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victorhart

Learning Mandarin by watching videos

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roddy

"But I am honestly trying to contribute positively to the two forums "

And you're welcome to continue - in fact next time, let us design the experiment...

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victorhart

 

 

in fact next time, let us design the experiment

 

Perhaps you can help design and/or execute the assessment at the end of the experiment.

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AlexBlackman

I suspect you might not be using the most efficient or effective method to learn Mandarin, but I respect you for trying something different.

 

Even in the worse case scenario, we'll gain new insights.

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victorhart

Hi everyone. Here's an update on my experiment.

 

I started my Law classes again this semester, so with work, travel, business, farm, and family, my time for forum participation has been meager, unfortunately.

 

Nonetheless, I have kept up my Mandarin viewing and reached 360 hours, or 30% of my experiment. Progress continues to be modest, but steady. I conducted my self-test again and recorded about 15% comprehension of words in a Singaporean soap opera (Two Cities), including all repeats. This compares to 8% comprehension at 240 hours. The improvement, assuming it was not a fluke or due to poor test design, does not so much reflect a larger vocabulary as it does an increased ability to hear (pick out) very common words that I learned early on.

 

Here's my little graph of time vs. comprehension. 

 

timexcomprehension_30.jpg

 

I continue to spend the vast majority of my time watching Chinese movies (usually with English subtitles), followed by Qiao Hu and Boonie Bears. I'm aiming to limit the use of subtitles to 50% of viewing, which I will steadily reduce in later stages of my experiment. I have also incorporated a little children's music from the videos (e.g. Mulan and Boonie Bears intro song), but also an album of children's music I downloaded (Little Dragon Tales). This alters my experimental methodology somewhat, but I needed to use time behind the wheel to help round out my hours and make better use of time. In any case, music probably accounts for only 10% of my total listening time.

 

My projections regarding my hypotheses are not different from my previous post. 

 

I'm enjoying my experiment as much as always and write about it regularly on my blog. 

 

My daughter's participation is quite sporadic. She has put in 118 hours, or 1/3 of my time, and most of that was during the first 6 months. 

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trasder

Hi Victor,

 

I hope you are still following this thread. I am just a lurker, but when reading your posts a question came to my mind:

When watching e.g. a soap opera, do you watch an episode multiple times or only once? I am asking because I know that children like watching the same scene or episode over and over again. Very boring for adults...

 

My daughter (same age as your daughter) learned English in that way (basic level, but still). She insisted on watching her favorite show in English on youtube when it was not available anymore in her mother tongue on TV. Children are amazingly good in language learning. The only thing they need is interesting input. Since you are an adult, I am very curious about the final outcome of your experiment.

 

Btw, have you ever tested your production capabilities (i.e. mother tongue->Chinese)?

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roddy

Victor, how's it going? Any chance of an update?

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eddyf

Judging from the lack of updates to his blog, it seems his resolve has faltered. You can hardly blame him, since dedicating 1,200 hours of your own life to such an inefficient learning method all for the sake of science is such a crazy thing to do. You can accomplish so much with 1,200 hours of your life. If I'm going to spend 1,200 hours on Chinese then I want something more to show for it at the end than beginner-level listening comprehension.

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Flickserve

The blog has been updated.

 

I remember my early experiences in an immersive environment with Cantonese i.e. moving to Hong Kong for work and everybody around me speaking Cantonese. Even after work, I returned to a town where i was staying and people spoke Cantonese. After three months, I had picked up very little Cantonese Chinese. Certainly, I could not speak and could not comprehend.

 

IMO, everybody is different. Some people can pick up comprehension by listening. For me, it is rather difficult.

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Angelina

IMO, everybody is different. Some people can pick up comprehension by listening. For me, it is rather difficult.

 

 

The key is to find some meaning in what you are listening. Do you know that 喜歡你 rhymes with 輕撫你 in Cantonese? 

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Flickserve

The key is to find some meaning in what you are listening. Do you know that 喜歡你 rhymes with 輕撫你 in Cantonese?

My difficulty is that I have very little association with the meaning. Not just for Chinese but other languages I have learnt in the past. However, I have strengths in other areas.

I don't know how to pronounce 輕撫你 in Cantonese. :)

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Flickserve

The key is to find some meaning in what you are listening. Do you know that 喜歡你 rhymes with 輕撫你 in Cantonese?

My difficulty is that I have very little association with the meaning. Not just for Chinese but other languages I have learnt in the past. However, I have strengths in other areas.

I don't know how to pronounce 輕撫你 in Cantonese. :)

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Demonic_Duck

No it doesn't... Rhyme scheme of 喜欢你/轻抚你 in Canto is ABC/DEC (and the two Cs are only cuz it's the same word...) Assume you mean it alliterates, which is true.

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Angelina

No it doesn't... Rhyme scheme of 喜欢你/轻抚你 in Canto is ABC/DEC (and the two Cs are only cuz it's the same word...) Assume you mean it alliterates, which is true.

 

 

Then you add the tones: 215/125.

 

My point was that this video can help you learn 喜欢你/轻抚你 in Cantonese. "Rhymes" is the best way to explain it in English, just like "foreign accent". Technically speaking, you can't have a "foreign accent" when you speak Cantonese, but this is sometimes used for the sake of simplicity. 

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Flickserve

Then you add the tones: 215/125.

My point was that this video can help you learn 喜欢你/轻抚你 in Cantonese. "Rhymes" is the best way to explain it in English, just like "foreign accent". Technically speaking, you can't have a "foreign accent" when you speak Cantonese, but this is sometimes used for the sake of simplicity.

I didn't realise you linked a video. It sounds a bit similar because of the music and rhyme but sorry to disappoint you, they are not similar. BTW, despite what is written on the internet about using songs to help you learn a language, my view is the usefulness is overrated.

To shamelessly adapt a quote the great Imron, if you want to learn singing, then sing a song. If you to learn to speak, then speak and don't sing a song.

If you want to write a paper, then you need to learn how to write a paper....etc...

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Angelina

I didn't realise you linked a video. It sounds a bit similar because of the music

 

 

The song makes them sound similar, that's the point of using videos to learn a language  :)

 

The catch is that you need to be interested in the videos you watch. Me, I really like Beyond. You don't have to watch videos of Beyond to learn Cantonese, but if you are interested in that, you can try. Yes, I agree, if you want to learn how to speak, then speak. Watching videos you enjoy watching anyway, can only help you speak better (it will be easier for you to express yourself) Cantonese. Same goes for Mandarin. 

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JustinJJ

Just stumbled across this thread. Are you still using your methods for learning Chinese? I'm curious to find out how you are going with it. It seems like it would be a painfully slow process if you are comprehending c.15% of the material and you would likely lose a lot of focus. Perhaps it's better to learn using more conventional methods first and then watch movies once you can understand enough of the content?

 

In my view this sort of method won't be efficient enough to learn Chinese because if you jump into movies without any foundation you will always be using material above your level. This is 'harder' than the content we are exposed to when we learn our native language - we start by hearing very basic speech spoken in a slow manner from parents and then gradually build our way up to native educated level over the years e.g. a toddler knows some basic English but won't understand adult movies because they are above their level. By skipping straight to movies to learn Chinese I think the content would mainly be noise, as you are entering at the level of an infant - probably best to stick to your level and build up to movies later?

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chinesemadrush

Also interested to know more. I am currently trying to watch news (with mandarin subtitles) to pick up words. But the problem is that I can't seem to learn much through these as hearing the word and seeing how it is written doesn't mean I understand the word.

 

Taken to the extreme, for example I started watching Japanese vids. No matter how many times you repeat a particular word to me, I wouldn't get it cause I do not understand the meaning.

 

Perhaps, someone can recommend videos where there are both mandarin and english subtitles?

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Luxi

Several shows in the Chinese language CCTV 4 (the International channel in Chinese) have bilingual subtitles. Not the news, but some documentaries, travel, current affairs, programs about foreigners living in China, and others.

 

The link above is for the Asia live stream, but CTV4 also broadcasts live to Europe and the Americas, there are some differences in the program between the 3. There are also 'catch up' sites for many of the programs, search by their Chinese name.

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lips

Technically speaking, you can't have a "foreign accent" when you speak Cantonese...

Why is that?

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