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  1. Yesterday
  2. ablindwatchmaker

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    I love that you used that example, and that I immediately knew you were referring to a pomegranate or durian fruit 😂 This is exactly my way of thinking when it comes to characters. I put every single one I find into a deck, and I also have a character frequency deck that I try to go through. In my opinion, it has been useful, but I think it’s a lot less useful in the early stages of learning. Lately, the reading has been exhausting and I’ve failed to stay on top of my reviews, but I’m going to try catching up tomorrow and start anew. Today’s session was absolutely brutal…60 pages of info dumps with only a smattering of dialogue. @alantin A lot of people dislike that narrator, but I’m pretty used to him at this point lol. He goes completely insane if there is an action sequence, and when he voices female characters he sounds so weird 😂🤦‍♂️
  3. amytheorangutan

    What are you reading?

    @Publius Wow thanks so much for the detailed review I really appreciate it. I thought it might be his most popular work for Chinese readers because when I search his books and sort by popularity it's always at the top. Will be a while before I get to this book but when I finish I will make a post.
  4. Publius

    What are you reading?

    @amytheorangutanIf I remember correctly, Higashino Keigo studied electronic engineering in college (instead of art/lit/humanities). He is a 理工男. So rich, flowery language is never his forte I guess. I have read 白夜行 in Japanese. For me the main hurdle was Kansai dialect, but hopefully it would be less of a hassle in the translated version. Chinese readers talk of this book as 无冕之王, his magnum opus, and I totally agree. The theme is dark yet epic, the timeline spanning thirteen years, and due to its unique third-person limited objective point of view, you never know for sure what really happened and why it happened. You can only guess. It's like looking at a collage, a jigsaw puzzle, each piece seen from a different character as they weave in and out of the storyline. Even the detective, which in a detective story is usually the main character, appears only sparsely. No wander in the TV adaptation they made a lot of change to the plot to help clarify things. So, if you find the language okay, I guess figuring out what's going on and what this book is all about will be the real challenge. But believe me, it's worth it. Hey, @matteo, long time no see. I just went through the whole 草鞋湾 book-of-the-month thread, and what a delightful journey! You guys are just so damn great!
  5. Absolutely. 'Beautiful-beautiful', that is certainly a good name for a woman or girl. If your original name is Mimi, it fits very well. It is a rather basic name, not very sophisticated, but that doesn't have to be a problem.
  6. Is it Liu Mei Mei 刘美美 a good name for a girl and the meaning too?
  7. alantin

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    Hmm.. I didn't remember that. I did search there, but I disliked the only one I found even more than I do AI reading. 😂 It was read too quickly and... "over-eagerly". Nothing like I imagined the people in the book talking.
  8. alantin

    Chinese Song of the Day

    I rarely find anyone with even remotely similar taste in music, but I've always loved these old songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_51R9q2VMXs
  9. Who's that man whose face appears on all of the construction site safety signs?
  10. Glad to hear you like it! I was worried about it looking cluttered too - anything more and I think it would be too much. Please feel free to share wherever you like, and thank you for asking! (You're definitely right that having more entries would be better, but right now I only have time to do 2-4 entries a week, so it'll take me a while to get to any impressive number 😅.)
  11. Mig

    Wechat

    What kind of group are you thinking about?
  12. realmayo

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    😂 Although personally I'm way more selective in terms of which unknown words I'd choose to memorise, I wonder if learning rare Chinese words offers much greater secondary advantages than would be the case in an abc language. The rare word will probably be made up of characters that you already know, so you'll be reinforcing your knowledge of how those characters are typically used, or you'll be encountering new uses which should help you with other new words using the same character in the future. And if instead this rare word uses a character you've not seen before, it's still likely to be a character worth knowing at some point in your studies. Knowing how to write hand grenade can come in handy at the fruit market.
  13. ablindwatchmaker

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    😂 Yeah, I was about to say, if I had two of me maybe I’d know which approach is better. In any case, hopefully we both arrive at the same destination despite our different approaches. I’m pretty sure we will! @alantin You can find the 三体 audiobooks on YouTube 😁 I think that being able to check the pronunciation of words is at least as important to me as being able to quickly know what a word means. I shudder to think of how many errors I’d be making if I didn’t use Pleco, but I guess others do just fine without it. I think we differ in our tolerance to ambiguity. I am already at 98% with just about anything modern, but I don’t find it to be adequate for me. Of course, the first book I read, Potter 1, was very difficult and I was way below 98%, but it’s been much easier ever since. I just pounded through flashcards throughout that book and 三体 1—I’ve been at 98% ever since, but that’s because I memorized every new word I encountered in those 2 books. Horrible idea. Maybe the dumbest decision I’ve ever made in my studies.
  14. amytheorangutan

    What are you reading?

    @matteo ah thanks for letting me know about 兄弟! I was also a bit reluctant to start because of the length. Good to know that Keigo Higashino’s book is not too hard as I ordered 白夜行 yesterday. I tried reading the first couple of pages and it seems to be OK nothing too complicated so I’m optimistic.
  15. Publius

    Chinese Song of the Day

    《猪之歌》 (2003 online demo version) 词曲:毛慧 原唱:毛慧 pig.mp3 猪 你的鼻子有两个孔 感冒时的你还挂着鼻涕牛牛 猪 你有着黑漆漆的眼 望呀望呀望也看不到边 猪 你的耳朵是那么大 呼扇呼扇也听不到我在骂你傻 猪 你的尾巴是卷又卷 原来跑跑跳跳还离不开它 哦 猪头猪脑猪身猪尾巴 从来不挑食的乖娃娃 每天睡到日晒三竿后 从不刷牙 从不打架 猪 你的肚子是那么鼓 一看就知道受不了生活的苦 猪 你的皮肤是那么白 上辈子一定投在了富贵人家 哦 传说你的祖先有八钉耙 算命先生说他命中犯桃花 见到漂亮姑娘就嘻嘻哈哈 不会脸红 不会害怕 哦 猪头猪脑猪身猪尾巴 从来不挑食的乖娃娃 每天睡到日晒三竿后 从不刷牙 从不打架 哦 传说你的祖先有八钉耙 算命先生说他命中犯桃花 见到漂亮姑娘就嘻嘻哈哈 不会脸红 不会害怕 咳咳嗯 你很想她
  16. 3 weeks is not long. Keep practicing with apps and if possible native speakers. I used to put mandarin on the radio when driving to work - not for comprehension but to get used to the sounds, tones and rhythm. I would sort of drift in and out of concentrating on the voices. Getting used to listening to tones takes time.
  17. matteo

    What are you reading?

    Hey amy, honestly speaking I think I only finished it because I invested too much time on it to just give up 😁 but it was a bit of a drag for me. Maybe when I have time in the next few days I'll try to contribute to the in-depth critical analysis phills and realmayo have started! The first couple of chapters of 嫌疑犯X的献身 seem very promising, I'm enjoying it and it doesn't seem too hard. Probably comparable to 草鞋湾, which you might have read when it was book of the month a while ago.
  18. Last week
  19. Insectosaurus

    any good TV series recently?

    Talking about The Long Night, what accent is this, as pinpointed as possible? I love listening to it. I understand most of it so it's not anything weird, it's just a few features here and there that I really like. She sounds a bit like Glossika's Beijing accent, but I'm hoping for something more specific. I've mostly listened to Taiwan material so I still suck at sorting mainland dialects even remotely correctly.
  20. alantin

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    Interesting stuff! Thanks! I’ll have to look more into Nations work!
  21. amytheorangutan

    any good TV series recently?

    Let me know what you think 😀
  22. Insectosaurus

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    The 98 percent figure comes from research done by Paul Nation. The problem with Kraschen is that he decided early what was his stance, and has since been shoehorning his arguments into every study. Nation has mentioned their good friends but know what not to talk about. 😉 My point is that Chinese works in completely different ways. I would argue morphemes get you further in Chinese than in English due to how the words are formed, but I have no studies to back it up. Since Nation's 98 percent figure is about word families and not words, I even think he might agree with me here. 😇 And this is were the 98 percent are relevant. They tested whether or not the readers actually understood what they read. Below 98 they didn't, even if they sometimes thought they did. Note that this is is about a high level of understanding *without* a dictionary. It's not about being able to learn a word here or there or if it's useful for you. I think he mentions this study in the link further down if you're interested. Maybe not any. https://youtu.be/GpsVp95Wu_E?t=1361 😉 Yup. Japanese has always been the language I really wanted to learn and I started Chinese a bit by accident but stuck to it. Fluency is more important to me when it comes to Japanese.
  23. alantin

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    I guess my point is that familiarity and/or interest in the material makes up for the higher rate of unknown words in the reading material. I personally zone out after 10 minutes reading graded readers that are at this goldilocks zone, but I can keep going for two ours with something something that's deemed over my head by Krashen but I'm interested in. Also the problem is that if you always look for 98% comprehensible material, you'll never be able to transition to native material. Not enough graded readers available in the market and even if you read them all, the first book you pick up will still be like getting dropped naked in freezing water at the deep end of the pool and told to swim after you've only played in the warm kids pool before.
  24. alantin

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    Yeah. I know Krashen's theory and the research and I adore pretty much everything he has ever said. He is actually entertaining too! Not necessarily the defining quality of most academics... I don't think it's English specific though. In his famous speech promoting the comprehensive input method he used German to illustrate. Basically my only beef with this is that I believe the 98% is way too high of a number to quote around. You definitely can learn new words from context even if you only comprehend 90%. You may not understand absolutely everything, but for an average learner's practical needs I personally think 98% is a needlessly high arbitrary number. I don't think I'm familiar with Paul Nation though.. I'll have to look him up. I do think flashcards have a place in language learning. Especially in the beginning. But like @ablindwatchmaker observed, they take a lot of time! And I believe that time is better used reading once you can read actual books for extended periods of time at any comprehension level. In getting to that level I think flashcards are extremely helpful. Right now I'm using flashcards for handwriting practice but that's more for providing me with appropriate level sentences in audio format that I can then write out on paper and check if I got the characters right. So I use flashcards still. Just not for drilling vocabulary that gets a lot of drilling from reading already. We do have a lot in common! 😄 Even with my Chinese studies on low burn for two weeks while extremely busy at work, I've still managed spending two hours a day reading and listening and 10 hours of reading over the weekend. I doubt I'd be able to do that if we had kids. And I noticed you've started studying Japanese? I studied Japanese first and then moved over to Chinese. 🙃 I've had some free talk tutoring sessions in Japanese lately to maintain a little bit. But I doubt I'd be able to study both languages at the same time. However, knowing Japanese beforehand does help with Chinese!
  25. Insectosaurus

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    EDIT: I noticed the first quote was not aimed at me. I'll keep my answer since it's not off topic, even if a little our of place, perhaps. That should depend on what you read and how rare the words are. As realmayo said it's funny we always bring up Paul Nation but it's basically because I've seen a few of his talks and its a research field I don't have any knowledge in, but he's overall positive to flashcards as a complement in language learning. The 98 percent is for English and it's not about picking up new words, it's being able to completely understand what you read without resorting to a dictionary to also learn those new words you encounter. I'ts been tested in what sounded like decent experiments. Hi, yes, I started out in september in 2019. I did read a university course some year earlier but I dropped out after just one or two weeks since I didn't like it. I doubt I learned much from that, since it was just a few hours in total, but I do remember 名胜古迹 was part of our word list! Thank you. I guess one positive for me is that my only friend is my partner and we don't have any kids, so I have a lot of spare time. 🙃 It feels like I'm been progressing quite quickly but like most language learners I feel this learning stage is a tough one, since all the "newbie gains" are behind me. I really need to listen, listen, listen a lot more than I've been doing, but I tend to zone out when I do that...
  26. alantin

    Focusing Exclusively on Reading

    Wow! This thread has really been active since I checked in last time! A lot of thought provoking discussion! @ablindwatchmaker, I'm not doing "exclusively extensive reading" or anything but rather just focusing on what I feel like focusing on at any given day, but I try to do some reading, listening, writing, and speaking every day. I've been really busy at work lately so the last two weeks I've been only reading in the evenings and I'll pick up my sessions with tutors every two or three days now again that it's getting a little easier. I'm also trying to improve my handwriting by learning xingshu forms. For listening, I've been trying to find interesting audio books in mandarin, but I haven't had much luck with it. I found 三体 books on Ximalaya and listened to the first one and a part of the second book. I enjoyed it very much, but then they changed something and the app just started telling me that I'm not allowed to listen to it here... I found the WoT books on Ximalaya read by some fan some time ago but now it turned out that they didn't have them all. So even though I generally dislike machine narration, I've actually found listening to Pleco reading the first WoT book for me while driving to not be too bad! I guess I'm a lot more relaxed in my reading than you too. I couldn't care less even if I don't understand some words or even some sentences in what I read as long as I can follow the story. My own experience learning English as a kid thought me that as long as I read books, I'll pick up the vocabulary even without SRS or anything. I treat SRS as a crutch to help in some specific needs but other than that I can't really be bothered to do it anymore. I read someone's experiments comparing reading versus SRS some years ago that suggested that reading was actually a little bit more effective for learning new vocabulary in terms of vocabulary learned in days, but I couldn't find it anymore. My takeaway from that was something that I guess I knew already. If you read, you'll encounter the words anyway frequently enough and you won't be able to forget them even if you tried. As a kid I remember reading the first three or four WoT books in English with a dictionary by my side and I haven't really needed the dictionary after that. At the time also I couldn't care less about learning English. I just wanted to know what was going to happen next in the book! To me that is the secret to language learning. Do something that you love in the language and don't focus too much on learning the language. The mind and body will adapt to what you do with it. Also I'm not convinced about the 98% comprehension theory. In my own experience I don't need anything near 98% comprehension rate to pick up new words from context. Anything more than 80% is enough for picking up new vocabulary if I'm reading something even vaguely familiar, though the higher that number is, the more enjoyable the whole reading experience is and it's more likely that I'll continue doing it. On the other hand, if I find the book utterly uninteresting, I'll give up with it a lot faster than if I need to struggle a little to read it. I am quite particular about looking up the pronunciation of characters and words though. I'm reading in Pleco and I wrote a script for it that adds the pinyin after all words that I have marked as unknown in there. As I go, I mark words known that I begin to know the pronunciation for and so the amount of pinyin in my reading diminishes all the time. I've also read somewhere that it is better for memory, and the ability to recall pieces of information quickly, to get instant feedback rather than staring a character and trying to pull out the pronunciation from some deep recess of your mind. I don't have the source for this either, but it makes sense and works for me at-least. So in general I'll use the popup dictionary to check a word the second it starts to bug me and I don't pay it any further attention until it starts to bug me again somewhere else. With Chinese, the ability to add the pinyin to only the unfamiliar words is extremely important for me and I guess I'll continue this way of reading until I encounter few enough unfamiliar characters to conveniently look them up with Pleco's handwriting recognition while reading a physical book. @Insectosaurus, did I understand you correctly that you have just entered your third year of Chinese study? Meaning that you've studied it a little over two years? That is insane progress! I have just begun my fourth year and last year at this time I hadn't opened a book yet other than some dull graded readers.
  27. amytheorangutan

    No regrets

    😂 not necessarily a bad thing if people think of this when they see your tattoo right? Brought me back to my childhood.
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