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ouyangjun

Possible activity in Chinese Corner - let's see more Chinese

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ouyangjun

It's been at least a month since I've visited the forms.  The problem is that I'm quite busy with work and other things and unfortunately don't get enough time to spend on the forums.  During my time to study Chinese I prioritize my studies with Chinese based learning material first (Chinese books, text books, movies, Weibo, Weixin, etc.), and then the forums come second since most of the content is in English.  

 

What I've always wished is that these forums had more of an active Chinese based discussion community (for example in the Chinese Corner area of the forums).  Unfortunately this area is usually a pretty inactive area on these forums. 

 

The reason I'm posting this topic is because I saw Demonic Duck started a topic in the Chinese Corner about a continuous story.  This got me excited and I decided to add the second part to the story.  It'd be great to see people get active on that side of the forums.  My post is just a bump for that topic and hoping we will see some more activity in the Chinese corner.

 

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/44617-连续故事/#comment-337812

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skylee

I am one of the people here. :)

I post in Chinese very often (sometimes daily) to update my status. I think if you want to practise writing in Chinese you could do the same. I've also recently posted about 渤海國 in the Chinese corner. You are welcome to join the discussion.

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roddy

The Chinese Corner is not a hive of activity. I think what might work is:

 

One or more members decide they're going to fix this, by posting relatively simple and accessible topics on a regular basis, and then encouraging others to join in "Hey, newguy123, great to see you've been studying so much. Why not try out..."

 

There needs to be an awareness of level. Enthusiastic native speakers or advanced learners can scare off beginners - they just can't read that much, that fast, never mind reply. Someone needs to guard against that. There also needs to be facilitation - if someone posts mangled Chinese that nobody is going to be able to understand, someone needs to step up and say so - and obviously encourage further attempts. 

 

I don't think the current 'No English' rule is useful. English in the context of facilitating discussions ("What I was trying to say was..."; "Newguy123, rather than trying to translate English structures into Chinese, use the Chinese structures you've been taught"; etc) should be welcome. Demonic_duck's topic is a great idea but with no English title or explanation, the barriers to entry are higher than they need to be. 

 

In the past I've reached out to people to see if they'd be willing to do this kind of thing, but it's usually a case of "well, I'd love to participate..."

 

I'd be delighted to see a useful Chinese practice section on here, and would happily do what I can to foster that. But someone, or someones, needs to take the lead. 

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edelweis

hmm I like the round robin idea but, yes, my level is too low and I don't have enough time to take part in Demonic Duck 's thread, so as Roddy says the level of participants is an issue.

 

How about a beginner-level thread with a non-scary title such as "你好! Beginners write Chinese here" or something, with some contents guidelines so that learners of all levels can participate?

perhaps have a limit on the number of sentences per post, allow writing in pinyin or a mix of pinyin and characters,

with some simple leading questions in Chinese and English such as 你是谁? 你住在哪儿? 你为什么学习汉语? 你喜欢看电影吗? write about yourself, ask and answer questions about what people like or dislike, hobbies etc.

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edelweis

Cross referencing:

 

Created this thread:

Experimenting with a beginner level writing thread?

(sorry, we just jumped in and started writing in Chinese, even though it is not in the Chinese Corner, perhaps an admin can move it - the first post is in English though)

 

and also this thread:

HSK4~5级看图写作文的活动

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Shelley
(sorry, we just jumped in and started writing in Chinese

 

ooops sorry that was me, didn't see the different threads.

 

I am really keen on this idea. Practicing and composing sentence patterns would be a big help for me.

 

I would be happy to help with absolute newbies. I would like to contribute something to the forums.

 

The rule of no English is a bit off putting, something along the lines of as much Chinese as you can would be better. Allowing an English or pinyin word in a sentence because it hasn't been learnt yet would be fair, and would give people something to try and help with.

 

i agree with edelwies's first post in the Experimenting with a beginner level writing thread.

 

I would like to come up with a way for people to ask questions about structure and usage without it turning into a thread about the many ways of saying so and so. As edlewies suggested, a separate thread may be a good idea, but it might make it all a bit disconnected. Maybe hiding questions and answers in spoilers might work, I don't know. Any other suggestions?

 

I would be inclined to discourage posts of the "how you do say this..." type.

It should be as much of the sentence as they already know in Chinese with maybe 1 or 2 unknown words written in English or pinyin. As edlewies says it should be for practicing sentences structures, vocabulary and grammar that is already known/learning.

 

Hope this takes off, it looks like it could be fun and helpful.

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edelweis

Just to clarify these two threads are of different levels, and are not related.

 

For instance I might try to use 即使 and 既然 in the HSK4/5 thread,

but in the beginners thread I'm trying to use only really basic connectors like 但是,可是,因为...所以 (or just simple sentences without connectors).

 

Originally I intended to create a separate thread for the Experimenting with a beginner level writing thread actual Chinese writing, in the Chinese corner, but really I find it fine like this, Shelley is right that at this level some English may be needed sometimes...

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oceancalligraphy

I was pretty confused the first time I checked out the Chinese corner. I thought it would be a place to discuss things in Chinese, but instead it looked like a place to post things and get it corrected. 

 

I agree not having any English is a barrier - especially in the sticky post at the top. I think Shelley's idea of hiding English under spoilers is a good idea. This will keep the main text in Chinese - which can create an immersion environment - but still allow for discussions.

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anonymoose

It is a place to discuss things in Chinese, but the problem is, hardly anyone contributes.

 

I have started threads, and some kind native speakers have helped with corrections, which is very welcome. But not many people (especially learners) actually respond to the topic under discussion.

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edelweis

Reading Chinese is already quite difficult, writing Chinese even more difficult :wall

Writing bad Chinese on a forum is embarrassing :oops:

Writing bad Chinese without a teacher to correct the mistakes might be counter productive too.

But on the other hand, a group effort towards daily writing and interaction in Chinese helps with motivation... provided that you can understand other people's answers.

 

I wouldn't dare to try to use some of the advanced words and sentence structures that I can read, because I would just produce mangled Chinese.  I've read such mangled French on Lang-8, it's basically impossible to correct it.

For me I think it's better to just write simpler sentences with familiar structures and vocabulary (which doesn't preclude making mistakes unfortunately), and if attempting to use more difficult language, I'll try to post it on Lang-8 first.

 

I saw your threads anonymoose, but I thought they were way above my writing level (and probably above my reading level too), I would only be able to write a few troll-like "我觉得这篇文章很有意思"s and would probably be unable to understand the answers.

Ah well. Let's try a few different things and see what happens...

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Shelley

I am enjoying the challange of the writing and reading that has started.

 

I am surprised we have had posts from some of what I would call the more advanced people on the forum. This is not a problem by any means just not what i would have expected.

I would have thought it would be boring for them to deal with lower level sententaces, but it is nice that they have taken an interest and correct mistakes.

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Demonic_Duck

The new thread is good, great idea to stimulate more discussion in Chinese corner too (I have to admit that thread I started didn't last long, though of course anyone's welcome to revive it at any point if they'd like to!)

 

I like the idea of trying to keep it to short posts with simple sentences, and not limiting it to continuing a linear narrative - the linear narrative is a nice idea in theory, but in practice it means anyone wanting to jump in has to wade through all the back story first.

 

I am surprised we have had posts from some of what I would call the more advanced people on the forum. This is not a problem by any means just not what i would have expected.

I would have thought it would be boring for them to deal with lower level sententaces, but it is nice that they have taken an interest and correct mistakes.

 

Not at all - I think teaching or correcting something can be useful for solidifying one's own knowledge, and it can be enjoyable too. Plus, I think of the whole idea of forums like this one as a sort of collective bootstrapping exercise - it can be difficult to pull yourself up, but a lot easier if you have others to help you out. If I go back to look at some of my first few posts (should I add “儿” to stuff? How do I transliterate/translate my name? Does English “sh” sound like pinyin “sh” or “x”? Hey look, I just invented a mnemonic for “学”!), they're basically exactly the same as every other new member's. People helped me out with those questions, so it only makes sense that I help others out with similar ones - and there will always be other posters who are more knowledgeable than me who can help me out with questions that probably seem equally elementary from their point of view.

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