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The 2010 Aims and Objectives Progress Thread


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Since roddy invited anyone to start this thread (http://www.chinese-f...5&postcount=118), and as there have been no takers thus far, I thought I'd jump in. I feel a bit like roddy asked for a volunteer, and everyone else took one step back :wink:

So to continue the threads started for 2009 and 2008, here is the Aims and Objectives thread for 2010.

Edit: Now see the 2011 and 2012 topics.

  • Learn hiragana and about 25-100 food words in Japanese. We're probably heading to Japan this spring, and I remember from our previous (and only) trip to Japan that pretty much all the food words were in hiragana, not kanji, so I pretty much couldn't read any menu. It was pretty frustrating. So I expect my Chinese progress to be on hold for the first quarter of the year. [i know this has nothing to do with Chinese, but note that the title of this thread is "The 2010 Aims and Objectives Progress Thread", not "The 2010 Aims and Objectives [b]Chinese[/b] Progress Thread".]
  • Vocabulary: Learn another 1000 words. Finish going through HSK B word list. About 500 done, 950 to go, but since I seem to know about 60% of then already that's about new 600 words. The remaining 400 are coming from Slow Chinese lessons. With SRS I see each word on average (I estimate) about 20 times before it is "known". So 1000 words, 365 days, that's about 3 words per day, so each day I need to go through a word list of about 60 words. I'll make it 100 to account for days I don't study.
  • Reading: Probably not much. Read the Slow Chinese transcript. Maybe scan some random web sites. I know this is a mistake, trying to learn vocab without putting it into practice (i.e. by reading) is not a smart move. Oh well.
  • Listening: Listen to most Slow Chinese lessons. I've gotten tired of ChinesePod. Not sure why, I think they are as good as ever, if not better. Maybe just need a change?
  • Speaking: I realized recently that due to disuse, I no longer feel comfortable speaking Chinese. So I'm going to try to address this by reading out loud more. I think I'm going to start with something simple (e.g. Chinese Breeze), where I can focus on the reading and not on trying to understand the meaning. I don't expect this to improve my accent, all I want is to regain the feeling of speaking Chinese naturally. We'll see how this goes. I'm also kicking around the idea of hiring a tutor to practice with, but that would involve money, and hence a level of commitment I need to consider first.
  • Writing: Probably nothing this year
  • Culture: Read Journey to the West. In English. Mostly. The version I have has the Chinese on the left page, a translation on the right page. Reading the Chinese I get very depressed, even when I know all the characters the sentence structure is much more complex than I can parse.

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Thanks for taking the initiative and starting this thread.

  • Speaking: I want to my pronunciation to be near-native. It's close but have a few problems that throws me off. I bought a book on Chinese phonetics to solve this problem. Work on my tones.
  • Listening: Listen to more advanced topics such as news, interviews, etc. I want to be able to understand 85% of the news by year end, I'm at about 50% now.
  • Networking: Want to network with a bunch of Chinese businessmen at the Expo, hopefully make some contacts for when I graduate
  • Writing: Learn how to write how to write 2000 characters by hand. I'm at about 650 now after two months of studying.
  • Reading: Bring my reading level up to my speaking level. I want to read at least a little bit every day.
  • Cursive Chinese: Learn to read cursive Chinese and be able to write basic sentences in cursive.
  • Vocabulary: Add at least 5 words to Anki per day and learn how to properly use them.

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  • Lifestyle:
    • Eliminate as much English as possible. I've decided that the only times English will be spoken is when necessary. So, when out with western friends who only speak English for instance.
      As part of the eliminating English goal I'll only be speaking to my wife in Chinese.
      The other part of the eliminating English goal is re-creating my corrupt flashcard database. All the cards now have Chinese prompts and answers (with pinyin on the back).
    • I need to try and make more small talk with the people around town. I'm so incredibly horrible at this.
    • Study daily, and more importantly, work on each of the objectives below a little bit each day.

    [*]Language and Study:

    • Speaking and Pronunciation
      • 100% of what I say to my wife will be in Chinese, except, as said above, when we're having a conversation with our English speaking friends. This alone will be enough speaking practice.
      • Once a week record myself speaking naturally to find tone and pronunciation mistakes, then correct them.
      • Concentrate on tones more while speaking to make sure their right, even if I have to slow down a little bit. I want to avoid forming bad habits.


      • I'd like to find a plentiful resource of intermediate listening materials. Until I do (and I have a feeling I won't) I'll be pausing and repeating shows on tudou.
      • Turn on Chinese tv on while eating lunch, and don't daydream.


      • I'd also like to find a plentiful resource of intermediate reading materials as well. I think I'll have to spend more money on books for primary school students to accomplish this.


      • I'll be writing a very small article (like a paragraph) daily and having my wife look it over. The idea being to try and use newly studied grammar and vocabulary daily.


      • I know a lot of people don't like word lists, but I'm going that route (I'll see the how the words are used in context when I use them incorrectly and get feedback). I'm mainly going to learn stative verbs/adverbs, and verbs; with a few words from other parts of speech tossed on here and there. The theory being that if you can describe a concept well than you'll always be able to make yourself understood.


      • I don't do my language drills enough. I wouldn't mind taking 15 or 20 minutes and doing them once a day.

Edited by Hero Doug
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As far as Chinese is concerned:

-> To get better at pronouciation;

-> Be able to write loads of new characters, know loads of new vocabulary;

-> Use Anki a lot more (I have it, but don't use it, any advices would be awesome);

-> Listen to a lot more chinese music;

-> Surround myself in a Chinese/Japanese environment;

-> See Chinese TV (already do it, just to listen to the sounds);

-> Finish "Integrated Chinese 1.1 & 1.2. (what's weird is that both books say they're part 1/1);

-> Play videogames in Chinese;

-> Be one of the 2 best students of my class and get a scholarship to go to China in Summer to a Chinese course.

Now, as far as Japanese is concerned

-> Get to know more vocabulary;

-> Get to speak faster;

-> Finish Genki 1 and Genki 2;

-> Start "An integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese";

-> Use Anki more;

-> Starting to read and watch the news;

-> Listen to new music, I've been listening to the same for over a year, I'm tired of it.

-> Play videogames in Japanese.

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Chrix, something becomes a habit after 28 days of continually doing it. I've been using the Seinfeld calendar to make sure I live up to my daily goals, and I don't even want to sleep without finishing them. Too bad I couldn't just not smoke for 28 days and never want one again....

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I kinda use it, but just to review Kanji from RTK, everyday, few times a day so that Kanji don't accumulate. I don't use it for vocabulary, sentences, geography because I don't know where to get decks (other than the ones we can donload from there) and because it's really boring to review RTK's kanji so I don't I kinda get afraid of filling it with other stuff, I'm afraid of the boredom, mostly.

Any good decks out there? For vocabulary, geography, history (all related to china/Japan).

As soon as I get a smartphone - android - (I'm waiting for it to come out) I'll install Anki and will start using it more.

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Double my Chinese reading speed from the current 250-300cpm to 500-600 cpm.

Possibly finally take the HSK if they hold it in Melbourne late enough in the year, and it's still the old version.

Plus I'll second the use of the Seinfeld calendar, also known as dontbreakthechain (first recommended to me by self-taught-mba, and which is so useful I decided to make my own app to track it).

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Thank you jbradfor. Now you'll be famous all year! :D

Consolidate and

1. Finish New Concept Chinese for Children (finish 2nd grade)

They said it would be 16 volumes, then 24, but after keeping a regular schedule volume 14 is now about four months late.

(1500 chars required, 2000+ total = approx end of 2nd grade.)

I've reached the good part- stories with increasing dialogue and maturity.

2. Master, to automaticity, all of ChinesePod Newbie

(326 lessons, 900+ words)

I mean really "speak" this. Move up if and only if I can really truly do that.

3. Gradually reintroduce writing flashcards/notepads/Skritter

Participating in the 2009 thread was memorable and very helpful. To me, it was like having a teacher to "answer to", or to "show off" for, oddly consistent with my committment to children's textbooks.

Thank you to the management and to everyone else here.

Edited by querido
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I think I might take the BCT (商务汉语考试)exam this year. I've heard that it's harder than the HSK Advanced in terms of needing to retain more information and details during listening and there's a lot more business jargon, but I suppose I'll have to work on memorising those really specific vocabulary. However, in terms of language, it's much easier since there are no fancy descriptive phrases, idioms, poetry or anything complicated that you would find in the HSK Advanced. It's supposed to be very straightforward, concise and businesslike. I have to improve my speaking skills in terms of being able to talk continuously for a couple minutes without major stuttering.

Has anyone taken this exam yet? If so, what's it like? :wink:

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Happy Festivus! (How would you say Festivus in Chinese anyway?)

General Study:

I’ll be starting with NPCR4 at the first of the year if it comes in the mail by then. I hope to do one chapter a week so I should be finishing up by the end of March. I don’t think I will work on NPCR5 after that, because I have heard it focuses a lot on literary Chinese which isn’t really an interest of mine. Then I will spend the next 6 months or whatever going back and reviewing NPCR3 and 4.

I’ll be taking a class again this semester at one of the local weekend Chinese schools. The class is using China Panorama Approaching Chinese 3. I imagine we will go through the book very slowly. I’m thinking of buying the China Panorama Intermediate series too mostly because I found somewhere to buy them for a really nice price.

Listening Skills:

I really want to make this a high priority. I think if I can understand people talking on TV, etc. it will help with many other skills as well. I plan to do this by starting with materials for kids, (along with of course the CD’s that come with the NPCR books) and working my way up to more complex things.

1) Thomas the Train. I ordered the first season DVD/VCDs from studychineseculture.com . The audio for the show is slow and I believe has subtitles. I hope to go through them one at a time, slowly, and be able to understand them well by the first part of February.

2) Mulan. Since I have the subtitles now (thanks atitarev!), I plan to go through this movie slowly until I can listen and understand it well, hopefully by the end of Feb.

3) Spongebob. I also ordered the first season DVD/VCDs from studychineseculture.com. I think it also has subtitles. Spongebob is cute and entertaining, so hopefully it I will enjoy it. I hope to be able to go through these by the end of April.

After those I’ll have to see where I am. I’d like to work on trying to understand the movie CJ7 and the Chinese version VCD I have of the opening ceremonies. The opening ceremonies don’t have subtitles, but its CCTV and they talk pretty clearly. If possible after all of this I might try tackling Home with Kids. There are textbooks to go with it too, I don’t know if they will worth getting or not. From there I can try to watch other Chinese TV shows and movies. Would love to be able to understand 武林外传 someday, from what I’ve seen of it, it looks really funny.

Reading Skills:

I’ve got some children’s books from China Sprout and plan to order some more from there and China books. They are kids books, but already I can see they are helping. They have vocabulary that is not covered in the NPCR books and with the books that were originally published in English, I can borrow the English version from the library to help with my translations.

I also ordered some Chinese Breeze readers and a Tom and Jerry Comic book too. When I finish those (hopefully sometime in the spring or early summer) I want to try to tackle the Harry Potter books in Chinese. If I can finish all 7 of those (I have no idea how long that would take) I would be pretty satisfied with my reading ability, even if those are kids books. Although it would be cool to someday be able to read at least a comic book version of a classic like 红楼梦.


I should get some opportunities to practice speaking in the class I’ll be taking. I’ll also practice by myself with the NPCR texts. If I can afford it I would love to get a tutor for the summer.


I don’t have any plans to work on writing characters by hand/memory this year, but it is something I’d like to work on someday. I think practicing writing things I might want to say out loud might be useful if I can have people check it over for me.


I hope to build up my vocabulary with the NPCR books, the other reading I’ll be doing, etc. I also have specific words based on different topics I’m interested in that I might work with some Chinese friends on.


I have that Modern Mandarin Chinese grammar and workbook by Claudia Ross. Somehow in between everything else I hope to work through a lot of that.


大山’s Travel in Chinese Part 1 is being sent to me, I hope to have time to watch and work through that. I have all the episodes of the Australian made ‘Dragon’s Tongue’ taped. I’ve watched bits and pieces of it, I’d like to go through the whole series. Anyone else here ever watch that? It’s a bit dated, but still useful I think.

In another thread people talked about the books ‘Conversational Chinese 301’. I think those might be worth exploring too. In the fall I might buy the PEP Yuwen series when they become available again.

Yes, that’s a lot, but I have quite a bit of time to study.

Specifically by the end of January I hope to have finished around 4 chapters of NPCR4, have read some children’s books, and have watched around half of the Thomas the Train episodes and be able to introduce and talk a little bit about myself well enough that I don’t have to keep pausing to stop and think about what I’m trying to say.

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As soon as I get a smartphone - android - (I'm waiting for it to come out) I'll install Anki and will start using it more.
I found that putting flashcard software on my phone helped a lot. It's no longer a matter of making time at home to do it, it can be done anywhere, anytime you have a few moments free.
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My goal will continue to improve my knowledge of chengyu and other similar phrases. Mainly from just reading books, but maybe I will use a teaching book.

I will work on my cursive handwriting, it's kind of ugly. Although my handwriting is ugly in every languages, characters just make me think they should be pretty.

I am mostly will be working on Korean this year. I don't have specific numbers for how much I want to learn. I will just maintain to my daily schedule, which generally ends in me adding 50-100 new words/phrases/sentences to my anki deck by the end of the day. Sometimes less, sometimes more. I will continue to listen to daily wordshowers, and my daily speaking exercises.

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My main target point for 2010 is the return to China in September for my father in law's 66th birthday. I want to be able to speak over common topics at a reasonable pace and to understand what is said back to me rather than just bits of it.

1. In the next few months I hope to complete Yong Ho's Intermediate Chinese.

2. I would like to go through all the Chinese POD elementary lessons and move on to Lower Intermediate

3. Like Hero Doug I have asked my wife to start speaking in Chinese all the time which is something she suggested months ago. Now I have a greater vocabulary I feel this is possible.

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