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How to keep chinese in your daily life?


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Hello!

 

I lived in China for two years and now I`m back in my country for around two years. My life is very, very, busy, and even if I`m teaching chinese(for beginners), I still fell my level decreasing. Do you guys have any tips to help me use my chinese on a daily base? I can read chinese newspaper, for example, but it takes me a lot of time because i have to keep on translating words all the time. So, I am looking for some ways to keep the fun on keeping the language up.

 

Cheers,

 

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Shelley

I don't know if these things are available where you are but try watching some Chinese TV on the internet or here in the UK I can get some programs on Sky and we have an alternative satellite system and can get some CCTV channels. You can watch CCTV online too.

 

Try reading graded readers rather than newspapers, the vocabulary won't be so specialised and you should be able read with less looking up, or consider eBooks and using Pleco reader with popup definitions.

 

Or maybe try listening to some podcasts, there are quite a few good ones to choose from, have a search around, you could use a mp3 player (in your phone, iPod etc) to listen while you iron, drive places, cook or other daily activities.

 

Or even get an appropriate level textbook and work through that.

 

Hope this helps a bit :)

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ZhangKaiRong

Make some Chinese friends in your home country (preferably white-collar ones as you might have no common interests with 中国快餐店 chefs or shop assistants).

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JustinJJ

If you take public transport read something at the same time. I'm reading 聊斋志异 at the moment because the stories are short - can finish them during a short commute.

 

Watch TV when you are at home. Socialise - a lot. I've been outside of China 18 months but outside of China I use Chinese just as much as I did in China. At work, anything China-related is given to me so gradually upping the Chinese at work (ideal for me would be 100%). Given the population of Chinese people outside of China, in most places I'm sure you can stay in a very Chinese environment. e.g. this weekend I'm going away with my girlfriend's work colleagues (c.20). They are all Chinese and they will all be speaking Chinese the whole time. Just go to the extra effort and you'll get into the pattern of socialising in Chinese outside of China and your level will increase, not decrease!!

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Demonic_Duck
Make some Chinese friends in your home country (preferably white-collar ones as you might have no common interests with 中国快餐店 chefs or shop assistants).

Bit classist, eh?

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JustinJJ

Make some Chinese friends in your home country (preferably white-collar ones as you might have no common interests with 中国快餐店 chefs or shop assistants).

Bit classist, eh?

Not only classist. If you're Chinese is not at a high level then you will become the default free English teacher for your white-collar friends. The chefs and shop assistants may have a lower level of English so you might want to have friends with average folk first before you start branching into more educated, if using Chinese is the goal.

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ZhangKaiRong

Depends on the level, that for sure. But OP mentioned he lived two years in China before. You can reach a good level of Chinese in two years.

And my experience with being a free language teacher was quite the opposite. Chefs, shop assistant and other non-white collar Chinese were the ones who saw me as a free translator of Chinese to my native language, and also as a free teacher because they want to learn and practice. Never got errands from white-collar ones. And they are much open-minded to speak to, with chefs I always felt bored and repetitive in terms of topics.

But yeah, JJ, I'm the classist. Might be because I don't automatically think of US, UK, Canada and Australia (or any other English-speaking country) as the only destinations for immigrant Chinese. There are some more languages around the world the Chinese have to deal with (and English is not among the hardest one). Can I label you as a classist as well? ;)

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I appreciate the advices!

 

For now, I started reading and listening to some chinese tales from this website: http://www.worldstories.org.uk/ 

Which converge with my life because I work as a volunteer telling stories for poor teenagers here.

 

As you proved yourselves very helpful, any of you know some other websites which some content that looks like the one I posted. And for the advices of finding chinese friends (white collars, or not) can you tell me how did you do it in your contries?

My city is a big city in Brasil. But the chinese community is very close, most of them are from Taiwan and very religious.

 

Appreciate the advices!

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Returning to the original topic. If I were you, I'd give http://www.govoluble.com/ a try. If you're time starved, you can just organise language exchanges whenever it's conveniant for you. You can also post your own writing to receive feedback from the community; however, keep in mind, the quality of the corrections provided can vary greatly. Also, I should mention, the website itself hasn't always been reliable for language exchanges, but it's not difficult to organise an exchange with people you meet on the site using alternative options such as Skype or QQ. Lastly, I've been pleasantly surprised to find that of the four people I have spoken with, all have respected the equal time principle. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
roddy

Removed a few posts - a topic split had been requested, but the guy who prompted it only ever made one post then didn't respond, and there wasn't much in the way of actual discussion. Anyone who's interested is welcome to start a new topic. 

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Okay just got home and having this same problem.

I think you can try wechat. I've been a bit addicted lately, but you need to weed through the perverts. I'd recommend drift bottle over shake because its moer annonymous and you can decide if you want this person as a friend or not. or just chat with them. Its not ideal, but quite addictive. Even the gross pervy encounters left me with knowledge that I didn't think i'd ever learn... so.. theres a good in the bad xD

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Yep, Wechat is a really good way to try. Wechat got a large number of users in China, even my parents use it everyday. Btw, I am native Chinese. But the drift bottle over shake is kind of ....Sorry I don't know how to describe.....Add some friends you know is better!

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Maybe you could try having Chinese flatmates. I'm in Sydney and it's pretty much 100% Chinese in my apartment. I think wechat will only get you so far.

If you use wechat to stay in touch with people you know, that works well since 99% of Chinese people use it, but you'll meet a lot of strange people if you use look around, shake, etc.

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  • 2 months later...
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niseyniseynisey

Yeah! Typing in chinese (Pinyin) kinda helped but the pronunciation part..... I think I need to speak more to my mandarin-speaking relatives to get the hang of it. Tough! 

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