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Meng Lelan

The 2015 Aims and Objectives Progress Thread

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Bigdumogre

Great topic

I'm still a beginner so have a lot a head of me. Right now the majority of my book studying is for my lieutenant exam (currently a police sergeant). So most of my studying is via phone and audio in car - commute 3 hrs a day. And my test is at end of March so after that studying mandarin becomes my priority.

Goals for this year :

Use everything and finish everything I have on hand

1-Pimsluer mandarin sets 1-3 (just about finishing the first box set) got them all from library and have them downloaded on phone to stream through car radio.

2- complete npcr 1 I have 2 versions the student and practice books with CDs

3-Rosetta stone 1- not really fond of it and someone bought it for me but it is a tool and could learn a few things from it.

4- get a italki account and do min 4 lessons a month

5- spend more time on this site and other ones like Chinese-tools.com (any other good ones)

Goal is by the end of the year to have a basic conversation in mandarin and also be able to read 50% of a Chinese breeze book easily. I have been getting unmotivated when I hit a wall but now I learned that when I break through them I feel so good about myself. Also trying to go to China in April depending on my tax return lol.

I'm all ears if anyone has any other ideas to add to help reach my goals.

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amandagmu

 

I'm not as resilient as others peoples to the general pollution. I've been eating healthy, sleeping OK, still... Getting ill all the same.

 

I can relate. I have recurrent sinus issues and had MAJOR issues in Beijing when I lived there. The two things that helped - one, you mentioned: exercise, regular fitness. I can recommend a group of people I used to associate with in Beijing who now have a location in Shanghai - you will feel better and not get bored, lots of variation: http://www.heyrobics.com/. If you meet Linus, tell him that Amanda sent you. :P  (He and I are long distance runners and we used to do crazy long runs in the outskirts of Beijing in addition to this...) Of course, I am not 100% positive they have an on-going Shanghai group right now, you should email and ask!

 

The second thing is that because of my sinus issues - I took antibiotics twice before doing this - you need to get an air filter for your place (it will cost a lot, like 250-300 euros!, but your health will cost more in bills if you let it deteriorate!) and on the high count days wear a proper mask (like the 3M 95 kind recommended by the World Health Organization). I owned a Blueair filter for my studio apartment and I had to buy a new filter (about 12-15 euros) after 4-6 months of use. But I stopped getting so sick all the time, and I was able to sell it to someone else at the end of a year for about 2/3 of the original price. I bought mine from the World Health Store, http://www.worldhealthstore.com.cn/ and they delivered it to me, I believe. I think they also have a Shanghai store...

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DanielW

My goal is to finish flashcards for HSK 1-6 and NPCR 2 Textbook and Workbook (Yes, I know this seems weird. My pronunciation, and vocabulary (and reading ability) is wide/relatively good but my grammar sucks. That's why I'm starting the learning of Chinese grammar from scratch)

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AdamD
my grammar sucks. That's why I'm starting the learning of Chinese grammar from scratch

 

I've been there. You might find that focused revision is enough.

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roddy

Have pinned this topic, and unpinned the 2014 one - do follow up there with an end-of-year summary if you want though. 

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edelweis

Oh look, it's February already... everybody, come back and report!

 

 

January focus:
Get back to it.
I'll say this is a half success. I got back to it twice, got derailed twice.

 

Don't get stressed out. Have fun if possible, else relax/rest.
Never mind the first part. Getting quite good at the last part. Too good possibly.

 

Keep learning Chinese.
- Chinese TV daily. It's nice to have at least one easy goal. I've been watching mostly Beijing International and that cute and funny show with little kids on another channel (Hunan Star?).
- complete a mock HSK5 test. (not done in January).
- keep 90% compliance on daily SRS. 38% is not too bad but I can do much better.
- listen at least once to every imandarinpod podcast. Same as above.
- write in Chinese daily, even if just 2': not happening so far.
- regular weekly group activity. 1/4. But I had reasonably good excuses for 2 of the missed classes. So I was only lazy once.
- finally read a Sci-Fi novel in Chinese. Hmm I have "started" reading 星际浪子. I'd like to really understand the first few chapters in depth before switching to extensive reading. But the sentence structure is much more difficult than in 余华‘s 活着. Not sure whether I'll finish this particular book or put it away and select another (easier) one. The first two pages are quite tantalizing though, what with the mother ship slowing down to half light-speed as it approaches the planetary system, and its crew waking up from hibernation... yum yum. (also, my edition has 544 pages in smallish characters... hmmm.)
- systematic review of Chinese grammar. (not started).
- finish a technical Chinese textbook. I'm more or less studying chapter 3 of the sinolingua 听说 book. This should be much easier than the BLCU 听记 book. Probably.
- drill the 3000 most common characters. This is not a total failure because although I didn't exactly drill characters, I did review radicals.

 

Keep other languages active.
English: did a little bit of professional topics, but no pronunciation work.
Spanish: did a little bit of online activities.
Other languages: nothing.

 

 

February mini-goals:
finish the 1st 章 of the 1st 卷 of 星际浪子 even if I don't get every detail.
establish regular habits for English and Spanish.

do just one of the 3 parts of a mock HSK5 test.

 

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grawrt

Reporting in~

 

This month wasn't good for me since it was quite busy. I had to clean out my dorm for new furniture to come, then I fllew to Harbin and spent about a week there, and then getting back home for the first time in like a year!!! Then my dog got sick so.. yeah. But I'm getting back into it.

1) Find a tutor and meet with them twice a week to work on speaking skills.
FAIL. I had all the good intentions to do this and then didn't. I don't know why I psych myself out of doing it. But this month for sure~!!!

2) Read two chapters a week of  屌丝道士
GOOD :) I got up to chapter 10, but listened through to chapter 12. I find it easier to read now that I've gotten used to it and usually breeze through them when I'm just sitting around doing nothing. Still, the parts that get a bit technical (like mixing in daoism into it) takes a bit of work. I still want to research a bit before proceeding ahead even if this is just a book of fiction.

3) Practice tone-drills once a week to fix my auto-first tone problem.
Fail.

Non-Chinese related~
4) GO OUT MORE.
Good :) I spent the rest of my last week in Beijing getting lost in the various hutongs. Then I flew to Harbin to hit the ice festival. I'm back home but this week me and my friend found a 'chinese tea' place in our area. It was a total rip off and insanely overpriced but the tea wasn't bad. I've still had better tea. It was funny to hear this woman trying to convince me that this is the greatest quality and that in China they just sell crap for cheap. I politely told her that not onlyw as the green tea and jasmine tea that I bought higher quality than the ones we were trying out, but also that the 'tea tasting' was absolutely free. Thats not even pointing out that the price of buying tea in China is much more cheaper than buying it in new york.

Thoughts for February:
I think I decided to buy Glossika for some good old sentence drilling.

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Lu

1) Find a tutor and meet with them twice a week to work on speaking skills.

FAIL. I had all the good intentions to do this and then didn't. I don't know why I psych myself out of doing it. But this month for sure~!!!

If this seems too simple, do ignore, but perhaps you can try cutting this one up in smaller goals. Do you have an idea where to start looking for a tutor, for example? If not, goal 1 would be to identify such a place (for example by asking around, here or irl). Goal 2 can then be: identify 2-3 possible good tutors. Goal 3: call those tutors. Etc. Small successes for every step.

If this is not what your actual problem is, do ignore. But I find this can help for me when I have something I need to do, but I don't quite know how to go about it, so I end up just postponing it endlessly. While as soon as I split it up, the first step suddenly seems very do-able and before I know it, I've taken the other steps too and done the thing.

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tysond

Progress update - January:

 

Work continues to be busy, but I have got back into my lessons and have got quite a bit of study done regardless.  

I moved out a bunch of old Anki cards into archive, and started learning more new words, which has been very good.  

 

Listening: Still improving but slowly.  I'm not getting as much listening practice in due to the freezing weather, no bike riding time (and stolen bike!).  However, I had a few friends who have excellent Chinese come visit a few days ago and could follow & participate in their conversations with people much more easily (in the past I could barely follow) -- but still pick up new words.   Faster native speech is less and less of a problem, although sometimes a bit of a delay before I understand.  People lately have been behaving differently - if I don't understand they frequently repeat in a second way - i think there just figure the conversation is going OK and they must have used a word I don't know.  And unlike before, I often catch the second way, so if it happens again they use the same strategy.  Just interesting to see how conversation strategy changes over time.  

 

Speaking: Basically pronunciation is largely OK, tones are largely OK, but making errors on word selection, mis-remembering words, messing up usage of 了, 过, 没, poor grammar - these are issues when trying to say more complex things.  I need more practice on this and need to set aside proper time for shadowing so I can say this stuff correctly with less thinking.  My teacher has introduced a new textbook 汉语口语习惯用语教程 (A Course in Chinese Colloquial Idioms) which is very interesting and dense in more everyday expressions than my usual textbook - it's quite fun and exciting to learn from and lots of interesting patterns to learn.  We've also been working on more erhua and more natural flow of sentences.

 

Reading: The taxi rides to work are giving me quite a bit more time to do Anki and learn vocab and sentences.  The focus on vocabulary is paying off - I have become much more familiar with a lot of characters and words.  Words I don't know I can still read (character-wise) in a lot more cases, which makes reading articles a lot easier.   Have been playing quite a few computer games to get more reading practice, and reading quite a few articles in Chinese.   Reading out loud from my text book is much better now but more complex texts (like the colloquial ones) are still quite a challenge, it's hard to cold-read expressions sometimes - things like 让我说你什么好, 不就得了, 喝西北风, 看你说的, 耳旁风, 那一套 .  More than 2 characters, kinds of breaks the rhythm, unfamiliar meaning, etc.  And these texts are just peppered with the stuff.

 

Writing: No real progress here, apart from learning to write more characters.  I'm not really writing much beyond the occasional exercises in textbooks.

 

Feb I am traveling almost all month, so Ill see how my progress goes.

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OneEye

OK, time for me to get back to studying. December was very busy and I was in the States pretty much the whole month of January, so very little studying got done. This month I've been prepping for our crowdfunding campaign, but I have managed to get some studying done.

 

I've picked cursive back up. I took a class on 草書 last year and there was way too much for me to absorb, so I'm going back through my notes, reading a few 入門 books, and 臨摹ing my way through 王羲之〈蘭亭集序〉 and then 智永〈真草千字文〉, the latter on recommendation from my teacher. With a pencil.

 

I've got several palaeography-related things going on right now. I'm reading 高明《中國古文字學通論》, 陳劍《甲骨金文考釋論集》, and doing a reader of 甲骨文 and 金文 called 《商周古文字讀本》. A few pages of each book per week, no hurry. This is, of course, in addition to my work with Outlier.

 

I'm trying to take advantage of small bits of time throughout the day to do stuff in Chinese. I've loaded my phone up with news podcasts and talk radio segments and I bought one of those waterproof bluetooth speakers for my shower, so I'll probably listen to the news while I'm in the shower. I've also put a Chinese book in the bathroom. 李學勤《大師導讀:中國古代文明》. Short, very easy reading. I wanted to do a business or self-help type of book, then realized I don't have any of those in Chinese. Maybe a novel next, but right now I'm reading 1Q84 in English, and I don't like reading two novels at once.

 

I've been (re-)bitten by the Cantonese bug. I stayed in New York for just over a week in January, in the Lower East Side right on the edge of Chinatown, where they speak Cantonese. One of my business partners (who also speaks Cantonese) stayed with an ABC couple who both grew up in Chinatown and speak Cantonese natively. So I was surrounded by Cantonese for a large portion of the time I was there. I don't have much time to devote to it, but it's also not pressing that I get proficient anytime soon, so that's fine. The Glossika Cantonese course just came out, and I'll be spending about 15 minutes per day doing the GSR recordings.

 

I'm studying Japanese too, of course. And I've been toying with the idea of dusting off my French (what's left of it). I'm not sure I can afford the time right now, but maybe soon.

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imron

And I've been toying with the idea of dusting off my French

Be careful.

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edelweis

This website lacks a head-scratching smiley. I'm missing something here.

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Lu

Not quite sure what the relevance is, but that is a good story.

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edelweis

that's true :)

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