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imron
4 hours ago, AdamD said:

so much Chinese scripted TV is just people standing/sitting around talking and not really doing anything

That's not something I've found to be true - at least for various TV dramas, though perhaps my experience has been clouded by having a higher level of Chinese and so the amount of new vocabulary was lower.  I wouldn't sit through 30 hours of something I didn't understand either.

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realmayo

I generally find that by episode 3 or 4, a TV drama feels way easier than its episode 1 felt, so there's lots to be said for persevering for two or three episodes, but personally I'll usually look for something easier to watch if I'm still struggling (or just bored) a few episodes in.

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AdamD
1 hour ago, imron said:

That's not something I've found to be true - at least for various TV dramas

 

21 minutes ago, realmayo said:

I generally find that by episode 3 or 4, a TV drama feels way easier than its episode 1 felt

 

Perhaps it's just that (at least to my recollection) I've never made it through more than two episodes of anything, and that opening scenes tend to be more sedentary in order to introduce characters and relationships.

 

Thanks everyone for the advice. I'll definitely persevere with something and see what happens.

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艾墨本

@AdamD You could always pre-learn key vocabulary by plugging the subtitle file into Chinese Text Analyser (see Imron's signature).

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realmayo
1 hour ago, AdamD said:

I'll definitely persevere

 

I don't know if this has been mentioned already but check out the long topic on the TV series 奋斗: lots of posts, plot discussion, vocabulary and transcripts to get you through the first few episodes.

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/17355-first-episode-11-奋斗/

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AdamD

Thank you both for that advice. I'd actually forgotten about transcripts/word lists for shows.

 

My specific point is more about the notion of boosting listening skills by watching lots of TV without preparation. I'm also coming across more pessimistic than I actually am, in that my ability is definitely improving as a result of other things.

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AdamD

Very quick update because I've had some success with TV drama and am quite excited.

 

@imron, you're right: I do know plenty of the words, and as I get used to the actors' speech/accents I'm understanding more and more.

 

@realmayo, you were right: I'm only on episode 2 and already have a decent idea of what's going on.

 

I've gone into more detail in the listening rut thread.

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stapler

The last month I have been focusing not so much on "advancing" but on consolidating the basics. In the last update I mentioned I was a bit disconcerted about the fact that I often struggle to express basic things (things I've been stumped on recently: "It's the last of these two", "the sooner you do that the sooner you can go home", "even though they're famous that doesn't mean you'll necessarily get along with them"-- just off the top of my head). I have no problem comprehending these sentences when I hear them. And when I find out how to say them I think "ah of course!" But this points to a deeper problem with my Chinese.

 

In order to fix this problem I've been making a concerted effort to basically spend more time speaking Chinese so I can get stumped more often so I can find and fix these gaps in my ability. Speaking more is the only way I can do this because I cannot consciously identify the gaps in my Chinese until I have to start actively using it! I hope after fixing up the "basics" the harder parts of the language (dealing with accents, less common vocabulary, etc) will also become easier as the basics become 'automatic'. I'm going to stop taking it for granted that I can say what I actually want to say and use this as an excuse to avoid talking; I'm going to try and stop thinking "no need to say such a simple thing in Chinese, of course I could say that if I wanted to!". Basically I'm going to try and stop deluding myself.

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Flickserve

I browse through the forums, occasionally making posts. Sorry to disappoint all but I have lost interest in learning Chinese. I haven't done any listening, reading nor speaking practice since Easter.

 

My other interests have taken over. I am training up for the HK annual championships in badminton to go further than the quarterfinals of previous years. So, I have been putting time in on court, spending time in the gym and also doing taekwondo for cross training. The most Chinese thing I did was go to a Wing Chun class and learn more Cantonese terms for the movements.

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艾墨本

 

57 minutes ago, Flickserve said:

 

I browse through the forums, occasionally making posts. Sorry to disappoint all but I have lost interest in learning Chinese. I haven't done any listening, reading nor speaking practice since Easter.

 

My other interests have taken over. I am training up for the HK annual championships in badminton to go further than the quarterfinals of previous years. So, I have been putting time in on court, spending time in the gym and also doing taekwondo for cross training. The most Chinese thing I did was go to a Wing Chun class and learn more Cantonese terms for the movements.

 

Good on you for doing something you love, especially if you've lost interest in Chinese. I hope you surpass your badminton goals! 

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AdamD

Watching TV is a lot of fun (now that I can get some sort of grip on what I'm hearing), and being able to understand whole scenes is incentive enough for me to keep going. Even as I'm writing this, I'm champing at the bit to watch some more. My final major hurdle is cracking wide open.

 

When I'm not doing that, I'm listening to ChinesePod lessons and adding words to my HSK5 pack. I always go hard at Chinese, but this is a whole new level and I'm more optimistic than I've been in ages.

 

@stapler: I'm with you on speaking more. It's devastating when you constantly make mistakes because you feel so stupid, but you just have to keep going. I plan to do a lot more speaking this week, mainly with complete strangers via apps so I don't embarrass myself around people I know.

 

@Flickserve: Life happens. Doing what you enjoy matters more than anything.

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stapler

@Flickserve perhaps a break is precisely what you need. Especially if you've lost interest. I reckon you'll come back after a while though, as to get as far as you have studying Mandarin you must have a deeper interest in it! Will be waiting for you to start again in a month or two :D

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Flickserve
On 8 May 2017 at 6:51 AM, stapler said:

 

@Flickserve perhaps a break is precisely what you need. Especially if you've lost interest. I reckon you'll come back after a while though, as to get as far as you have studying Mandarin you must have a deeper interest in it! Will be waiting for you to start again in a month or two :D

 

 

 I hope you are right.

 

I think also motivation is a question of need and for me, not living in an native speaking environment is a bummer.

 

However, great to be competition training again though the physical training hurts so much. Thinking a bit of Korean knowledge might help because my instructor is Korean. I also got asked to go to Korea for a Tae Kwon Do training camp by the grandmaster. What have I got myself into???

 

Chinese martial arts has taken a huge hit recently. No incentive to learn from that particular angle!

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Wurstmann

If you decide to learn Korean your knowledge of Chinese will be useful. The words are easier to remember if you already know the Hanja.

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艾墨本

This last week has been a little difficult, not because I'm not studying, but because the process of reviewing is once again proving how important it is to review. Perhaps I'm just looking at the glass half empty.

 

This last week I picked up my HSK 5 vocabulary deck that I studied Nov/Dec 2016 before taking the HSK. I worked it really hard and managed to get all the words into the "mature" category. Now, as I come back to the five months later, I'm finding that I've forgotten quite a few words. It's worth noting my standard of remembering is that I remember proper pronunciation, how to write the character, it's meaning, and how to use it. Currently, about I have to hit the "forgot" on about 1/7 or 8 cards. 

 

The flip side of this is that I can see quite clearly which cards have actually worked their way into my vocabulary. As I look at these cards again, I remember learning them half a year ago and every time I see one that I regularly use, there is a nice sense of accomplishment. My original goal was to go over them during this week and next week (417 notes or 814 cards). I'm finding I must move slower than originally anticipated. If I do the 100 per day as I had planned, it takes me about 90-120 minutes, which is more than I can afford for Anki every day.

 

This is all a break after finishing 活着 and 许三观卖血记 during the last couple months. I'm also drilling those notecards, but they are down to about 10-20 cards per day. 

 

This all aside, I'm trying to push myself to spend more time in my grammar books and learn more about grammar. I find it interesting and it's all written in Chinese. The target audience is 对外汉语 teacher, too, so I get to learn and practice reading at the same time. 

 

I'm doing this because after some thought about what I won't be able to do once I start a program next semester to study Chinese, I realized I won't be able to spend a lot of time on just a few things as classes tend to progress quite rapidly through vocabulary. As such, I've decided to use this time to really solidify the knowledge I already have to make it easier to build on. 

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AdamD

Something snapped last week. My listening ability is suddenly exploding, even from day to day. Last week I could understand 90% of everything this guy says (although needing to replay some parts), and I wasn't getting tired even after hours of viewing. I've also been able to understand nearly all the voice messages a Taiwanese friend sends me (only recently I couldn't understand most of what she said), and I've also been using Chinese GPS audio to navigate. All this is HUGE for me, and it feels great.

 

I think this is the result of smashing ChinesePod for months, staring at YouTube videos that interest me, and working hard at acquiring the HSK5 words that I see/hear in context.

 

I'm also pushing harder into audio language exchange online, which means overcoming my deep hatred of phone conversations. I'm rationalising this by (a) reminding myself how well it works and (b) knowing the person I'm speaking to is usually as embarrassed as I am. In doing this, I need to be really firm on what I need to achieve, which means turning down offers to tell lengthy stories, use obscure phrases in sentences, etc. Every minute I spend doing the wrong thing is a minute I could use to punch through this last barrier to comprehension.

 

On 13/05/2017 at 4:04 PM, 艾墨本 said:

Now, as I come back to the five months later, I'm finding that I've forgotten quite a few words. It's worth noting my standard of remembering is that I remember proper pronunciation, how to write the character, it's meaning, and how to use it. Currently, about I have to hit the "forgot" on about 1/7 or 8 cards.

 

But you're aware and you're addressing it. Remembering 7/8 cards (more than 1,100/1,300 cards by my count) is fantastic.

 

On 12/05/2017 at 4:09 PM, Flickserve said:

I also got asked to go to Korea for a Tae Kwon Do training camp by the grandmaster. What have I got myself into???

 

This is so cool. You're going, right?

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imron
On 2017/5/13 at 2:04 PM, 艾墨本 said:

Currently, about I have to hit the "forgot" on about 1/7 or 8 cards. 

It's perfectly ok to forget things.

 

SRS sells itself with the false promise of never forgetting anything, but that typically falls down in the real world.

 

Those forgotten cards are likely to be things that didn't come up at all in your recent reading/learning and while they might be relevant *eventually* they are probably not so relevant *right now*.

1 hour ago, AdamD said:

I'm rationalising this by (a) reminding myself how well it works and (b) knowing the person I'm speaking to is usually as embarrassed as I am.

If you regularly push yourself to do things outside your comfort zone then before long your comfort zone will expand to include those things.

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AdamD
9 minutes ago, imron said:

If you regularly push yourself to do things outside your comfort zone then before long your comfort zone will expand to include those things.

 

It's so easy to forget this. Thanks for making it explicit.

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Flickserve
8 hours ago, AdamD said:

This is so cool. You're going, right?

 

Mehhh, no. Already planned a trip to Xinjiang this summer. I only got into Taekwondo to get fitter!

 

On 12 May 2017 at 11:09 PM, Wurstmann said:

 

If you decide to learn Korean your knowledge of Chinese will be useful. The words are easier to remember if you already know the Hanja.

 

 

One to ten in Korean is already difficult.

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