Jump to content
  • Sign Up

How to squeeze the most out of chinese TV shows??


Recommended Posts

Recently, I've been fiddling around with this method where while watching a chinese TV show (usually online), I tend to pause whenever unfamiliar/new words appear and then i write/type them out somewhere. I would then review the new words/phrases later.

2 problems here. First, it's extremely time consuming and in some ways removes the fun out of watching the show but I do end up with increased knowledge of the language. Second, for every episode I watch I pick up disturbing numbers of new words like say 20-30 words/grammatical suffixes/colloquailisms/chengyus

Anyone here attempted something similar? In any case I see flaws in this method and seek advice on a more efficient way to build up both vocab / reading and listening abilities.

With this methog, my listening does improve somewhat but not at a rate which is commensurate with the input amount. And my ears still can't 'listen' to more complex sentences (accents aside) though I have no problem reading it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started this way but, like you, soon found it too tedious.

What worked for me was finding easier shows (everything is difficult in the beginning, but some things are flat-out impossible) and concentrating on the listening. I still pause a lot, but only to catch up with fast dialogue, check the subtitles if my reading is too slow, or to look up a word which seems important and which I need to understand what's going on (I don't write it down).

I'm memorising the entire HSK vocabulary in parallel, which means that I run into words I'm familiar with regularly, as my vocabulary increases. As my listening comprehension, fast reading skills and vocabulary increase, I move on to more difficult shows.

If you're not doing vocabulary flashcards, then you'll have to write down some common words, and supplement watching shows with lots of reading (where you look up and write down the new vocab). I'd say that, as long as you're getting the gist of what's going on and can catch more than half of the words, you'll probably benefit from watching them in near-realtime.

There are a number of lower-intermediate level shows (using our unscientific and totally arbitrary rating scheme, you could pick one and try that. Here is the rought grading: clickme.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose everyone learns differently but I find it easier to pick up new words from reading books. Like currently, I'm reading/translating Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer from Chinese to English. I have the original English copy at hand of course. Listening and watching news is more of a passive activity to reinforce my learning and get used to listening to the language.

How do you listen to news casts? Over and over until you get the basic gist of it? Or do you listen to one, pick out what you need and move on the next one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't do news casts yet. Honestly I think the best way to improve listening is to meet real people and just talk, talk, and talk. Somehow real life talk is better for training the ears than tv shows since these tend to be scripted and more formal. A much bigger vocab base is needed to understand most tv shows like advanced/native speakers.

I use tv shows as a means to improve my vocab and character recognition. And by tv shows i mean mostly tv serials, entertainment game shows, concerts rather than news and documentaries.

I've yet to actually properly work on my listening skills and now I'm contemplating that since I might have built up a sufficient but still very basic vocab to help my ears listen through.

Indeed to each his/her own. I too believe in picking up the easier stuff before advancing to the harder stuff. Using items like the HSK list as supplementary tools is helpful 'cause it gives me some structure to my learning of chinese. Otherwise it would be very inefficient as it already is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another good thing to do is find a conversation or segment that goes for a few minutes and that you thought was particularly interesting, or contained particularly useful phrases. Then repeatedly go over it until you can say it at (or close to) the same speed and rythym as the original.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...