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mackie1402

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Flickserve

Mackie, that is a good strategy but how many times are you planning to get married to make the new vocabulary stick?

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mackie1402

 

 

Flickserve

Posted Yesterday, 04:19 PM

Mackie, that is a good strategy but how many times are you planning to get married to make the new vocabulary stick?

 

Ha! Well I have to say the whole wedding planning process felt like some space repetition itself! Should have a good 6-8 months now before I need to intervene in someone else's wedding plans just to keep it fresh! 

 

On the studying side of things:

 

Yesterday I started going through Glossika. I'm doing the spaced repetition and seeing how many I can fit in a day. Yesterday I did days 1-5, and today I've done days 6-10. The first few days are pretty short though as there aren't any reviews. I'm sure once I get to day 15 and above, where they're about 15 mins each, I might not get 5 done. In my spare time I'm playing around with Skritter to review HSK 4 and learn HSK 5 words. HSK isn't something I need to complete, nor do I agree with it showing your true ability in the language, but it's nice having something to prepare for. Yesterday I downloaded Du Chinese for the first time. It's not bad, but it's more of a "I'm lying in bed but not too tired. Let's read a couple of things."

 

Friday through to Monday are my busiest days. Won't have too much time for Glossika I can imagine, so I'll do a bit of Skritter and Du Chinese on the metro to work. I'll set a target for Glossika; day 15 by Monday. Let's see. 

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mackie1402

Managed to finish Day 15 of Glossika spaced repetition by Sunday night. Last night I did days 16-20. Only came across 1 new word so far (政治), so nothing too demanding language wise. Putting in over an hour of shadowing a day has been a bit tough at times. Once I get a few longer sentences and new words I'll pace myself and do just a couple a day, perhaps then repeat. I'm simply using Glossika for the reps so to speak.

In the meantime im always playing around on Skritter. I disabled writing the character and it feels a lot smoother for me to study. I'm sure I'll turn it on again in the future. 

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Flickserve
2 hours ago, mackie1402 said:

Managed to finish Day 15 of Glossika spaced repetition by Sunday night. Last night I did days 16-20. Only came across 1 new word so far (政治), so nothing too demanding language wise. Putting in over an hour of shadowing a day has been a bit tough at times. Once I get a few longer sentences and new words I'll pace myself and do just a couple a day, perhaps then repeat. I'm simply using Glossika for the reps so to speak.

In the meantime im always playing around on Skritter. I disabled writing the character and it feels a lot smoother for me to study. I'm sure I'll turn it on again in the future. 

Have you noticed any benefits?

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mackie1402
10 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Have you noticed any benefits?

I worked out that the first 20 GSR audio files are only about 200 sentences, but about 3000 repetitions. While I think its still a little too early to notice any real benefits, I have noticed one thing!

After many repetitions the phrases are just there waiting to be used. As soon as I hear the longer phrases they just flow out naturally now. After I can use the longer phrases smoothly, I do some substitution drills and they're still just as smooth. I'm hoping after 3000 sentences like this, plus substitutions, I should see a big improvement. My wife has also noticed an improvement in my intonation.

I've read a few posts about people seeing an improvment after 500 sentences. I'll keep everyone posted!

 

Edit: I noticed something pretty astounding on the walk home from the metro tonight. I was doing today's round of 5 lessons and, well how do I even explain it? I heard the English sentence, and before my brain had finished translating it my mouth had finished saying it! It was a feeling I find quite difficult to describe. My mind hadn't finished fully processing the sentence before my mouth had said it perfectly. Anyone know what I mean? I suppose it's kind of like how we talk as native speakers. 

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mackie1402

My targets to get to Day 50 by Monday night. It's Saturday night as I right this and I'm grinding through to Day 40. That'll be 5 each day for the next 2 days. Time-wise it shouldn't be too much of a problem as I've got a lot more free time with the holidays. Motivation on the other hand...we shall see!

 

By Monday night that should be about 8200 reps. I'm hoping to finish all 3 and produce about 50,000 reps. I have to admit I'm kind of scared of the outcome. If after finishing about 90 hours of shadowing I don't feel much of an improvement, it'd be pretty glum. It's a nice little experiment nonetheless! I think I'll record myself Monday/Tuesday. Record some of the current sentences, then some of the new ones I haven't done yet. Hopefully this will help with me comparing the progress at the end! Wish I made a recording at the start.

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mackie1402

Just a quickie:

 

Was lying in bed while the Mrs. was watching TV. I'm flicking through my phone and suddenly it happens.

"你踩着我脚了“

 

My wife was watching a Chinese TV series and without paying attention I heard it perfectly. Basically a drunk guy was all over some girl and stepped on her foot.

 

So this probably doesn't seem like a big deal. Let me explain. I've always known these words separately. I've never needed to say that phrase before. Hopefully it wont be a common one I'll be using either. It is however one of the sentences in the first book of Glossika I'm studying. I drilled it in the early stages and haven't heard it in a while now, but as soon as she started to say it on the TV, I was finishing it in my head.

 

I've definitely noticed an improvement in my listening since starting Glossika. Learning the sentences rather than just words has also really helped with my comprehension. Now it's really motivated me to keep this up. The more sentences I have drilled into my skull, the easier my listening will be to pluck out phrases, instead of putting together words and trying to translate!

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mackie1402

Finished Glossika GSR Day 50 last night (Monday Night) as planned. It was tough as I kind of slacked a little over the weekend.

 

I've noticed an improvement in my grammar these last few days. As Glossika keeps repeating sentence structures with different content it's kind of reinforced it.

 

There are 2 issues I have with Glossika:

  1. The use of names
  2. Unspecific sentences

As Glossika use the same sentences for every language they produce, they use a huge range of international names. There always seems to be a new name thrown into the mix. It's getting to a stage where the names are just ridiculous translations, especially Russian names which are translated into about 5 characters! It's got to a stage where I just replace the name in Chinese with the English name or a pronoun.

 

For example:

Ganesh has two sisters.

加尼诗有两个姐妹。

 

I would say:

Ganesh有两个姐妹。

 

Junko's tired. She wants to go home.

纯子累了。她想现在回家。

 

As I have never met anyone called Junko, nor heard that name before, I would say:

她累了。她想现在回家。

 

The only problem with this is that it interrupts the flow of the sentence.

 

Secondly I had a problem near the beginning on the course, not so much now.

You learn sentence and answer. So first you'd learn:

 

Is he eating something?

他在吃东西吗?

 

then

 

No, he isn't.

没有,他没在吃。

 

But when you suddenly get the sentence "No, he isn't" thrown at you later, it's difficult to remember that THIS instance refers to him eating. There was another with something like "No, he isn't", and the reply was "No, he isn't wearing a watch." Nonetheless I;m happy I'm halfway through book 1. Going to keep pushing through. Next target is Day 75 by next Monday night!

 

In other areas, I've been listening to a few Chinese songs from TV shows recently. I like to read the lyrics seriously to my wife while she's at work, then just as she's confused I blast out the song on WeChat while I sing along. After all, gotta have some fun with Chinese too, right?

 

Let's make good use of these tags:

 

@Mr John@Flickserve@stapler @艾墨本 @xit@laurenth@AdamD@Mati1@Wurstmann

 

How's the progress going? Any news?

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Flickserve

I am going through sentences from my lessons. It is slow. Initially I cut up the sentences and placed all of them in Anki with the transcript. I made a listening card.

 

However, there are some vocabulary which I have a harder time of understanding. I simply easily forget after a short period of time.

 

I tried a different tactic. I took all the sentences, stuck them into an MP3 player and  continually played the sentences in a loop.The pause between each sentence was a bit short so I wanted to add 2sec of silence at the end to each MP3 in a batch process. It turned out to be incredibly difficult to do it in a batch process. Single files are ok. But if you have a hundred sentences, it becomes laborious. Eventually found a freeware (not from google search) that could add 1sec. Going through Anki again after repeating sentences through the MP3 player seems a bit easier.

 

So I have been listening to the sentences, trying to identify my problem vocabulary. Need to discuss those harder vocabulary with the tutor again to make it stick. It is not too difficult to use the words - they just don't stay in my long term memory! Maybe I should go back to physically writing some words out  to help make them stick. At an estimate, some of these sentences I have listened to over thirty times - that seems a bit desperate to me.

 

 

Trouble is Chinese New Year is coming up so I don't expect much progress in working with a  tutor.

 

In terms of real listening skills, I was in Guangzhou the other weekend as a guest at dinners. It was disappointing to realise I am still quite far away from comprehending a lot of rudimentary conversations. Yet, just back in HK, I had a conversation with a person from Harbin (maybe she has dumbed down her Mandarin for me?) and in the bank yesterday, I could understand some mainlanders speaking amongst themselves.

Not sure what is going on. I have to point out that the Guangzhou trip had a lot of highly educated professionals from various areas of the country . Perhaps they used different vocabulary with different accents. Maybe I should just record everything at dinner and ask someone's help in reviewing later.

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laurenth

@mackie1402  Hello,


To answer your question, I posted my last weekly update 18 weeks ago. It was a difficult period, both personally and professionally, and so my Chinese studies suffered a bit. But let's take stock of the past two weeks, based on my brilliant scheme for 2017.


After I'd finished typing the above post, two weeks ago, I installed a new goal tracking app on my phone. I chose Goaltracker because, contrary to Don't break the chain and such, you can define tasks that are not necessarily to be done each day (e.g. you can choose 5 times/week, etc.).

 

  • I did not define a vocab collecting/studying/reviewing task because I've been doing that daily for years (though with underwhelming success), so I'm quite confident I can go on without tracking my record.
  • Some reading 5 times/week. Check. Last week, I restarted reading 古龙's 金鹏王朝. I had already read over half of it on my Kindle in the last quarter of 2016, then stopped because I'd lent my device to my wife for a few weeks and, when I came back to Gu Long, I felt overwhelmed, had forgotten who was who and what was happening. In the meantime, I had ordered a hard copy of vol. 1 and 2 from books.com.tw (wonderful service by the way: the books arrived in less than one week) because, silly me, I'd only bought vol. 3 while I was in Taiwan. Anyway, I restarted reading on paper, with the objective of reviewing the same vocab and taking short notes while reading - there are wide margins available to scribble stuff in books written top to bottom/left to right. I'm on page 58/364.
  • 2 language exchange meetings/week: there was 1 in week 1 and 2 in week 2.
  • Active listening exercises 5 times/week: check. When I meet with a language partner, though, my midday study period is used and that counts as active listening. I've been transcribing an SBS podcast called Happy Weekend about Taiwanese singer Huang Peishu. Maybe because she's a 客家人 and she was trained to pronounce correctly (as explained in the podcast), her Mandarin is very clear. My 听力 being what it is, on first listening I did not understand much at all. But with enough looping, looking up words and repeating, I can transcribe 80-90% of what is being said. Until last week I was transcribing the text in pinyin on paper. Now I've started doing it in characters in a text editor. Oh, and by the way, I've joined the 史上最強英語會話8000 Owner Club and started working a bit on those sentences. I fed them into WorkAudioBook and have been using them for parroting/shadowing
  • Classes: The objective was 2 classes/week. Bad start. There were 2 classes on week 1, 1 on week 2 and zero on week 3 (teacher's cancellation). 
  • [Not Chinese: Gym: objective is 3 sessions/week. Check.
    Guitar: don't have the time to practice every day and set no objective. But I've been working again on some simple chord melody arrangements of Reinhardt's Nuages and Monk's 'round Midnight.]

And how do you insert those tags linked to a profile, BTW?  Thanks.

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roddy

Type an @ and then start typing the username - @laurenth for example. It can be a bit unreliable, particularly with Chinese usernames where you have to switch into an IME. Seems to work best if you switch into the IME BEFORE typing the @. 

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Mati1

I've been tagged :shock: tag back: @mackie1402

 

It's been a long time since I've posted my challenge. In short, I've failed it after about three and a half weeks. I figure, unless I have a pressing need like an upcoming test (which I don't) I am best at learning Chinese casually.

The challenge was an interesting experience. After trying to learn characters lazily for up to two weeks and therefore not making real progress, I knew I needed a more serious approach and tried something new.

 

Back in the 90s I made my own paper SRS which gave me good results and was easy to use, but creating the flashcards was too much of a hassle (partly because the standard flashcard paper didn't fit my box so I had to cut it). So this time I've designed my own paper SRS based on a list handwritten on standard paper (A4 spiral pad (students' note-block) or whatever).

In the end I had to spend up to three hours each day on the characters alone (30 new characters each day, cough) and had built up a backlog of reading and listening which I wanted to do eventually. I enjoy reading texts which are easy enough, but learning characters is pretty boring. It was interesting though because I had never before tried to learn characters so intensely; my most intense previous approach was learning by reading from my character book alone for up to two hours a day (I worked through the whole book containing 800 characters + components back then).

I was so disappointed that I've stopped completely for too long, which is strange because I like learning by reading Chinese casually on a daily basis.

I am now reading and listening daily again. The DeFrancis Series has become my main source and provides so much content that I don't need to open my other books. Today or tomorrow I'll be done with Beginning Chinese Character Text; after that I will read Beginning Chinese Reader 2 before I can finally move on to DeFrancis' intermediate level.

 

Character recognition has always been the main thing holding me back and I am planning to start a new paper SRS again soon - this time more casually. No escaping characters :roll:

 

Mati1

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mackie1402

Morning everyone. Let the holiday begin! It's so peaceful here today. I love the start of the New Year.

 

@Flickserve

On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 11:46 AM, Flickserve said:

I am going through sentences from my lessons. It is slow. Initially I cut up the sentences and placed all of them in Anki with the transcript. I made a listening card.

 

What do you mean by a listening card?

 

I used to do this with dialogues from the University books. I would cut them up and shadow. I did see a big improvement in understanding the passage when we looked at it in class. I stopped however as it took a long time just to prepare the audio files. I felt like the effort-reward ratio wasn't too good.

 

On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 11:46 AM, Flickserve said:

Maybe I should go back to physically writing some words out  to help make them stick.

 

These last few days I've been playing around singing Chinese songs to my wife down the phone. Originally I would get the lyrics from Baidu, then stick them into Google Translate to get the pinyin and just sing along with the pinyin. I could sing along (sing along awfully I must add), but if I weren't looking at the pinyin I couldn't remember. I originally decided just to use the pinyin as I wanted to just play around and didn't see it as studying. Afterwards I opened the song in Kugou which has  a lyric page like karaoke. I was amazed at how I knew about 80-90% of the words already. After actually signing along to the characters and seeing the meaning, I found myself singing as I tidied the house without the lyrics today. That's definitely taught me a lesson.

 

On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 11:46 AM, Flickserve said:

I was in Guangzhou the other weekend as a guest at dinners. It was disappointing to realise I am still quite far away from comprehending a lot of rudimentary conversations.

 

Maybe some were talking local? Some Cantonese? Some specialized topics? It can be quite overwhelming! At least you got in the situation of being around native speakers!

 

@laurenth

18 hours ago, laurenth said:

After I'd finished typing the above post, two weeks ago, I installed a new goal tracking app on my phone.

I've downloaded a few goal tracking apps. The problem I find is using them! I always forget to update my progress.

 

18 hours ago, laurenth said:

2 language exchange meetings/week: there was 1 in week 1 and 2 in week 2.

What do you do during your language exchange meetings? I think I need more face to face conversations, and it'd be very easy to find partners here. I just don't know how to go about them. Do you spend half the time in each language? I feel like I'd automatically use English if they wanted to talk English.

 

18 hours ago, laurenth said:

My 听力 being what it is, on first listening I did not understand much at all. But with enough looping, looking up words and repeating, I can transcribe 80-90% of what is being said. Until last week I was transcribing the text in pinyin on paper.

I want to start this approach soon with Ximalaya. Get some podcasts to try and transcribe. I'm expecting it to be tough at first, but hoping I'll see good progress. I would be very happy with 90%.

 

@Mati1

13 hours ago, Mati1 said:

So this time I've designed my own paper SRS

What made you opt for paper instead of software?

 

13 hours ago, Mati1 said:

In the end I had to spend up to three hours each day on the characters alone (30 new characters each day, cough)

That seems a lot! 30 words a day would be tough, but at least some could use the same characters to help with meaning, but 30 characters a day!? Wow. I haven't learnt single characters for a long time. I usually go through words from HSK lists and then review which words have the same characters.

 

 

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Flickserve
2 minutes ago, mackie1402 said:

What do you mean by a listening card?

The front of the card is just one sentence. I repeat it and try to remember the meaning. I made a whole deck like this for my lessons. Perhaps some of the vocabulary is too low frequency and I should drop it and move on. Revisit another time.

 

5 minutes ago, mackie1402 said:

Maybe some were talking local? Some Cantonese? Some specialized topics? It can be quite overwhelming! At least you got in the situation of being around native speakers!

 

They were from outside of Guangdong and moved to Guangdong for work. I can already speak Cantonese pretty fluently after living in HK for a number of years with better pronunciation than many native mandarin speakers who learn Cantonese. Unfortunately, my Mandarin sounds like a native Cantonese speaker who has learnt Mandarin - heavily Canto accented. Not like a usual native English speaker learning Mandarin.

 

it could be the topic. I was at a friendly badminton match, people milling around, unfamiliar environment, shuttles being hit. However, I did expect better of myself for the initial opening gambits of conversation.

 

Mind you, they talk to me quite normally assuming 我普通话听力比他们一样。

 

Later on that evening, I had a one to one conversation with somebody from Anhui at the dinner and he was rather surprised how much more I could converse. Then again, whenthey talk out loud in the group, I cannot understand again. So really, there is a big variation of what I can comprehend.

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Publius
32 minutes ago, Flickserve said:

they talk to me quite normally assuming 我普通话听力比他们一样。

Small correction :)

Should be 他们一样 (佢哋一樣) (same as)

If it's 好佢哋 in Cantonese, then in Putonghua it's 他们好 (better than)

Or you can say 比他们不差.

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eddyf
9 hours ago, mackie1402 said:

I want to start this approach soon with Ximalaya. Get some podcasts to try and transcribe. I'm expecting it to be tough at first, but hoping I'll see good progress. I would be very happy with 90%.

The problem is that most podcasts don't have a transcript, so you don't have an answer key. And I think having an answer key is really important so you can see what you missed and learn from it. That's why I prefer to do the transcription exercise with TV shows since they usually come with Chinese subtitles.

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Mati1
7 hours ago, mackie1402 said:

What made you opt for paper instead of software?

Back in the day I had good success learning European languages vocabulary using my big physical flashcard box. Unfortunately learning Chinese characters is much more complicated, the way I do it anyway.

I like the paper box approach a lot; it gives you direct physical feedback about what you are achieving and I think it's the easiest and most forgiving / flexible approach.

I've tried Anki and the Pleco SRS before for a short time but missed the permanent "physical overview" and the daily flexibility. I didn't toy around much with them though; maybe Anki, Pleco or other digital SRS can be configured to be used in a schedule free way (as in you are not "forced" to do x cards per day - I realize that the forcing part can be a needed motivation to other learners though), that's what I like most.

Sometimes I even think I should program my own little computerized SRS to make it the way I prefer. In this modern age with cheap smartphones where you can review on the go every now and then when you have a spare minute, a flexible approach looks like the most useful anyway.

To make my meaning clearer: An approach without real schedule that's card based, not session based.

 

The other reason why I like to use paper for learning characters is the writing part. If I need to invest so much time into learning characters I also want to be able to write them afterwards. I always feel that only after learning a character in detail with component breakdown and strokes I've actually learnt it; this helps with writing and vice versa. Not knowing the characters in detail leads to confusion between similar looking characters when reading and makes writing by hand impossible.

My character books are based on simplified characters (though the traditional versions are mentioned) and I was only interested in those in the past. But I have shifted my focus on the DeFrancis series of books which are based on traditional characters. I still haven't figured out how I want / should combine those in character learning efforts. For the time being I am reading the books and not learning the tratiditional characters on their own - much confusion guaranteed.

 

I'll give the paper list based approach another try. If I don't like it enough after a few weeks I may fall back to creating a physical box again, but I don't want to buy all those paper flash cards (the paper is thicker); it feels a bit like a waste and costs much more (of course still cheap in the great scheme of learning a language) ... I could investigate ordering a big package of empty flashcards from a specialized trader instead of buying those little packs - oh I just realized that I have three old unused flashcard packs lying around, 100 cards per "package". Hmm ...

 

8 hours ago, mackie1402 said:
22 hours ago, Mati1 said:

In the end I had to spend up to three hours each day on the characters alone (30 new characters each day, cough)

That seems a lot! 30 words a day would be tough, but at least some could use the same characters to help with meaning, but 30 characters a day!?

30 per day means you can learn 2700 characters in three months (add a fourth month for repetitions) - just imagine the possibilities :D

How difficult can it be? It's only multiplying 30 by 90 haha; works best in theory.

I believe such things can be accomplished, some people out there did similar things. But it needs extreme dedication. Even when you get paid for it (part of your job) or you're a full time student a lack of motivation can make you fail easily.

 

Now back to reading and hopefully some character learning,

Mati1

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mackie1402
On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 10:51 PM, eddyf said:

The problem is that most podcasts don't have a transcript, so you don't have an answer key. And I think having an answer key is really important so you can see what you missed and learn from it. That's why I prefer to do the transcription exercise with TV shows since they usually come with Chinese subtitles.

 

I'm currently listening to 5分钟心理学。So far the podcasts I'm listening to have a transcript in the description. Plus 5 minutes is perfect for me at the moment. Some quite interesting talks!

 

Link: 5分钟心理学

 

 

xinlixue.jpg

 

 

On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 10:55 PM, Mati1 said:

30 per day means you can learn 2700 characters in three months (add a fourth month for repetitions) - just imagine the possibilities :D

How difficult can it be? It's only multiplying 30 by 90 haha; works best in theory.

I believe such things can be accomplished, some people out there did similar things. But it needs extreme dedication. Even when you get paid for it (part of your job) or you're a full time student a lack of motivation can make you fail easily.

 

Ha yeah it would be great! I know I would personally struggle to retain that many, let alone find time to do it. Let us know how it goes!

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