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Learn Chinese in China

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3Q 2023



Nice to see Chinese forums back on line.


it coincides with me taking online lessons again.


I found HSK4 standard book quite uninteresting and went back to italki and found another community teacher. 

I think this one actually hits the right technique for me. Lots of simple sentences in English which I have to translate into Chinese. I might have to use a certain sentence structure. She then asks me the same questions again in a subsequent lesson so it’s like a SRS style but no stories. 

I quite like it. It tests my speed of translation and the faster I can say the translation, the more I feel I have really absorbed the language actively. You find you have a sense of achievement doing simple things better rather than trying to crunch on overwhelming oneself with new vocabulary or new grammar. You also know how good you are if you can pull out a translation smoothly. It is a bit like the glossika technique but at least with a teacher, they can pause, give some hints, give a bit of explanation and crucially, if you’re unsure, immediately give you another similar sentence structure to practice (unlike SRS apps ).


I asked a language partner to do the same thing as practice but she said I was good in all sentences. However, I wasn’t because some of the sentences I hesitated when saying the translation. I.e. there was a slightly longer delay where I had to use more time to think. -As a consequence, she didn’t repeat asking me any of the sentences. I need to teach her better. 

The sentences are in Anki for my own practice. I even got a different language partner on Hellotalk to say the sentences. Using iPad and Mac, the sound file can be downloaded into as a .WAV into iPad, then airdropped into Mac where I manipulated it the file in audacity. I saved the WAV file and transferred the file over to my PC. Oddly enough, I couldn’t open the WAV file in adobe audition. Not to worry - I used the PC version of audacity to turn it into an mp3 file. From this I created a .srt file using workaudiobook app, used subs2SRS to create individual MP3 of each sentence and create the tsv file to be imported into anki. 

Next week is a trip to Chengdu. I definitely feel my accent has gotten a bit better. Even after not really nor practicing the language, I am pulling out the words and flow better albeit with the Cantonese accent. I believe I am getting better. Another italki teacher who knows Cantonese and Mandarin said certainly my pronunciation is better than a lot of HK people trying to speak Mandarin. 

Back to practicing with anki. 

edit. Just noticed this blog has had 687k + views! What’s so interesting?? LOL. 



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I just discovered that Hellotalk audio files on my iPad can be directly airdropped into the downloads folder of my MacBook. Very convenient and time saving.


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I found HSK4 standard book quite uninteresting and went back to italki and found another community teacher. 


Hahaha, I also found the HSK4 Standard Course textbook so boring, I was going insane.  I can recall groaning when my teacher brought out the second volume.  At the time, I utterly refused to study HSK5 Standard Course.  Nowadays, I'm aware the HSK5 and HSK6 textbooks are far more interesting than the HSK4.  In any case, best wishes for your Chinese study!

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