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. 
Flickserve

Transcribing Mandarin as a learning method

Recommended Posts

Flickserve

Split off from discussion here.

 

On 04/03/2017 at 3:34 PM, Publius said:

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

 

If I do this for Mandarin, is writing pinyin acceptable?

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.

imron

The only way to find out it to try it! (because what works or not for you may be different from others).

 

I imagine it probably would work as long as you are understanding what the pinyin is and what it means, and not just trying to match the sound as closely as possible to pinyin without any regard to the meaning.

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

If I do this for Mandarin, is writing pinyin acceptable?

I think it is, as long as you are comfortable reading pinyin (I don't... hanzi is too ingrained in my brain) because you probably want to review the transcripts at a later time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve
13 hours ago, imron said:

 

I imagine it probably would work as long as you are understanding what the pinyin is and what it means, and not just trying to match the sound as closely as possible to pinyin without any regard to the meaning.

 

What I sometimes do just for fun is listen to one of my sentences on my mobile, open up pleco, type in the pinyin of words I don't know/forgotten/guessed meaning and then look at the Chinese characters plus translation and see if it fits. This is because my transcript is held on my computer at home. Is this roughly equivalent to transcribing? There is no way I could write out the Hanzi for each word that I might recognise.

 

Imron, i don't know if you want to split off some of these posts into another thread on 'How to transcribe for Chinese ' with both yourself and Publius' comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
8 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Is this roughly equivalent to transcribing?

I don't think so, because it seems like you'd be doing a word or two at a time rather than whole sections of continuous text.

 

8 hours ago, Flickserve said:

There is no way I could write out the Hanzi for each word that I might recognise

 

Not if you don't practise it, no.

 

If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laurenth
9 hours ago, Flickserve said:

my transcript is held on my computer at home. Is this roughly equivalent to transcribing? There is no way I could write out the Hanzi for each word that I might recognise

 

I've been doing such transcription exercices for a few months, in an attempt to improve my listening comprehension. At first I was writing everything on paper, in pinyin. I was using a notebook with wide margins on each page. When I had to look up a word or (if the transcript is available) where I got the transcription wrong, I jotted down the hanzi, some explanation and a translation in the margin. However, the pinyin somehow looked - how shall I put that? - unreal, like a long string of hieroglyphs that were hard to differentiate, though I'm convinced that the cliché of "Chinese having so many homonyms" is an exaggeration if you use tones with your pinyin and if you take account of the context - by  the way, would it be possible to *not* take the context into account anyway? 

 

Then I thought that if I was making the effort of transcribing anyway, I might as well type in hanzi directly, if only because I would be able to recycle my transcripts for some more exercises: reading and reviewing, or feeding the transcripts into WorkAudioBook to create subtitle files and practice repeated listening of difficult parts. So for now, it's the other way around. I have a word processor file containing a 3 column table: column 1 is for what I think I hear; column 2 (if I have a transcript) is a corrected version with difficult words in red; column 3 is for notes, pinyin of new words, etc.

 

[Edit] I'm reading this post again and it suddenly occurs to me that, in fact, feeding a pinyin transcript into WorkAudioBook to create pinyin-only subtitles could be useful as well.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mlescano

This is an inspiring thread. Doing daily transcription exercises over several months sounds like a good daily workout. Certainly a lot of words, structures and collocations will eventually stick this way. If you're already able to read and write a lot of characters, this gives you two options:

 

-Type

-Write by hand

 

If you type, you might be "cheating" in that maybe you don't really remember the correct character for some contexts (such as 做 instead of 作, 年纪 instead of 年级), and you're instead relying on the IME guessing it for you, thus depriving yourself of the chance of reinforcing which is the right character for the right context.

 

If you write by hand, you might be "cheating" in that maybe you don't quite remember the pinyin for some characters (was it cheng or chang? Did it finish with a NG or a N?), but you can still write it.

 

So... Maybe I'll try alternating "typing" days with "handwriting" days. What do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

Prefer handwriting to typing, switching to writing pinyin if you don't know the character.

 

The automatic sentence correction with modern IMEs gives too much of a hint.  The whole point of this is to exercise active recall from passive input.  You remove a large amount of the benefit if you are using passive recall from passive input.

 

6 minutes ago, mlescano said:

maybe you don't quite remember the pinyin for some characters (was it cheng or chang? Did it finish with a NG or a N?), but you can still write it.

 

I expect these cases to be far less common than the alternative.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mlescano

Ok, so I started today, using video content with exactly timed SRT subtitles and LAMP player for automatic pause after each subtitle line. The video is of interest to me, but most people will find it boring. I first watched it in Spanish some days ago, so it's not completely new material.

 

For the first pomodoro (25min. study block) I used a Hanzi grids sheet, but then I decided to design my own. I wanted 25 squares per row, which was beyond Hanzigrids' maximum. I also left a space between rows for writing corrections, and some space on the right for counting corrections per row. At the end, I calculated my transcription rate (6.6 characters per minute for both exercises) and my accuracy rate (didn't record it for the first pomodoro, 92% for the second one.). For easier calculations, I'm not writing down spaces or punctuation. Only hanzi.

 

I'm sharing the blank A4 PDF in case anyone finds it useful. Having 25 characters per row might not be as comfortable, but makes for easier calculations once you finish your listening session. BTW, my handwriting is equally terrible in Spanish. 

 

Tomorrow I might start keeping track of my stats on Excel so I see how my rate and accuracy evolve with time. This section was easy for me, but others will not be.

 

IMG_2276 (1).JPG

transcriptionpaper.pdf

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

If you put Hanzi grid into landscape mode you can get more per line. I do this to make me do more writing of characters I have problems with.

 

I suppose the whole point of this exercise is to write what you hear. I find I understand less as I struggle to keep up with writing as I listen. I prefer to listen till I understand completely then write it out.

 

I prefer to use characters but will resort to Pinyin if I can't recall the character, then fill it in later.

Is the goal perfect/or at least good, writing of characters or getting the meaning correct and just adequately writing the character?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mlescano

Well, today I found this article: http://www.languagesurfer.com/2012/08/25/how-to-transcribe-an-essential-skill-in-foreign-language-learning/

 

Step 2 recommends listening to the whole part you will be transcribing once before starting to transcribe. This way you get the proper context.

 

I'm not aiming for perfect handwriting in Chinese: I was almost refused entry to elementary school because of my poor handwriting in Spanish! 

 

And I'm advancing very slowly: Today in my two sessions of 25 min each, I only managed to transcribe a minute and a half of video! (165 characters in each session).

 

I think I'll start a blog to keep you guys posted about how I'm doing with Publius' "one hour for 3 months transcribing challenge"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
5 minutes ago, mlescano said:

And I'm advancing very slowly: Today in my two sessions of 25 min each, I only managed to transcribe a minute and a half of video!

Keep track of this value every day.

 

You won't notice your improvement on a day-to-day basis, but when you look back after a month, or after 3 months, you'll have hard data that shows you have improved.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
On 3/23/2017 at 5:30 AM, mlescano said:

I wanted 25 squares per row, which was beyond Hanzigrids' maximum

Ask and you shall receive.

 

You should now be able to have up to 27 squares per row (you might need to reload Hanzi Grids if you currently have it open)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius

Yeah, I failed to mention Step 2. :/

It's always best to listen through the material once and get a general idea of what's going on before you start writing.

 

I also want to add: Use dictionaries wisely.

Sometimes you can deduce the meaning from the context, you just don't know what exactly is the word. A thesaurus can be very useful. Or try some words in the language you know with bilingual dictionaries and see what they give you in the target language.

 

And I can't emphasize this too much: Don't forget how to wreck a nice beach! Cheers.

 

Share this post


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

Don't forget how to wreck a nice beach!

Even modern voice recognition systems still fail at this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve
On 05/03/2017 at 4:05 PM, imron said:

you think you can't, you're right.

 

You are right. I can't. 

I can't write Chinese. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mlescano

@Publius, you mentioned transcribing being "your method". I'm most interested in how you learned English. I'm about to tackle an European language along with Mandarin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register 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...