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kongli

1,500 words in 30 days

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murrayjames

kongli et al.,

I can't commit to your studying schedule but want to applaud what you're doing. Keep uploading those word lists---I went through them yesterday and was encouraged :-) I add sentences (not individual words) to Mnemosyne every day. My rate is about 15 sentences per day, culled from 谷歌新闻,various books or articles, 喜羊羊, the Bible, and things my wife and mother-in-law say.

Keep up the great work!

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murrayjames

Since everyone's uploading lists...

Here are the twenty words/phrases I uploaded in Mnemosyne today. I didn't use a standard format since the cards are really for me. This means leaving out some pinyin or definitions, using definitions in Chinese where I can, and making several cards with the same material (using accents `` to highlight the vocab I want in red).

My text was the first few paragraphs of this Xinhua article on the upcoming Canadian federal election. Specifically the section posted below. I'll keep working through the article as time allows...

加拿大总理斯蒂芬·哈珀26日抨击反对派试图借助结盟“非法”夺取权力,呼吁选民支持他领导的保守党。

主要反对党自由党驳斥这一指责,承诺不会与其他政党结盟。一些分析师说,经济将成为竞选活动中心话题。

“不合法”

按照惯例,哈珀当天上午拜会总督戴维·约翰斯顿。他随后宣布,总督批准立即解散议会,5月2日举行议会选举。

哈珀指责自由党、新民主党和魁北克集团“制造”了一次毫无必要的选举,不利于经济复苏。

这三个政党25日以政府“蔑视”议会为由,联手通过对哈珀政府的不信任动议,导致后者下台。

http://news.xinhuanet.com/world/2011-03/28/c_121239400.htm

canada election.txt

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kongli

Uploaded are words pulled from 文史参考 and a boring learning chinese textbook, bet you CAN guess which is which.

Anyway, Kdavid, aristotle, etc. where you all at?

lets get some more words up and keep the momentum going. Kdavid, I really enjoyed the part of 高华 book that you put up. care to share more?

Hopefully next time I will draw from an article I can post up in electronic format.

Also, Kdavid, do you know of a way to post words so that they can be directly imported into zdt? Or do we have to do it manually?

word list 2.docx

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LyYenKhang

I tried the 50 words a day thing, and it isn't working out. I just don't have enough time to actually completely learn 50 characters a day (merely writing them down is not so much a problem, but memorizing all the strokes and recognizing them is).

I don't really have access to a word list or anything. My current method is to hand copy characters out of my Thieu Chuu dictionary.

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kongli

Well, I am not memorizing how to write them. Though I must say that this challenge, hard as it is, would be exceedingly harder if I were memorizing 50 new characters per day. But I am not. I am only memorizing new words, a majority of which I already know the characters for.

Oh yea, forgot to mention I am a full time student.

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daofeishi

This tortoise here is wishing all of you hares good luck.

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aristotle1990

I thought I had made it clear that I wasn't going to be memorizing with you guys -- a year ago I added 50 cards per day for around 200 days, and even now I still have around 100 reviews to do each day without adding any new cards. This is on top of schoolwork, etc. Wish you luck, though!

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eya323

Kongli, etc.--

I'm on it--just haven't had the time to export my lists from Pleco (on my iPad) to my Macbook. I'll post the lists and articles I've been studying this week either this evening or tomorrow.

加油!

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murrayjames

@yersi... Maybe no one's posted because they're so busy studying :P

I've kept up my admittedly modest goal of 10-15 items a day. Not sure if that makes me a tortoise or what.

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renzhe

I wouldn't be that negative. Cramming like this often doesn't work, because it's not a shortcut, but the same amount of work, just compressed in a much shorter timeframe. It is really intense and hard to keep up.

What I've found is that you can learn lots of stuff very fast, but the learning speed levels off after a while. I learned my first 1000 characters in a way very similar to what this thread proposes, in one month. The first 2,200 took about a year, the first 3,500 about 2 years, and it's been almost flat since then. There are two tasks -- initial memorisation, and committing to long-term memory. The first one will take as long as you choose. The latter one will take more than a year for most things, however much you cram -- that's how the brain works. Whether you memorise first, then review/consolidate for a year, or do tiny bits of memorisation spread over the year as the older stuff settles in, that's just a personal preference in my opinion.

The big mistake some people make is to ignore the effort needed to refresh the old knowledge and keep reviewing it for a year or so until it is really burned into your long-term memory. Like someone (kdavid?) said, learning 1000 words in a week is easy, keeping them in your brain is the hard part. Cramming will make the reviewing load much harder too.

I am of the opinion that cramming + heavy reading and SRS in the months following the cramming can be a good way to learn things, but it is not easy and can't be sustained indefinitely. But for getting the very basic vocabulary (first 1000-2000 vocabulary items), I'm a fan. After that, you will have enough time to review, read, and keep yourself busy.

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renzhe
In general, it's very counter-productive to quantify study like this. Learning a language is not like playing World of Warcraft, you don't level up when you've done X amount of vocabulary items. In studying, you should not aim for volume, but for comprehension, as comprehension is the ultimate measure of success. This is why slow, sustained effort will always win out over binge grinds like these.

In a long effort such as learning a language, I like clear, measurable goals. They can keep you motivated, give you short-term tasks, and help you structure your study plan. they can help you evaluate your study, and see if you're improving or regressing.

While learning X words is not a goal unto itself (that would be quite a pointless goal), it is easier to quantify than your comprehension level.

Things that I have used as intermediate goals while learning Chinese:

- learn X characters

- learn X words

- finish a lesson / textbook

- finish a TV show

- finish a book

- read X articles

These are all things that are very easy to quantify. They are not goals unto themselves.

I have also made the experience that volume is the key to comprehension. Listening volume, reading volume, reviewing volume. All of my problems with Chinese in the last 10 years were caused by the lack of volume. Measurable goals, consistent everyday study, and volume were the things which made the difference for me. The comprehension was a byproduct of achieving smaller targets.

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renzhe
So instead of telling yourself "today I will read 10 pages of the Deer and the Cauldron", you'll ideally tell yourself "today I will spend three hours reading the Deer and the Cauldron and make sure that I understand everything."

I think that both are legitimate goals which will develop different skills. Notice that both of these goals are measurable and quantifiable.

You don't have to achieve every goal you set, failing to read 10 pages because it's more difficult than you expected is OK, you adjust the goals and move on. Saying "I'll spend 3 hours reading Ba Jin today" is also a measurable goal, one which I have used often. Another goal I had for a while (which you might not like) was to aim for reading 20 pages in one hour, for several hours. It did impact the understanding of what I was reading at the time, but it helped to improve my reading speed considerably. It also taught me to skim an unknown text and get the most important information quickly. Without the arbitrary number setting the pace, I would always go back to the slow reading speed after a short while.

With TV shows, I had different goals. With some of them, I aimed for 100% understanding, and did the required research every time I didn't understand something. With others, I aimed for pure listening, skipping parts I did not understand. You get roughly 5x more listening exposure this way. You don't learn new vocabulary, but you do reinforce the older ones in a much more realistic scenario. Both are useful in their own way.

I have become a sworn enemy of the "learn and understand 100% before moving on" school of language learning. I am a disciple of "learn lots from all contexts, and periodically go back to those things which did not stick" :)

I have also learned this the hard way.

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jbradfor

renzhe and yersi, I think you two are violently agreeing with each other: skimming is useful for reinforcing what you already know, but to really understand every detail (e.g. what is needed for a translation) requires a different approach.

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renzhe
Argument from authority, et.c., yeah I know and really don't care, at least it's better than spending countless posts debunking strawmen and basic misunderstandings, which I always feel like I end up doing when discussing with you, renzhe. Maybe your English comprehension needs some work

I don't think it's misunderstandings, as much as you taking things personally, whereas I'm simply enjoying a discussion, looking to learn something from it. You seem to take every discussion, however respectful, as a personal attack.

I've never implied that you needed to justify your studying method, or that you were wrong, just offering a different perspective, based on different experience.

Maybe your English comprehension needs some work

Maybe, but I imagine that my employers would have alerted me by now, because it's a major part of what I do.

Congrats on your novel, in any case. I don't think that I'll ever professionally translate from Chinese, and it's an impressive feat.

renzhe and yersi, I think you two are violently agreeing with each other: skimming is useful for reinforcing what you already know, but to really understand every detail (e.g. what is needed for a translation) requires a different approach.

I thought that we were agreeing on important things, but I guess not. Don't think this will go anywhere anymore, so I guess it's best to leave it there.

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