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The 2014 Aims and Objectives Progress Thread

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It's going to be tough for me to set many specific goals for the year because I don't know if I'll still be in Taiwan this August, or if I'll be in Japan or even China. I have a few things I'm working toward at the moment though, and beyond that I'll just have to stick with monthly updates.


1) Grad school. I'm in my first semester of an MA program at NTNU, focusing on Chinese linguistics and philology. This semester I've taken two classes that focus almost entirely on the 說文解字, so I'm getting pretty good at reading 小篆 and 秦系文字. One of the classes is a year-long class, so I'll be taking part two next semester. I want to also get more familiar with 楚系文字, but it will depend on what my other classes are and their workload. I also want to spend some time learning more about historical phonology, especially Old Chinese, but that may have to wait until later if they don't offer a class next term. More stuff too...history, philosophy, archaeology, what have you. All in due time.


2) Japanese. Whether I quit the MA program and move to Japan or not, I'll still have to learn Japanese eventually (it's a requirement for PhDs in my field in the US). I also really like learning it. Anyway, I'm working through a few different textbooks here and there, and I would eventually like to finish them and move on to more advanced stuff. This isn't a super high priority (grad school survival comes first), but it's important to me so I'll be devoting as much time as I can to it.


3) Programming. I've just started this a couple weeks ago. I figure some programming ability will come in handy for research, so I'm learning some command line basics first, then I'll probably start learning Python and regular expressions. This is a side project, as I don't have an immediate need for it. Just something to learn in hopes that it will come in handy later.


I think I'm going to leave it at that. Obviously, grad school takes up the majority of my time. I get in an hour of Japanese per day at most, not counting flash cards on the bus, and maybe 20 minutes or so of programming in the evening (next thing on my schedule tonight). If it turns out that I'm moving to Japan, my goals will change accordingly. Same deal if I move to China. It all depends on my wife's job, because I'm fine with either of those places, or here. Though I secretly hope we get to move to Japan. But for now, I'm going to continue on like we're staying here, because that's just as likely as the other options.

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and regular expressions

If this is your goal, I would highly recommend reading Mastering Regular Expressions.  Yes there are plenty of other free resources available on the web that can help you learn, but this book will give you a much more thorough understanding of them.


Regardless of how your programming skills progress, regular expressions are immensely useful things, and many text editors support commands involving them.

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I've been studying for three years already. Quite pathetic progress I've made so far. I realize I could have been much more fluent by now, now that I look back at it.

This is the first year that I'm setting goals for any year.. This should be somewhat motivational, I assume.


- Pass HSK 3. (February - March)

- Finish New Practical Chinese Reader II.

- Get to a level that is somewhat like HSK 4. (Be able to finish mock tests, if necessary in more tries than actually allowed)

- Read at least 5 books by the end of this year. (Suggestions are always welcome, of course! )


Everyday goals:

- Study at least 30 minutes every day.

- I get one day off every week if necessary. This can be any day of the week, as long as its never more than once every seven days. If I skip more than one day, then I'll have to catch up those 30 minutes on the next day.

- Write a text no less than 500 words every two weeks, and ask one of my Chinese friends to correct it.

- Report back here every once in awhile to log my progress.


Another thing: Just like every year, the new year starts right before my exams. During exam periods (two months total per year) I don't have to write the text, and I'm also less strict on the 30-minutes-every-day, although it's preferred to do it nevertheless. 


I guess I'll also make a spreadsheet of the amount of time I've studied every day. Could be nice to turn the data into graphs afterwards, because I like graphs, for some reason...

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Mid-term objective: conversationally competent in most informal situations; comfortable both consuming and producing Chinese relevant to my area of work.

Structured Learning
Goal: 1.5 hours of tutoring twice per week after work

Goal: continue pushing thorough at a rate of one lesson every few weeks - no rush.

Audiovisual Media
Goal: three episodes of a Chinese TV series per week

Goal: at least thirty minutes per day of fiction/nonfiction unrelated to a textbook or work

Goal: translate work presentations and exec summaries into Chinese to be checked in tutor sessions
Goal: post at least once per week to lang-8.com

Goal: 5 new characters added per day to Skritter
Goal: add 70 words per week to Pleco, selected by frequency from work texts
Goal: clear each flashcard queue once per day

Goal: increase Chinese use with colleagues - from current social topics and some work to cover all topics


Note: the above goals are closely related with my regular study routines, which I think are much more important than long term goals.

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I will be working on the same things as last year... probably mostly on passive skills (HSK5 vocabulary recognition in reading and listening) and only occasionally on active skills. I feel that my Chinese fever has abated from near obsession to hobby #1 and that's fine...



Don't get stressed out. Have fun if possible, else relax/rest.

Keep learning Chinese.

Keep other languages active.

Report in here once a month.

Report in other forum at least once a month about non-language-related habits.


I might set monthly themes or easy goals such as Watch CCTV New Year Program if I can be bothered to.

By the way, what day is that? the New Year is supposed to be on 31th Jan, is the program on 30th Jan?

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Meng Lelan

I might set monthly themes or easy goals such as Watch CCTV New Year Program if I can be bothered to.

By the way, what day is that? the New Year is supposed to be on 31th Jan, is the program on 30th Jan?


roddy so massively enjoys the CCTV New Year Program and he would be the source to know. 

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