Learn Chinese in China
querido

I've been here ten years.

42 posts in this topic

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Congratulations, Querido!

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Good stuff! I just had a quick look at the database, and there are about 50 people who have been registered for over ten years and are at least still reading the site (logged in during 2017). 

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2. Pray that you've accepted sound judgment, and then STOP shopping for tools/materials/methods.

 

I am still learning this one, but indeed, I wholeheartedly agree.

 

 

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@querido I'm curious, what your level of Chinese is after 10 years of opining on studying it? :)

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@querido Happy anniversary!

 

Great advice, thanks! But I am still convinced that doing this DOES delay dementia, at least by some years. I feel like I'm best proof of it.

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To werewitt: (See my disclaimer to you in the other thread, and in the original post, above.) After four solid years of Mandarin, studying on my own, I was about where a normal person would be. Then in 2011 it shattered, I guess. Poof. I started Cantonese then, and carry on, occasionally shattering. Can't find stability anymore. Oh well, there goes my resume. :-)

 

To Luxi: I guess I'm doing worse than you, then, but no use crying about it, eh? In Cantonese, and in other areas, I keep pushing because I'm afraid that if I quit I would just collapse into a rocking chair and that would be the end, you know? One of my ongoing distractions has been ping pong. I'm sure it's complementary to (sometimes sedentary) language study. And I like to keep moving while studying, eat right, etc. No offense intended to rocking chairs everywhere; I love 'em. :-)

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@querido no worries. It's just that Internet forums are usually full of people will little experience in actually doing <the forum's topic>, but happily dishing out opinions/advice on how to best do it :) Glad you're not one of them. Seriously.

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To werewitt: Ok, it didn't really go poof. Here's what happened:

1) I started (as so many do) focused on characters, as I thought it was an almost "impossible" challenge, and zealously aimed at what I thought would be the hardest thing about the language. (That other post of yours reminded me of this approach that made sense to me at that time, and I admit that I still benefit from many permanent memories that were ingrained at that time - strokes, components, etc. - so it isn't so bad for beginners to get oriented in this way, provided that they'll move on quickly to "larger" methods, but I digress.). I used a frequency list and memorized every stroke up to about 1500 characters. This was quite exciting because it turned out to be so easy to answer these flashcards. And this took just a few weeks. I could see statements like "with x characters/words you can understand y% of whatever", and 1500 was already a noticeble fraction of that. In just a few weeks. Very exciting, see?

2) I did move on, to taking words from books, with context. I chose a good series, too, and worked up to (if memory serves) 5k words, and I could read aloud pretty well. I discovered that, for me personally, I had certainly NOT started with the hardest thing. It turned out that listening/speaking (up to real live conversation) is, for me, as they say, an order of magnitude harder. 10x harder. Overwhelmingly the hardest thing, especially when you consider accents and noise in the real world, etc, as has been discussed in some great threads here. So, I found a live teacher and tried to switch to a listening/speaking program. This is where my reading/writing went poof a little.

3) (This is beside the point, but I'll go ahead and tell you: After studying (reading/writing and, much less effectively, listening/speaking) about 12 thin graduated books and several hundred podcasts through "intermediate", I resolved to proceed with native materials at a suitable level. But I (just speaking only for myself of course) found the enunciation unbearably annoying, unbearably muffled, as I had willfully listened only to perfect speech before then, and just suddenly couldn't stand it, and switched to Cantonese, about three years ago.)

4) I had always studied text well, in an orderly way, but I was never able to set up a "workflow" for an audio-focused program. It feels, let's say, disorienting, being unable to catch a hold of anything. I believe it is the way forward, but I haven't been able to proceed convincingly. The way forward for me is item #1 in the original post (and following its links to listening and speaking) as it has been for years now. Always get re-entangled in text. Hard to imagine the workflow. That's why just following imron's advice as though it were scripture would help. I have been *right here* probably hundreds of times since 2011. Oops, there goes the resume again.

 

So no, it wasn't just "poof".  :-) 

 

 

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@querido Oh that's a valuable and non-obvious insight - when people here criticise some idea, it's mostly because they assume "They are suggesting to do the thing X which I tried and failed in the past, and this is why...".

 

My "other post" (https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/53970-skritter-list-was-anki-deck-words-in-an-easier-to-learn-order/) was suggesting that one crams word/char cards. I created that deck after talking to a friend of mine - and for people like him. He is a tri-lingual speaker (native Aussie, Cantonese plus a native-level Mandarin from 10 years of Taiwanese-run school here in Sydney) and is having troubles reading even traditional chars, his remembers around 250 chars :D 

 

It do not suggest learning to read characters as a main tool for learning Chinese. OTOH I recently realised that I am progressing better with listening than reading and thought perhaps learning to read texts and sound them out would be useful.

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To werewitt: Yes, it was a classic case of "do as I say, not as I do". :-)  "I am progressing better with listening than reading and thought perhaps learning to read texts and sound them out would be useful". Yes, yes, being able to read aloud is a nice place to be. Then with experience you can begin composing your own sentences in your mind and saying them aloud. And then - if you could find someone who would speak clearly and stay within the vocabulary you already have (so every session does not turn into a vocabulary collecting exercise, but remains at the level of this mental sentence-composition and exchange), you would have a good road toward conversation. I did not find a human able and willing to do that. I did think of and try various ways to approximate that scenario without another person. Here is an idea: Once you can read aloud and compose your own sentences in your mind, you could write stories with dialogue and submit THAT to a teacher for correction. Forces the teacher to stop. Might be a good idea. I need to stop posting now as I've said all of this before. Ok, good luck! Bye! :-)

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Congratulations, Querido.  I'm also an old timer (will be 12 years for me in June :) ), but not many posts to show for it. I've gleaned a lot here, and wish I could contribute more, but feel like most of what I have to say has been already been said and much more eloquently, for that matter. 

Quote

Good stuff! I just had a quick look at the database, and there are about 50 people who have been registered for over ten years and are at least still reading the site (logged in during 2017).

apparently we're hardcore :D 

Quote

 

2. Pray that you've accepted sound judgment, and then STOP shopping for tools/materials/methods.

 

Amen to that!  It seems like we are blessed with the best tools for learning this language (very thankful for Pleco, Text Analyser, and even still have a copy of NJStar and Wenlin which I rarely touch ), lots of apps have come and gone (zdt was pretty sweet) and someone is always trying to build a better mousetrap, but at some point you just have to bite the bullet and learn. I'm appreciating the old school methods more and more. (usually a highlighter and a copy of Duzhe in my case, though I 've traded my red brick dictionary for Pleco on my smartphone - yes, I first got the license 10 years ago for a Palm T/X lol)

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Ah the good 'ole red brick.  Brings back memories.

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@querido iTalki, mate. $15 an hour max. It exists for at least a few years already - you could have been doing all (rather obviously useful) that you described for ~5 years by now :D

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The red brick! I still use mine!

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I still have mine (very well worn) but I moved on to using a larger Chinese-Chinese dictionary, which was in turn succeeded by the Guifan dictionary for Pleco on Palm and then again the same dictionary on iOS.

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I am eyeing that as my next big step: turning to use of a Chinese-Chinese dictionary. I feel it will be a very good move.

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But but but.. what is the red brick? 新華字典嗎?

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Brick.thumb.jpg.18916d6b6901e88e1789232e16ca4175.jpg

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Oh that brick! Didn't realize it's red now. Mine from high school is greenish. :D

IMG_20170420_031556.thumb.jpg.8c6b81fde162998b4b477da09c4f7b89.jpgIMG_20170420_024614.thumb.jpg.0bb646eb1daf25cad09545f29823b8a3.jpg

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