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mackie1402

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Flickserve

Lost my mojo but back again. Why? I was browsing through another forum reading of another person's Chinesepod daily routine. It seemed pretty reasonable to try it out. The user also setup Anki in combination.

 

I am into practicing listening and speaking. I don't deliberately practice characters very much. 

 

I grabbed some Chinesepod material with the transcripts. It turns out that the intermediate level stuff I can read OK. My listening is poor and there are some unknown vocabulary within each lesson. Perfect learning material. 

 

This is how I setup (only done three lessons so far). 

 

Read the lesson pdf. 

Listen to mp3 in workaudio book

Subtitle the times of the specific phrase to its subtitle in workaudio book (listening practice) 

Get the srt file, copy another srt file with the translations replacing the Chinese 

Add to Anki. 

Anki is set to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 15 reviews 

Set Anki to show only a listening card. The audio sentence plays four times. After showing the answer, there will be another four audio repeats of the sentence. 

 

Next day, listen to the podcast a few times. Try hard to understand.

Start Anki 

I try to listen hard and shadow for each card

Reveal answer, another repeat of four times of audio. Try to shadow again. Sometimes I will press repeat audio for extra practice on listening or shadowing. It can be done before or after showing the answer.

 

Re-listen to the podcast trying to understand each sentence again. 

 

All in all, I am still tinkering things. I will increase the reps in each card to 8 because I have a bit of difficulty with the longer sentences. Although numbers of reps are not tracked, I would estimate I am trying to listen and shadow at least 25 times in one day trying to emulate the intonation. Add to that another day for revision. 

 

Initially, I thought the speed was too fast. What I believe now is it is the lack of practice. Certain words in combination in a sentence are more difficult which means just adding more reps and trying to shadow better. 

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Beelzebro
2 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Anki is set to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 15 reviews

 

What do you mean by this? You mean each new word will be shown to you every day for a week, then the next day, then 2 days later, then 5 days later etc? That seems very excessive. I think my intervals go 2 days, 4 days, 8 days, 16 etc and I still have >90% recall.

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Flickserve
13 hours ago, Beelzebro said:

What do you mean by this? You mean each new word will be shown to you every day for a week, then the next day, then 2 days later, then 5 days later etc? That seems very excessive. I think my intervals go 2 days, 4 days, 8 days, 16 etc and I still have >90% recall.

 

Attached a pic for more clarity. Admittedly, I am not that good in describing Anki.

 

My cards are mostly sentences to help listen in context.

 

In a sentence, there may be a couple of new words. Not too many. My main focus is to improve listening skills so I really don't want to add too many new words in a day. Been there and failed.

 

Shadowing is secondary practice. Still trying to find the optimum.

 

 

Anki--1.jpg

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BearXiong

Anki:

I'm at 5000 words and 2300 characters in my Anki deck now going at a steady pace of 5 words and 5 characters per day. I'm very pleased to get to 5000 words, as it was a goal of mine when I started learning Chinese. Now on to the next 5000...

 

Except for the first thousand or so words I learnt, I normally do Chinese -> English in my Anki word deck, but I've started going English -> Chinese instead for words that I feel I'm likely to want to use actively. I read somewhere that it was better to go L1 -> L2, and it does seem to help as I think going L1 -> L2 forces you to learn words well enough that you can also go L2 -> L1.

 

Reading:

I can confidently say compared to say 6 months ago, I'm much better at reading although there's plenty of room for improvement.

 

Listening:

I've been doing about an hour of listening per day, mostly through watching TV programs.

 

A year ago my friend's parents from Beijing came and visited and we all had dinner with some other friends. They have a particularly strong accent so I found them difficult to understand. I'd say I understood close to none of what they said, whereas I could understand some of what the younger people said. Recently, they came again and we had dinner again. This time I could understand some of what they said, and most of what the younger people said. I understood enough to engage in some discussion. A friend who was also present later told me that it's not just their accent, but that they use some uncommon words which make them particularly difficult for foreigners to understand. Anyway, I was pleased that I could see a measurable improvement between the two occasions a year apart, as sometimes it's difficult to see such incremental progress.

 

Writing:

I've started using HelloTalk and Tandem, so I have some regular chat partners which has helped me with my writing. For those of you who've tried HelloTalk but not Tandem, I'd say it's worth giving a shot as I've had better luck on Tandem, in terms of quality of chat partners and more easily getting new chat partners. With HelloTalk unless I post something, which I'm not always inclined to do, I get very few new chat partners.

 

At some point a few months ago I noticed that some of my grammar knowledge was lacking, as I mostly learnt grammar from exposure, occasionally going on the grammar wiki and looking things up when I get confused. Recently, I went through some of the book Yufa! A practical guide to mandarin Chinese grammar - by Wenhua Teng. I really like this book as it has lot of examples, and its explanations aren't too technical yet are detailed enough to be practical. I find I'm more confident in communicating now that I have a more solid understanding of grammar, although I sometimes still sometimes form sentences where I'm not very confident with whether the grammar is correct or not (more often than not it's fine).

 

Speaking:

In the past I've mostly learnt through listening and reading. Now I'd like to get better at speaking (and writing). My problem here is being able to formulate sentences fast enough to speak. I don't feel like pronunciation is a problem. Hopefully I'll get better with practice. 

 

 

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sekkar

Skritter:

I recently passed 500 000 reviews and almost 600 hours spent. That really puts into perspective how much time I've spent on this hobby the last two years. It's almost a bit scary, but then again I have friends with 300 days played on World of Warcraft. After finishing the TOCFL vocab list I'm currently adding from I'll probably stop adding more words.

 

Speaking: 

I'm only practicing speaking maybe 3 hours a week, but I still feel like I have improved a lot these last few months.

 

Listening:

Still doing daily Chinesepod podcast while walking to work, but starting to get a bit tired of them as the content is not hugely interesting. I'm also watching a lot of TV shows, finished a high school drama called "A love so beautiful" which I found quite good, and moved on to "Nirvana in Fire". It's great so far, but the difficult spike is huge. They speak this quasi-classical Chinese (not sure what to call it) which I find a lot more difficult than the modern speech in "A love so beautiful". If I didnt have Chinese subtitles I would be totally lost. Anyone know how easy shows like this are to understand for advanced learners/native speakers? Do they have any problems at all with it? 

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biyalan

There seem to be only a few people who post here irregularly, but maybe starting it up again will encourage my fellow intermediates to come out of the woodwork. Come update!

This week I have:

 

1) done my Pleco flashcards (from vocab encountered in reading) every day. I recently tweaked the parameters so I'm seeing cards more often, and even though this increases my number of reviews, I feel like I'm retaining the words much better. 

2) read from my book every day. This is a little more iffy, as some days I've done it right before bed and have been literally falling asleep, therefore meaning I haven't actually done a lot of reading on those days (like <10 minutes). I had one really good day where I read 30-45minutes in the library, which was very cool! I'm going to try to move my reading earlier in the day to encourage better habits. :)

3) I've started watching Chinese TV again! I was watching 归去来, but it was getting too overdramatic a few episodes in for me to have the stamina to watch the whole thing. I've since started watching 漂亮的李慧珍, which is a lot more fun and enjoyable (and the language is a little easier as well). This has been cool, because some of the vocab and chengyu I'm learning from my book are popping up in the TV show, even though they're on very different subjects. It really makes me feel like learning the vocab is worthwhile (and helps me remember it better, ofc). So even though I'm not doing transcripts or making flashcards from the show or anything, I still feel like it's helpful for my learning.

 

That's all for me this week!

 

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Wurstmann

Writing

I started learning how to write again. I do 20 characters a day. It's amazing how much I still remember after not writing by hand for three years.

 

Reading

I'm reading a story/essay in an app called 观止 everyday.

 

Listening

I'm like watching videos on 哔哩哔哩, mostly about food or let's plays. Other than that I still haven't finished watching 北京女子图鉴.

 

Speaking

As always, speaking is my weak point. I have found a language partner and for a few weeks we were meeting and speaking a lot. But now life got in the way and it has somewhat died down.

 

My biggest problem right now is motivation. I don't want to live in China again, whereas I would love to move to Japan.

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BearXiong

I've gone through an Anki deck of around 2.5k (out of 3k) of the most frequent characters according the Jun Da frequency list, which is based on Chinese texts. One of my goals for this year was to finish going through this deck of 3k characters. However, I've decided to stop continuing to learn new characters from this deck as I feel the source Jun Da Chinese texts aren't representative of what I read. Instead, I created my own deck based on character frequencies based on subtitles (SUBTLEX) and weibo posts which is closer to what I care about.

 

If I stuck to my old deck, these would be the next 20 characters that I'd learn (1): 菊, 鄙, 魄, 兜, 哄, 颖, 镑, 屑, 蚁, 壶, 怡, 渗, 秃, 迦, 旱, 哟, 咸, 焉, 谴, 宛.

According to my new deck, these are the next 20 characters that I'll learn (2): 嗨, 呃, 骰, 咯, 喔, 耘, 晒, 逛, 粤, 宵, 呜, 寞, 蹈, 蟹, 杉, 炒, 蝎, 榜, 婊, 煮.

 

Granted, a lot of the characters in (1) are useful, however, I think the fact that I'm familiar with a lot more of the characters in (2) (despite not having formally learnt them in my Anki character deck before) means that they're on the whole more immediately useful to me. They also seem more "basic".

 

I thought the following was interesting. I can learn the top 2500 most frequent characters appearing in subtitles, and top 2500 appearing in weibo posts by learning 350 more characters. 150 of these characters wouldn't even show up if I learnt the next 500 characters in my Jun Da anki deck.

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imron
1 hour ago, BearXiong said:

However, I've decided to stop continuing to learn new characters from this deck as I feel the source Jun Da Chinese texts aren't representative of what I read

This does not surprise me

 

1 hour ago, BearXiong said:

I created my own deck based on character frequencies based on subtitles (SUBTLEX) and weibo posts which is closer to what I care about. 

You could try creating your own deck based on what you read.  It will be even more efficient.  (Disclosure: I made that program)

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BearXiong

I think you're right. The problem for me is that most of my "reading" comes from reading subtitles, chatting with native speakers and perhaps reading short articles/tidbits. It'd be a fair bit of work to create a corpus of what I actually read in order to do a frequency analysis. I suspect if I included only books that I read that I'd in fact get a less representative character frequency list than the one I created based on weibo/subtitles. 

 

My current plan is to learn about 3k or so characters, continuing from this new deck, then create my own deck where I add characters one at a time at a more leisurely pace based on things that I read. Of course, it'd be better to create my own deck where I add my own characters one at a time from the start, but the time/effort needed is simply not worth it for me.

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oceancalligraphy
On 2/8/2018 at 11:39 PM, AdamD said:

I told one weeks-old 網友 from south Taiwan that I'm going to north Taiwan, and they insisted on travelling 300 km just to visit me. I had to put my foot down fairly forcefully — I will not lose whole days of my short holiday to someone off the internet who doesn't understand boundaries.

 

I know this is old, but I wanted to mention that you're just experiencing the hospitality of the Taiwanese. I know it can be odd and off-putting, but it's also the reason why people say Taiwan is a friendly place to visit. Traveling from south to north is nothing these days - max two hours on the high speed train.

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biyalan

Not quite one week later, but better than nothing...

 

Since my last update, I have

1) kept up with my flashcards

2) continued reading my book. It's going slowly, but I definitely think I'm having to look up fewer words, etc.

3) finished the TV show I was watching. I watched an episode or two with a tape measure over the subtitles so I can make sure I'm practicing listening and not just reading skills. It definitely made it harder, but I still managed to follow along pretty well. 

 

Going forward, I'd like to keep up with 1 and 2 and hopefully increase the amount of time I spend reading each day (this is still sadly pretty low). I'd also like to find a new TV show to watch or maybe get into a podcast to keep up with my listening skills. 

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sekkar

1) Finished adding all of TOCFL and HSKs vocab to my skritter list, so from now on I will just review and not add more words.

 

2) Still reading 盤龍 and still really enjoying. 

 

3) Finished watching 瑯琊榜 which I would consider a great series. Not just good for a Chinese show, but actually worth watching even if you have no interest in Chinese. Not sure what to watch next, might go with 白夜追兇

 

4) Continuing to meet my language exchange partner for around 3 hours a week.

 

5 hours ago, biyalan said:

I'd also like to find a new TV show to watch or maybe get into a podcast to keep up with my listening skills. 

5) I'm listening to a podcast called 酸菜館 which I really recommend. Two host and a guest discuss a topic for an hour, e.g. birth tourism, 相親++, pretty interesting topics. You can find it on Ximalaya. 

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lrumin94

Hello, I noticed above that people had children's books accompanied by pinyin. Can anyone recommend to me where I can buy the four classics anywhere in Shanghai (or even Taobao)? I really want to read books in Chinese to improve my reading skills (it's so bad I can barely keep up with my classmates). 

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BearXiong

I recently bought a single-ear bluetooth earbud. I've set it up so that as soon as I turn it on, it'll connect to my phone and automatically start playing some Chinese audio. Since it's a single-ear earbud, I can play audio and still be aware of my surroundings, e.g. respond to someone in real life if they start chatting with me. It's also waterproof so I can use it in the shower. Another nice thing is that it comes with a keychain attachment, so I have it on me all the time while I'm out and about. For those of you looking to get more listening practice in, I highly recommend it! It's amazing how much more listening practice you can get in during the day when it's so convenient and easy.

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pon00050
2 hours ago, BearXiong said:

I recently bought a single-ear bluetooth earbud. I've set it up so that as soon as I turn it on, it'll connect to my phone and automatically start playing some Chinese audio. Since it's a single-ear earbud, I can play audio and still be aware of my surroundings, e.g. respond to someone in real life if they start chatting with me. It's also waterproof so I can use it in the shower. Another nice thing is that it comes with a keychain attachment, so I have it on me all the time while I'm out and about. For those of you looking to get more listening practice in, I highly recommend it! It's amazing how much more listening practice you can get in during the day when it's so convenient and easy.

 

Could you share the exact product name for the single-ear bluetooth earbud thing that you are using?

 

 

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BearXiong

I ended up purchasing this one (Re-sport Upgraded IP68 Waterproof Earbud). I'm not sure how it fares with the many others available but I'm personally very happy with it.

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mackie1402

Been busy at work, but trying to squeeze in an hour or so a day of studying these last 2 weeks. I've decided to take the HSK 5 in Nov/Dec. 

 

I did a couple of practice tests and got about 73/100 for listening and 68/100 for reading. I'm actually really happy with this for the start as I know I've got a lot of work to do. I didn't attempt the writing yet as I don't have a way to mark it. 

 

I'm looking through italki for HSK5 teachers, but a lot I've messaged have just said "Oh well the highest I've taught it HSK4, but we can try if you like." Doesn't give me much confidence. 

 

On another side note, about 5 years ago I picked up Matilda translated into Chinese from a book shop here. I remember seeing it and thinking 'wow 18 rmb is so cheap!' It's been on the bookshelf since. I picked it up again last week and read the first 5 chapters now. That's been a big boost for me and it's made me even more motivated!

 

 

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Flickserve

OK. I dropped anki for while because I got a lot more into Hellotalk app.

 

As a native English speaker, I get many requests to be a language partner on HT.

 

After 6 months of playing around, I notice getting a language partner is very hit and miss exercise but it is coming slowly together. The fact that I am only learning Chinese as a hobby means my own motivation level fluctuates markedly.

 

There seems to be no very strong predictable factors on who you can connect with as a language partner or who can match your level. One fairly strong predictor of non-success is the level of education. Those in University seem to be unsuitable unless they are doing a Master degree.

 

I am quite happy to listen to recordings and try a mini dictation exercise. This seems to be the best way as people are busy, times are hard to match and my emphasis is on listening skills. A lot are a bit shy of voice to voice dialogue even after communicating by messages. I am not really critical of it - different people, different personalities, different motivation. Even one's own motivation is prone to changing levels of interest.

 

It seems what is happening is that I am starting to build up a group of language partners each who has their different characteristics. One can manage each person accordingly to your preferences. For instance, if you feel like getting a bit of variation on listening skills, you can pick somebody in Xiamen. Another might be quite happy to receive and reply to voice messages and you ask what did you say and the same back. Some don't mind talking. One of them doesn't mind recording short clips conversation with their 4 year old and that I found to be truly native speech.

 

 

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DavyJonesLocker
On 6/18/2018 at 2:08 AM, sekkar said:

Skritter:

I recently passed 500 000 reviews and almost 600 hours spent. That really puts into perspective how much time I've spent on this hobby the last two years. It's almost a bit scary, 

 

That got me thinking. I just looked at anki. My total reviews are 625k! 😳

 

And it's got to be 100k more than that given I deleted decks several times.

 

However I often think I "waste time" learning Chinese with little or no process but it's kind of similar with going to the gym. I've been a very keen gym goer for 25 years. 4 times a week. I am nowhere near  as strong as I was 10 years ago, however it's the continual process I enjoy rather than the end result. I think it's important to bear that in mind

 

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