Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
mackie1402

Weekly Intermediate Study Updates - join in!

Recommended Posts

Flickserve
53 minutes ago, imron said:

This is what's great about 锵锵三人行 - no subtitles, but full transcripts.  That means you have to rely on listening skills, but you can still look things up if you don't understand.

 

 

Looked at it before. IIRC, I couldn't find the appropriate subtitles. It was also a bit overwhelming. Certainly it is something to come back to. Regarding the TV drama, I am pretty relaxed about it. There are always going to be speech differences. Imagine a second language English learner trying to learn from Eastenders and Neighbours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Flickserve
59 minutes ago, imron said:

 

Welcome to the intermediate plateau.  It gets better if you persist

 

I have read most of your posts about persisting and not breaking the chain. I am still here. In fact, sometimes I don't touch Mandarin for a few days. Perhaps it is a consolidation phase. But I always seem to come back.

 

(why are my posts not automatically merging?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
1 hour ago, Flickserve said:

Looked at it before. IIRC, I couldn't find the appropriate subtitles.

 

Note, it's not subtitled, it's a transcript without timing information.  While less convenient, searching through to find the part you are looking for can be a helpful learning process.

 

Anyway, on the main video page, the side bar to the right of the video player contains links to the transcripts for the most recent videos.  The one at the very top will be the transcript for the current video.  For historical episodes it can be a bit tricky to find the transcripts because they keep moving them about, but any video from the last 20 days will likely have a transcript in the sidebar to the right of the video player.

 

Doing daily drilling of content over a sustained period of time was what helped me break out of the listening problems I was having.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius

Speaking of mass input, there's a 10,000 sentences method  and a Japanese-learning Yankee's lighthearted take on it. I'm not a believer (have my own method) but I can see the merit of it.

 

4 hours ago, Flickserve said:

This is not working for me, at least for new sentences.

I have the same problem. What I've learned in Anki stay in Anki. But listening is not my priority at the moment so I can wait.

6 minutes ago, imron said:

Doing daily drilling of content over a sustained period of time

Yup, that's what I did with English and Cantonese, transcribing is my method.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

Split discussion on transcribing here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AdamD

@mackie1402

Thanks for calling me out! I should keep updating here, but I don't have a lot to contribute except that I'm still hitting the listening and reading every day.

 

I've been quite unwell recently (details in PM okay, not in a public thread though), but I'm now working through HSK5 words that I encounter in real life. I've also been watching Netflix in English with Chinese subtitles, which has sped up my reading drastically — now when I see Chinese text flash up on a YouTube video, I can sometimes parse it before it disappears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fabiothebest

How can you watch Netflix with Chinese subtitles? I don't use Netflix but if I could use it for improving Chinese I would. Do you load subtitles manually in English movies?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AdamD

Most Netflix Originals have a range of subtitles built in. In Australia I can choose between English, Traditional Chinese and a few others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fabiothebest

Also Chinese with simplified characters? Do you know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AdamD

Only traditional. I think it's for the Taiwan market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fabiothebest

Not a weekly update since I last wrote here a few months ago, but I wanted to do an HSK test this month but I didn't sign up on time also because I wasn't sure to be free on that day, hoping to work since I had a job offer, but no job, no HSK test. I wished I signed up as I feel I may pass it, anyway it will be for the next time. I have graded readers, but this time I decided to read "the little prince" 下王子" in Chinese. It is HARD even if such book in my own language or in English may seem easy, but if I'm stubborn enough I'll succeed. I read 2 pages and I have about 60 words to learn already :P. Not easy, but I want to push myself harder. I feel like reading is one of the best ways to learn new words. It works great for other languages, Chinese is harder because of the characters, but it will pay off in the end. Just shared an update, not seeking for an advice in this regard. I just want to try this. I'll proceed slowly and make sure to memorize the words using also an srs system, rather than trying to read a lot of pages. At the end, when I learnt all the words I'll try to read it again without using a dictionary. I guess I might have to do it once in a while, but I should be able to read much faster. When I read words that I know I can already read them fast in my mind without reading aloud. I asked a Chinese person to read some pages for me and send me the audio so I can listen to the pronunciation while reading the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve

Did you see my thread here? 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/53722-speed-or-accent/?page=2

 

I also played around with my android phone. Previously,  I had loaded up some sentences and stuck it on shuffle play and listening through my headphones. The listening was OK-ish but I felt I was not really drilling the sentences very well.

 

I decided to try a slightly different tactic. I created a mp3 with the same sentence repeated ten times. So then added multiple sentences in sets of ten. It was quite easy to do with cut and paste. I then played this mp3 over and over again and shadowed it with my wireless earphones whilst walking or in the gym. I felt that worked quite well.

 

Not much chance to use Mandarin in the field except for a chance encounter yesterday. It was with a person who I had met a number of weeks ago in Guangzhou. That time, he said something to me in Mandarin  but it was past my head (was not speaking Cantonese) . That time, I was in a sports hall (high ambient noise) and I had just come off court from playing a match. So perhaps my brain wasn't tuned in to listening. Yesterday,  I met him again in a conference and this time, I was able to converse with him using a few sentences in Mandarin. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rn1rnl

I'd like in on this! It would be a great way to track my study and even get guidance from you if need be! Focusing on speaking and listening and not paying "too much attention" to characters, but they are included on my English-Chinese deck along with pinyin.  Really paying attention to tones.

 

Last week I did

- 30 mins a day of study 6 days a week

  - Putting new vocab into flashcards with many including sentences

- Listened to one dialogue about 50+ times throughout the week

- 2 30 minute Italki Sessions (trying new teachers to find one that I click well with)

-Revised Flashcards every day at least 5 minutes.

- 50 minutes for 4 days a week of Chinese class. Rubbish class for me. To easy.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fabiothebest

It seems a good weekly plan. I also use Italki, tomorrow I'll have my second lesson of 1 hour with the same teacher. Would you mind sharing the details of your teacher if you find a particularly good one? :) I will also have to try a few to decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

Out of all the things you listed, this one will give you the biggest improvement on your Chinese

 

8 hours ago, rn1rnl said:

- 30 mins a day of study 6 days a week

 

It doesn't matter so much what aspect of Chinese you are working on, just make sure to do some study every day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AdamD

I can second that. Throughout the hell that was 2016 I did 30 minutes every single day, and I've definitely improved in some ways.

 

My weekly report is a bit dull but I'm smashing through the HSK5 word list. It's true that characters are quicker and easier to learn as your skills advance.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rn1rnl
15 hours ago, imron said:

It doesn't matter so much what aspect of Chinese you are working on, just make sure to do some study every day.

I have now realized that. I think I have made more progress in the past 11 days then I have in 2-3 months in total comprehension/speaking! Daily study is the key even if you feel like its not doing anything. Trust the process.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stapler

It's good to see others still having lots of success this year. Hope it continues!

 

Over the last month I haven't been doing too much practice. I've maintained my daily practice, which at this point is just feeding Chinese sentences from podcasts, textbooks, etc into Anki and drilling them. I review maybe around 150-200 sentences a day at the moment.

 

Besides sentence drilling in Anki the rest of my time is just spent doing "fun" stuff without a view to seriously practicing/concentrating. I saw some people talking about 欢乐颂 in another thread and have been watching that in my spare time. I don't really understand too much, but I can follow the plot. I'm actually finding it quite enjoyable! I've even gone back and started copying all the sentences I don't understand and adding them into an anki deck. That's a really challenging deck for me. The accents, speed, and sometimes even background noise all make it very difficult. But it's a good challenge and makes listening to other material that is more "standard" (basically learning material) a breeze. Definitely some Goku artificial gravity weight training effect going on here!

 

I also listened to an example test sound file from the listening part of the HSK 5. It was tough. On one hand much of the speaking is very slow (actually sometimes I felt like the slow speed was distracting) and clear. And many of the dialogues were ridiculously simple. But others would have one word or two that I didn't recognise. If the question had something to do with the word I didn't recognise I sometimes wouldn't know the answer. I suspect that if I had the multiple choice questions in front of myself I would be able to identify the correct answer, but that doesn't satisfy me. I obviously have some huge gaps in my vocabulary.

 

After listening to the listening section I had a look at the reading section of the HSK 5 too. I found the 2nd and 3rd sections much easier than the first one. Describing what's in a text is much easier for me than being able to choose the correct vocabulary. Basically I have an obvious deficiency with the productive use of Chinese. I also thought it was interesting that the written material in these sections seems much harder than any of the the novels I've read. I was under the impression that my reading ability was much better than my listening ability, but I was even more challenged on the reading sections than I was in the listening part. I guess that's because the reading material is more complex than the listening material.

 

Out of curiosity I checked the HSK 6 example exams too. Definitely seems like a whole other world of difficulty. I really admire people who can pass it. I feel like getting to an HSK 6 level is not something you can do with a casual approach to studying Chinese. It seems like you would actually need to study seriously to pass it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve

It's one week after my last post in this thread. I created a few MP3 files in my audio software. I took MP3 recordings of sentences I have been through with tutors. It's a mixture of vocabulary that I know and don't know in sentences that we have discussed. I put in runs of 10-14 times of the same sentence so that I could listen and shadow. So, in 10 to 15 minute long file, I have sentence A repeated about 10 times, sentence B repeated 10 times followed by sentence C ten times and so on. Then, at random intervals, I would insert a shorter run of sentence A, B and C (5 times) later on in the MP3.

 

I played the file in a loop on my smartphone using the blue tooth and wireless sport earphones. Listened to it when walking around, on the train and in the gym. Basically, although I have distractions, I am drifting in and out of listening and then trying to mimick/shadow the sentences. This seems to work quite well for speaking practice though one has to be a bit careful in the train to remember to whisper. I had about 6 separate MP3 files so if I got bored of one, then I could pick another. It was better than having each sentence played in a shuffle function which probably is testing a different aspect of listening skills i.e. how well can you pick up a random sentence if you already are familiar with the vocabulary.

 

I had a workplace encounter with a Taiwanese person who spoke practically no Cantonese and no English (confidence issues but could understand a bit of both languages). Perfect! Had a ten minute conversation in Mandarin and got through that fine. No feedback from her about my accent nor correction of my tones. Either I was perfect (yeah, dream on) or good enough to be understood without people feeling the need to repeat a correction (from my point of view not so good).

 

After all this, I got to having some time this weekend and did a run of italki sessions. I usually use community tutors for random conversations. Probably a bit too random. This time, I decided to photocopy a couple of pages of my 8000 sentences book (see attachment) that I bought in China and go through it with two different teachers, recording their voices as we go along. One of them speaks very standard Mandarin from north China, the other from Beijing. We went through the material with me trying to copy what they say. I just look at the material, try to recognise the Chinese characters and then copy when they say the sentence. I felt that each tutor offers a slightly different perspective when we discuss the sentence. For example, they say, "well this sentence is OK but put in this way is a bit more commonly used" or "here are some very common spoken variations". I have listened to the recordings of the sentences again, did some editing and felt I gained a lot of mileage from the exercise. These sentences will go into my self-designed MP3 files for listening (+ speaking) practice. The tutor also helps me type out the sentences so I can subtitle in workaudio and design anki cards at a later date. I really like the Beijing tutor input as I have difficulty listening with this accent. I just wish I could find a person to do a  老北京 version but all the italki tutors are more modern standard mandarin.

 

Reflecting on this in trying to improve the process, I can ask the teacher to prepare recordings first to get a nice quality recording. Skype was inconsistent and sometimes in the middle of a sentence, there was a drop in quality of of the call. Not a huge problem if just having a conversation but if you are recording and reviewing later, it wastes time. For the tutors' time in pre-lesson preparation, I can just shorten the time of the skype session.

 

I have attached the front cover of the book and the first topic inside. I also have Brian Foden's 8000 sentences book. (http://www.books.com.tw/products/0010664087)

 

There is a lot of material within both books. What I like about the books is the loose arrangement into topics concerned with daily life and for want of a better description "gossip sentences". Let's take an example of 洗发水, I have searched in my Anki decks (various films and other sources) and got zero cards for 洗发水. Let's face it, it's NOT a very sexy piece of vocabulary to be used in TV or films. An example of a gossip sentence is "does he have a hairy chest?"

 

Good things about the Richard Judking 8000 sentences book is that it is from China. I have fewer concerns whether the Chinese is more "putonghua" style as opposed to "guoyu". It is in simplified characters which is where I am focussing on though traditional is OK as well. What are the bad things? Because it is a book for learning English, the enclosed MP3 doesn't have Chinese spoken and then English. It only has English.

 

The advantage of Brian Foden's book is that the MP3 also has the spoken Chinese and spoke English. you can thus study sentences without a tutor. Why I haven't initially used this book is that Stapler mentioned using some of these sentences and native speakers replied, "well, we don't usually say it like that...". Perhaps it is the Taiwanese style expressions or more 书面方式? We don't know. As a relatively low level learner, I just want to be less complicated by this issue, though as expertise (hopefully) improves, probably it will end up being a non-issue。

 

Lastly, I also did an instant tutoring session. This tutor is native fluent in Chinese and English. The conversation went pretty well and got constructive feedback on some errors of tones and sentence construction. I noticed if the final couple of words in a sentence contains a 1st tone word, I am prone to using the wrong tone. The feedback from the tutor is

'非常标准,  完全能听得懂' . I remember him saying in our conversation that my pronunciation errors or tone errors are not typical of western learners of Chinese. Doesn't mean I can rest in satisfaction. It means I have different things to try and correct.

 

*edit - forgot to mention one thing. When I was having the italki lesson and going through the materials in the book, for some of the shorter sentences, one of the teachers got very excited saying my pronunciation was natural. That gave me a nice boost!

 

8000_sentences_002-003.pdf

 

2017-03-27 07-58-39.835.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AdamD

The HSK5 study is going incredibly well. By focusing entirely on HSK5 words I've encountered in the real world, I already have context for the words I'm learning, and can expect most of those words to keep coming up. This is the most efficient way to accumulate vocabulary that I can think of.

 

I've also gone back to online language exchange after a three-month hiatus. No real movement so far, but at least I'm back on the horse.

 

Also, something I've been toying with for several years: I've started work on an advice blog for learning Chinese. Right now I'm in the planning stage, but so far I have outlines for more than 40 topics. It seems a shame to have learnt so much about learning and then just sit on it all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...