot there with you.

 

I didn't used to understand the foreigners who came to China for 5+ years who didn't know Chinese any more than the immigrants who came to the US for equally long and had no English. I've come to accept it as  combination of three factors. Certain people's circumstances are beyond their control. Language technology has made massive gains which no longer restrict access to non-speakers. Lastly, immigration trends can create these pockets in society to the extent where people then don't even need to interact with locals. 

 

I don't agree with it, but I understand it and accept it now. 

 

In your case, I again always envied those who had such an incredible resource at their fingertips and just took it for granted. 

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