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Week 10 - 衣服

js6426

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Last week was another great week!  I got my midterm results back for listening and speaking - 95% and 96% respectively.  That put me third for listening and top for speaking so I can't complain!  I was somewhat annoyed with myself when it came to my listening though, as I could easily have gotten a better score. The teacher graded something that I had dismissed as unimportant, although that wasn't the case (at least not for this test) - which vowel you place the tone mark over on the pinyin!  It's annoying because we learned it and I could have studied it, but I didn't really think it mattered.  So even though I got the correct tone with a few word like 'jiu', jue' etc., I put the tone mark over the wrong letter and got penalized hah!  I am happy that after our final exam there will be no more pinyin anywhere!  This coming Thursday is our reading/writing midterm, and then that's all 4 out of the way, and we just have finals in January to look forward to!

 

Last Wednesday was a really fun day in our speaking class - we were on a topic which involved clothes, and so the day before our teacher told us to prepare some items of clothing in Chinese, and she would split us up into 3 groups the following day and we'd have a competition writing as many different items of clothing on the board as possible.  Not overly surprising at this point, but there were only enough students there to make 2 groups, but all in all the groups got 63 and 64 separate things written on the board.  I don't think I know that many in English, let alone Chinese!  My list of 12 that I had prepared seemed somewhat inadequate, but it was great to pick up lots of new clothing terms, and by the end the board was crammed with Hanzi, written by 9 different people, and so it looked awesome (our group actually had to wipe some off to make room for more)!  I also picked up a couple of new words in class, and then some more from my own personal study.  Some personal vocabulary highlights from the week were 发抖,浮躁,后悔,激动,抽象 和 承担后果。

 

As I write the almost mandatory update on the ongoing student saga, it might become clear why I wanted to know the final phrase!  There was an incident with a Russian student in the 3rd year of the program I am studying.  At a bar, ironically named Russian Size, he had a fight with another Russian student at 3am in the morning.  Damaged the tooth of the other student, was arrested and is spending 7 days in prison.  My assumption is he'll be deported after that.  Regarding the students in my year, this week 9 of them were told they won't be allowed to take the final exam, they will have to resit it next year.  Furthermore, they all had to sign a statement declaring that if they fail to attend 10 or more classes (one week's worth in total) between now and Dec 30th, without any good reason for doing so, they will be expelled.  It seems the hammer has finally been laid down, and now they have to 承担后果!



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Hi, thanks for the update.

 

It's a bummer about the pinyin but the good thing is, you have some margin for progress on your next listening test :mrgreen: whereas if you had gotten 100% you could only have hoped to sustain the same level the next time.

 

I think this blog is fantastic, and it could be even better if you posted one or several photos for each entry.

For instance this time it might have been fun to see the filled whiteboard or maybe your marked listening paper.

Or any picture about your week, really. Your readers are very curious about everything.

 

That Russian student is a bit dumb to waste more than 2 years of study by getting into a fight at 3am huh.

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Dear JS,

I am a newbie to Chinese Mandarin but after reading your post about  chinese nouns that you had to make and that you only had 12 etc.  May I make a small suggestion.  There is a book you can buy or download that will solve most problems for you in this area.  It is in simplified chinese so there will be no problem for you.  The book is named " Longman's Chinese-English Visual Dicitionary of Chinese Culture (1999)".  You should check it out.  I know by now you have a collection of books but just look at it to see if it can help you.  It is a visual dictionary so you can just go the index of about 300-310 units containing over 20,000 chinese nouns (most compound) and find what you are looking for.  

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Thanks for the photo suggestion Edelweis, great idea!  Yeah a complete waste of time for the Russian guy.  You also make a great point about the listening test!

 

Thanks gwr71!  I actually already have a visual dictionary from Collins, it's fantastic!  The reason I only wrote 12 wasn't because I was unable to find more, if I had cracked the dictionary I could have found plenty (although I doubt 63!), but I was under the impression we had to memorize all of the Hanzi to write them on the board, and so I went with 12 new ones to learn that night, thinking other people in whatever group I ended up in would have different ones.  Actually on the day we were allowed to look at our lists and the dictionary, so we were just mining for all sorts during the 10 minutes we had to write stuff!  I probably should have explained that point a little more!  I will definitely check that visual dictionary you suggested out though, I find them to be so helpful for nouns, and our teacher said this will be something we do a lot more of with all kinds of topics, so next time it will come in really handy.  Thank you again!

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Dear JS,

The reason I suggested  " Longman's Chinese-English Visual Dicitionary of Chinese Culture (1999)". is that I have a pdf copy and it is specific to PRC.  When I examined it , I was surprised to find out that it had nearly all the chinese nouns for PRC which I saw in movies etc.  I am now able to see an old chinese movies (kung fu of course) and look in the dictionary and find its name in both characters and pin yin.    However, the drawback is that it is not modern it stops at 1999 and as such you would have needed a new updated visual dictionary like the one you have to supplement it.  Further, it is specific to Chinese Culture which sets it apart from other visual dictionaries that I saw.  That in my opinion as you degree suggests, would be a great help for you.  I have been trying to find out if it has been updated. No luck yet so I use another visual dictionary  from 2015.

 

Also because you are doing this particular degree , you would have to examine Mandarin Grammer from a purely linguistic point of view.  I would also recommend the following Reference Grammer Book.  It is not suited for every learner of chinese mandarin but it was recommended by the authors of A Course in Contemporary Chinese Book 1 .  It is called " Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammer" by  Charles N. Li and  Sandra A Thompson. (University of California Press).  I use this book and it is quite heavy.  Check Amazon and the reviews when you can. It draws upon the writings of Chao (1968) and Li etc.  It has been criticized in some areas but it is still good that is why in 2015 it is still recommended.

 

well goodluck and I hope to read more of your post in the coming future.

 

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It certainly would be a great help, I hadn't had time to check it out yet and the 'Chinese Culture' bit didn't really register!  I will see if I can find a PDF online, and I will also check the grammar book.  I have to say, I find the Chinese Grammar Wiki to be the best resource on grammar I have found so far.  Of course I don't have much experience to draw on, but I've used it with every other book I have used in order to clarify things, and more often than not find that it also draws on the books I am using!  The names of these books may be popping up in future posts, thank you again for the recommendations, and keep them coming if you see areas in which you think I might benefit from particular resources in the future!  Thank you!

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Dear JS,

I hope you are not offended by my suggestions.  You stated that you use Chinese grammer Wiki to be the best resource on grammer.  It may be good for persons now learning chinese mandarin but in your case it is not.  The very fact that you are doing a degree in this area sets you apart from most bloggers and learners in any forum of chinese.   A higher expectation is required and a higher standard is expected.  You cannot quote Wiki as your source as you go along in your degree.  You will eventually be required to read many (linguistic) books on grammer,  like Chao and Li etc.. It is their writings and others that have shaped modern chinese grammer teacher and writers.  I just wanted you to be aware now of the resources you would eventually be required to learn and adjust your mindset .  You seem to be an excellent student who works hard and appreciates good grades.  

Like any degree the first year is always the easiest though you don't normally think so until you hit year 2 and 3 then you look back and smile.

The last piece of advice I have for you is to get a dictionary of measure words.  Yes measure words.  This area seems to be usually overlooked by learners of Mandarin.  They simple learn each measure word when it is introduced in the books they are learning from.  But the use of the right measure word in the right context goes a long way.  If you use the incorrect measure word to chinese speakers they would know instantly. They may not tell you but may be polite to listen to you. To them you would be speaking like a child.  You think you are speaking mandarin great. However your teachers are under an obligation to correct you.  Imagine you hear a native chinese speaker trying to speak english and they say something inappropriate or use an inappropriate word. Now you know what they are saying and recognise the error but you don't laugh but response to encourage them.  To you they may be speaking english like a child so you excuse them.

 

Your position requires you to learn everything at the same time.  It is unfair but true. 

 

I recommend that if you don't have a dictionary of measure words then you consider the following:

"Cheng and Tsui-Chinese measure word dictionary" I found a sample pack online and when I read it I realised my error in not paying more attention to measure words.

 

I want to see you succeed like all the other persons in this forum.

Good luck and keep writing.

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Hey brother, if I was offended by your suggestions I certainly wouldn't be asking for more!  I appreciate them so much!  A valid point about not being able to quote the grammar wiki, which I never thought about.  I do have to ask what context you are talking about here, do you mean my 4th year thesis for example?  Then I would imagine I would be quoting Chinese literature, as opposed to where I got my grammar construction from though right?  We get pounded with measure words, far beyond what the book is teaching, and we get tested on them!  A book could be good for sure, so I will check it out, but also I do think our teachers hit us hard with them.  I'd say we've learned between 20-30 so far, which at this stage our books wouldn't even dream of touching on, and then we get tested on them!  So you are completely right with their importance, and I think our teachers recognize that! 

 

As I said, please keep the suggestions coming, I welcome constructive criticism!  To me grades are great, but far more important is the ability to actually speak and understand, read and write Chinese to a decent level, and as you have said, the requires learning a lot!  I am excited for the journey, and somewhat humbled by all the people who have suddenly jumped behind me in this!  Thank you man, I really appreciate your input!  I still haven't been able to check out the previous books as my VPN is playing up, but hope to get it sorted today so I can have a look!

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Dear JS,

The book I recommended has I believe more than 150 measure words. I have uploaded the sample pack for you to browse.  It is freely available online so it doesn't breach the copyright of the authors. Also I won't get into trouble with the Administrators of this forum.

 

The last area is a book on verbs.  I know there are many books.  The one I am using is not suitable for you as it is in traditional characters only.  It deals with everyday verbs used in mandarin.  It stems from 201 mono-syllabic verbs and gives the compound verbs and phrases used.  It can be said to have 2001 verbs for everyday use.  I am writing them out and simplifying them also.

I can check within the next few days to recommend one to you. I believe other persons in this forum may be better able to recommend a book dealing with simplified characters for you.

 

well continue to keep posting I will as much as possible keep reading and enjoying your entries.

goodluck.

Chinese-Measure-Word-Dictionary.pdf

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I've been off the forum for quite a while now, so I've got a lot of catching up to do reading through, but I've just sat down and read all of your updates! Good work!

I've been debating studying a Bachelor degree in China for a while now and I finally decided to do it a couple of months back, so now I'm in the stages of preparing for next September. This blog has really motivated me further. In fact I've decided to head out and buy the books you've mentioned and follow along with some of the things you've been doing. 

 

Perhaps sometime you could update with your typical weekly schedule? Like how many classes per day, and how long you have to spend doing homework each night. 

 

Looking forward to keeping up with this for the next 4 years ha! Hopefully by the time you week year 2, I can start my 'Week 1' log. 

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That's awesome man, I'm glad!  Where are you going to be studying?

 

I will do my next update tomorrow or Sunday I think, and I will put my schedule in as well as how I spend my other time.

 

I think it would be really cool to have multiple degree logs all going at the same time, I bet we could all help each other out and encourage each other when we hit those inevitable walls!

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@mackie1402 well, there's nothing stopping you from starting a blog right away describing how you prep for the degree. Do you intend do spend the whole 4 years or maybe skip the first 1 or 2 years?

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Gwr71, I downloaded two of the three books you recommended.  The measure word dictionary is incredibly useful, and I have just started going through the grammar book.  As you said, it is indeed heavy, and I am sure it will be immensely helpful.  Unfortunately I was unable to find a PDF of the visual dictionary. I read some great reviews about it on Amazon!

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Dear JS,

The books I recommended represents months of research on the net and checking forums and blogs.  OneEye's blogs were very helpful to me.  He gave me some guidance by just reading them.  I must thank him and others in this forum for their help and encouragement.  That is why I will never hesitate to assist where I can. As my mandarin progress I hope I could be as much help as persons in this form.  I hope you in turn will do the same to others.

 

I use the same books and especially the grammer book it usually gives me headaches.  even today I am stuck on chapter 4. Simple Declarative Sentences. I have to acknowledge that the title is the only thing simple in that chapter.  This book reminds me why I didn't do Literature at Advance level.  I am forced to confront my demons in grammer.  I have to relearn everything about grammer. I just take piece by piece until it sinks in my brain.

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I'll check his blog out for sure.  I am with you on the grammar side of things!  For me that is definitely the hardest aspect of the language.  Characters I can deal with because I actually enjoy learning them, tones I seem to have a love/hate relationship with them in that I think they are easy enough, I just seem to get them wrong a lot and struggle with distinguishing them, but they stay fairly constant.  The grammar is the most tedious and difficult thing for me, and I long for the day when it will just flow without any conscious effort as I have been over it that many times, but I think that is a LONG way off, and I don't doubt that books like this will be a huge help on the road to that point. 

 

I hope one day to be able to be of some help to others!  Right now it seems like I am at the foot of the mountain, but we all have to start somewhere, and if just one person says about this blog what you just said about OneEye's, then it will have been worth writing!

 

Thank you again!

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Don't forget a good verb dictionary.  It should be for everyday use. and deal with compound verbs.

 

Since I study from home and have no tutor. I designed my program after observing comments from persons in different forums about travelling to Taiwan/China and when they get there they are put to do nouns, measure words and verbs, which I find difficult to digest.  I understand the need to improve on tones, naturally.  I would have to spend up to US$10,000.00 to travel to Taiwan just to spend 2-3 weeks and end up doing what I could have done at home .  So to maximize my time when I go to Taiwan I  designed the following program for myself, as follows:

 1. I follow the MTC 9 levels (One eye is an expert in this area)  I use PAVC 1-5 and now CCC 1-6. ( books 5 and 6 are not available to the public as yet).  I follow and will buy all the books on the official lists. I have almost bought all up to level 4 (B1).

2.I then turn to Grammer.  Biggest headcahe of them all. 

3. Then I do one unit in my Verb dictionary. (traditional)

4. Then I finish off with Nouns form Longman's Dictionary.  (simplified)

5. I will add the measure word dictionary when I get it. 

It will take me at least  a year to finish writing out all these books and translating them from traditional to simplified and vice versa from Simplified to traditional.  

I have decided to write HSK in Barbados and to visit MTC in Taiwan next year if possible.

I enjoy reading your blog and know you will keep it up and do well.

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Could I ask what verb dictionary you use?  And also what MTC, PAVC and CCC stand for?  You seem to be really serious about learning Chinese, and your program looks as if it covers all bases really well (from my limited experience hah)!  I am sure you'll improve very quickly!  One thing I did want to ask, being as you are studying outside of a Chinese speaking nation, do you do anything for listening?  When you go get the chance to go to Taiwan do you find you are able to understand people fairly well?  I ask because I am in China and yet I still find listening to be the hardest thing of all!

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MTC is the Mandarin Training Center at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU).  It is the most prominent language schools in Taiwan.  The MTC released a series of Books called Practical Audio Visual Chinese (2nd) (PAVC).  These textbooks became the main learning books for Mandarin in Taiwan.  It was designed for English speaking students who came to Taiwan to learn Mandarin.  As you are aware Taiwan adhere to traditional characters.  In the series of books it had used two (2) types of pin yin:

Tong Yong (Taiwan simplified ) and Han yu (PRC).  However since 2008 only Han yu is used. The books still have Tong Yang and Han Yu.  It is now living history in the development of Taiwan Mandarin.  The change to only Han yu reflects the political change towards PRC in Taiwan.  

 

These series of Books were heavily criticised as not being Practical.  MTC then in 2015 released a new series called: A Course in Contemporary Chinese Book 1-6. (CCC).  Only this year has MTC officially removed PAVC 1-4 form its book list but kept book 5.  The new Books are great. It is modernised and reflects the new approach to learning Mandarin.  It concerntrate on speaking mandarin for Books 1-3.  Then Books 4-6 on writing.  Only Books 1-4 are released to the public at this time.  I await the release of books 5 and 6.

 

In respect to my disadvantage to being in the Caribbean where the official language in English and now unofficially Spanish,  I improvise.  All the books mentioned from MTC have cds/mp3.  Further I get help from yoyochinese.com .  They have a segment called Chinese on the street.  You can register there freely.  There is also a pay section for intermediate chinese.  The website refers persons to watch Chinese Mandarin films.  I then branched out to youtube.  It has a lot of Mandarin Movies with subtitles.  I use the weekend to watch only Mandarin movies.  It is my equivalent to a language lab.  I am familiar with the 400 mandarin syllables and tones.  so when I watch these movies I learn to recognise Mandarin as opposed to Cantonese and Korea, Japanese , Vietnamese etc..It has been difficult at first but the more I watch and listen the more I recognise mandarin.  There are times when I think I am watching a mandarin movie but when I listen carefully it does not sound like mandarin, then I immediately switch to another movie.    

 

I know that my brain needs to adjust to mandarin and it cannot on my own here do that.  I need a chinese environment.  The internet now provides that adequately.  I know that by watching mandarin movies every weekend my brain will more likely recognise it and my ability to listen and understand it will increase.  But there is no substitute for the real thing. Some learners are gifted and can master a language where ever they are.  I am not one of them.  I have to work 3 times as hard as younger learners to achieve the same goal.  But I am getting there. I have recognised words and phrases and simple sentences from the movies.  This I do in preparation for my eventual trip to Taiwan to MTC for a 3 week summer course.

 

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@edelweis @roddy I'd love to keep a regular blog, but I know I can't fully commit to it right now. We don't want another '1 entry every 6 weeks' kind of blog on the site. Once I'm back into full time study I'll definitely have plenty more to write, though!

 

I'm hoping to skip the first year if it's possible, but it's been pretty unclear when my wife and I have been researching it. So far we've just been told by all the Uni's to wait until December to find out any updated info regarding next year's courses.  

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On 12/11/2017 at 9:51 PM, gwr71 said:

 I use the weekend to watch only Mandarin movies.  It is my equivalent to a language lab.  I am familiar with the 400 mandarin syllables and tones.  so when I watch these movies I learn to recognise Mandarin as opposed to Cantonese and Korea, Japanese , Vietnamese etc..

 

For the weekdays, during commuting, I find a China radio station to listen to and get used to the sounds. I wouldn't understand it but it gets one used to the sounds and recognition of Mandarin.

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