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Tamu

Independent Chinese study: review

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realmayo

I thought the point about "luck" was that: someone who doesn't have experience of learning other languages is unlikely to adopt the approach you adopted and be so comfortable with it. It wasn't that you were lucky but the putative "first-time language learner" would be if he came up with your learning method for himself. When progress felt slow, would he have the confidence that the method was better than classroom+textbook? Etc etc.

 

I'm sure it helps a lot, having experience learning another language; as you say you'd know how to learn, what's important and particularly what's important to you. Someone who can play the piano will learn the flute quicker than someone who can't play the piano.

 

To echo earlier comments, fascinating post and great to see how much progress can be made based around privately found tutors. I might have a spare summer coming up and will take into account your experience when making my plans.

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roddy

This is now the most popular post ever on here, based on the number of people opting to click the little green arrow. You can see what else has been popular over the years* here

 

*well, at least in the years since the reputation system got turned on. 

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Shelley

Ok icebear -  Is he telling us without telling us that he doesn't tell people they are being recorded because they change the way they talk if they know.? :):wall

 

Otherwise i couldn't see a direct yes or no answer to the question. :help

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Geiko

 

 

I'm already sitting there with the laptop open. So when I meet someone and start recording our conversation using the computer, it seems more natural than placing a digital recorder between us. The digital recorder is a constant reminder that it's being recorded, but people pretty quickly forget if it's just a computer with no visible sign that it's recording. 

 

I understood that he does tell them they're being recorded, but that they forget it sooner than if they saw a digital recorder on the table all the time (correct me if I'm wrong).

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Shelley

Ah I see, that makes sense. I think you are probably right. He doesn't actually say he tells them but he does say they would forget they were being recorded. ok I will go with that. :)

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laurenth

Tamu, thanks for your detailed and insightful answer.

 

I'd be quite interested in your experiences. What do you think about all this? What have you found?

 

Unfortunately, I wouldn't have anything useful to tell you, as far as learning Chinese is concerned. My own experience, 20 years ago, was that people definitely changed their speech when they were recorded, but the problem was exacerbated by the fact that I was recording people speaking an endangered/low prestige/socially stigmatized language. So I had peculiar experiences such as seeing people, whom I knew were native speakers using the language daily in definite social circles, suddenly stuttering, struggling to find their words and code switching when they knew they were recorded.  Quite different from the situation of Mandarin. As for Mandarin, I've never used live recordings because, to put it succinctly, speaking is not a priority for me, so I'm happy to use whatever podcast or radio recording I can put my hands on.

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andyfastow

Great post Tamu. I just started independently studying Chinese in Taipei so it's very interesting to hear your perspective.

 

How did you go about finding the private tutors that you used? I'm sure you are correct that the supply massively exceeds the demand but how did you go about making contact with potential tutors, especially people who don't usually do that type of work? Did you post a "tutoring wanted" type of ad somewhere?

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renzhe

Wow, that was the best post ever, mad respect both for your language progress and the way you presented it here.

OneEye took the words out of my mouth. This is exactly what I had hoped all these "three months" threads to be.

I've always suspected that a motivated, experienced learner with a good plan could achieve a lot in such a short time and it's wonderful to see it spelled out so clearly.

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Yadang

Wow really amazing post. So much useful information here - thank you.

 

I'm curious - when you learned the radicals - did you learn their Chinese names or their English names?

 

Also, I second what gato said; I'd be very grateful if you'd be willing to share your anki audio decks.

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wibr

@Tamu Could you provide more details on the sentence database you created from the tv-shows /movies? Which shows/movies did you choose and what was the process to obtain the subtitles?

Thanks for the great post, although I feel really lazy now :D

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Yadang

You mentioned that you entered all of the Chinese example sentences from your grammar book that you had into Anki, and then had someone in Taiwan record the audio for all of the sentences. I'm thinking about doing this too, but I have few questions:

 

Can you look at your anki deck and tell me how many sentences you entered?

Would you mind telling me how much it cost (an approximation is fine)? Did you charge per sentence or by time?

 

And most importantly, how did you tell the person who was speaking how to say the sentence? Did you have them say it in crystal-clear textbook-perfection pronunciation? Or the kind of pronunciation usually heard in speeches that has over-exaggerated tones for clarity? Or did you tell them to say it like they would to a native speaker in every day conversation? Or did you tell them specifically to be "sloppy" with their pronunciation, as people are (in English and Chinese) when speaking with friends rather fast about nothing really important....

 

So basically what did you tell them to do and how (for ex. did you give an example of a textbook recording and say "whatever you do, don't do this"?)?

 

Thanks again!

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tysond

@Tamu Could you provide more details on the sentence database you created from the tv-shows /movies? Which shows/movies did you choose and what was the process to obtain the subtitles?

 

 

 

I'm not Tamu, but I posted a description of how to get the subtitles and make cards from them here.

 

Also, since then I have also managed to get a very nice set of sentences from Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides (subtitles and audio matched up perfectly).  And I have a no-audio deck from The Dark Knight Rises (couldn't get the audio to match up, only could find translated subtitles, not transcripts of what they actually say in Chinese).  

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studychinese

I am f**king inspired by this! 

 

Going to start munching down on the piracetam again, study, and plan my next trip to China.

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roddy

Can you stick up a topic about the brain supplements in language learning. That would be interesting. 

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studychinese

Roddy, sure!

 

China is one of the few places that you can buy Piracetam over the counter, by the way. I will write a post about it as soon as I am able.

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robprobyn

Tamu - I am a few weeks into a few months in China doing independent language study and have found your posting incredibly useful; thank you.  As a number of other users have commented, it would also be very helpful if you were able to share the Anki decks that you have compiled.  Would this be possible?

 

Thanks

 

Rob

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Flickserve

This is now the most popular post ever on here, based on the number of people opting to click the little green arrow. You can see what else has been popular over the years* here

*well, at least in the years since the reputation system got turned on.

Revisiting this thread again.

Should turn it into a sticky if it is that good. (And it is)

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jugurtha656

Tamu just another ping the world would love to see these anki decks!

 

All the best 

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