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Basil

Chinese Internet Challenge

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Basil

I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time on the internet. Most of that time is in English, reading the news, reading comments, reading more related articles, reading completely unrelated articles, reading articles related to the unrelated articles and then articles vaguely related to both the related and unrelated articles. Forming my opinions in echo chambers and in the hostile plains of sites with opposing viewpoints. 

 

Then there are the tech sites, the video sites, the automotive sites, and of course the cat sites.

 

That's a lot of info, deluging my brain, most of which like any flood, disappears without a trace. Browsing that fires the endorphins but has absolutely no lasting value.

 

Take for example the recent UK election, hundreds of articles devoured over months, all that time, all that consumption all that reflecting, and I didn't even vote. The election is over. Some guys kept their jobs, some guys lost theirs. And I guess I've forgotten most of what seemed so interesting at the time.

 

The other aspect of all this mother tongue immersion is that it prevents immersion in other tongues. 

 

So... I'm considering whether to make June a Chinese Internet Month. I need to think how to do it... how to save me from the English web... how to save the English web from me... how to redirect all that time to the Chinese web.

 

Ideas for how best to do this appreciated. Suggestions for decent online newspapers... distracting sites... good sites... as long as they are in Chinese.

 

What should the rules be, how should success be determined?

 

Then if there is anyone else who would like to join me on this journey... a month of no online English... a month of horrifically designed Chinese sites. Feel free... I feel it might get lonely out there in Chinese cyberspace with only a billion or so netizens for company...

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edelweis

hmm a month of no English web means no Chinese-forums.

Might want to have a thread in the Chinese corner instead, to share bookmarks.

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889

You can try the Chinese edition of the New York Times. They'd probably be pleased as punch to have someone actually reading the thing.

 

http://cn.nytimes.com

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LiMo

You could use browser add ons to block your favourite websites in English.  You can also configure them to block everything except a few websites e.g. the Chinese ones you're interested in. They can be configured to work at the click of a button, and have timers. You won't be locked into Chinese for days on end but you can make the decision, every morning or afternoon, to turn it on and it will force/help you to only look at Chinese websites.

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Basil

Thanks for the suggestion 889.

 

Limo: I'll have to block pretty much all of the English net i think. I read widely as it is, and I guess I'll be tempted to read wider if my usual sources are banned. 

 

Then there's displacement. If I stop reading the English web, but end up shunning the Chinese web by virtue of some other time consuming vice, ie. english tv, games, drinking, extra socialising or even sport... then it defeats the point. So maybe I should designate some kind of minimum measurement, below which the month counts as a fail.

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LiMo

Yeah. I suppose the best option is to try and find out how much Chinese you can "bear" per day, and then work from there. Obviously you already know that it has to be interesting for you. I suggest forum topics about things that you find interesting, I've always found them quite enjoyable. If you can find enough websites to keep you occupied you could use the function I mentioned, "block all sites except X,Y,Z," which would then effectively block the whole of the English web for you. The only problem is that it also blocks the rest of the Chinese web as well so you really have to have a wide selection to keep you occupied.

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abcdefg

I subscribe to the NY Times, English edition, and read at least the front page every day. I'll try reading the front page of the Chinese edition too. They probably correlate to at least some degree, so it might not be terribly hard.

 

I watch the news daily on CCTV in Chinese and local news on a Yunnan channel. That helps some with spoken language. My weakness is reading Hanzi. Such a chore.

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Basil

So that looks like edelweiss and abcdefg might join me on the journey. 

 

I get cross-eyed looking at Chinese sites, I think its not just the layout, but characters on screen. Does anyone else get that, or have a solution?

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realmayo

I'd join in but not good timing for me. Not sure if I could go cold turkey though, the last few years back in an office has got me quite hooked to flicking through news websites (in English). Maybe reward 15 mins Chinese websites with 5 mins English one.

For cleaner layout consider the 'Evernote Clearly' extension to your browser.

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Shelley

This is a topic i started awhile ago. http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/45329-confusing-chinese-websites/

 

This is what puts me off Chinese websites, I find them very confusing and hectic with lots of moving things.

 

I enjoy websites, blogs about china/Chinese in English, there is usually some Chinese to read and as learner this is great.

 

Most of my browsing has something to do with Chinese, about once every 2 weeks I will see whats going on on Facebook.

 

I don't play games although i have found a couple of Chinese oriented ones that help you learn characters, their ok.

 

i would go for making sure my browsing had something to do with Chinese but not worry what language it was in.

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grawrt

Every once in a while I decide to go 'only chinese' on the internet. I usually like exploring Baidu further, like tieba, then looking up things I would look up in Chinese rather than english like when I got addicted to this chinese drama and I wanted to see what everyone else thought.

 

Other then that it's not much. Like Shelley said, I find the chinese internet to be a confusing place. I really like reading blogs and very ordinary daily life things in english but haven't been about to find more than a few snippets in Chinese.

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Mouseneb

Netease has an app you can use to see the top news in China, top photos, trending topics, etc. It's where a lot of the blogs like Shanghaiist, nanfang, chinasmack, etc. source their material. You can see netizen comments too. Or just go to their site at 163.com but I do prefer the less cluttered layout on the app.

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Basil

No evernote clearly on safari. & it looks like there is a good reason for it. This might be much easier than I expected. I never realised it before, but safari includes lots of easy links popular sites:

 

post-57276-0-65304300-1432522298_thumb.png
post-57276-0-60039000-1432522315_thumb.png
post-57276-0-17169000-1432522333_thumb.png

 

 

Then there's an easy way to declutter a webpage:

 

post-57276-0-66976900-1432522472_thumb.png
post-57276-0-88722200-1432522516_thumb.png

 

 

I have no idea if I'll enjoy the reading enough to not miss the English web, but at least now I know I'll be able to read something without being distracted by flashy things..

post-57276-0-65304300-1432522298_thumb.png

post-57276-0-60039000-1432522315_thumb.png

post-57276-0-17169000-1432522333_thumb.png

post-57276-0-66976900-1432522472_thumb.png

post-57276-0-88722200-1432522516_thumb.png

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oceancalligraphy

I was going to start listing websites, but decided this page from my blog would probably be better. Hopefully the links are helpful.

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imron
but at least now I know I'll be able to read something without being distracted by flashy things.

Reader mode looks great, but I generally avoid Safari if I can.  Not sure if I should go looking for a firefox plugin, or wait until it moves from nightly to the main build.

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Basil

Safari can be pretty petulant at times. Frequently refuses to load this site.

 

Grawrt,

 

Maybe this is an opportunity to find out just a little bit more about the Chinese web. Maybe the evernote clearly extension will make it so that sites are not quite so confusing.

 

Still trying to decide if progress updates should be posted to this thread, or purely in Chinese in a new Chinese corner thread.

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Basil

Only a couple of days before the start of the internet challenge, all those looking for a more Chinese month, begin to calm down your English surfing, or have a last supper, your choice.

 

I think semi-regular updates will be needed, for self-motivation, and to provide reading fodder for others...

 

I'll start a new thread in the chinese section fairly shortly.

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edelweis

I think I'll try a smaller challenge. After the evening meal (around 7pm) only.

At work I can't very well spend my time squinting at websites in Chinese, even for work-related searches.

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Basil

Sure, welcome aboard.

 

Saw your dare via email update. Looks like a toughy, but challenge accepted.

 

Lets divide this into three levels then:

 

A: Pure Chinese for the month.

B: Pure Chinese outside of work hours.

C: A commitment to investigate the Chinese web at least twice a week.

 

Fair?

 

Sign up below......      any queries, suggestions or amendments 等等, welcome.

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edelweis

Actually I didn't find it challenging enough. A dare should involve potential for embarrassment. That was more like a task so I deleted it. Ah well. I didn't sleep well and I'm tired.

 

But it got me thinking that perhaps someday someone will organize a CF event like a treasure hunt on the Chinese internet.

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