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liface

Making a video every month to show my Chinese progress

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liface

 

On March 27, 2019, I started teaching myself Chinese here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I thought it would be neat to make a video each month to chart my progress and provide some motivation.

 

Here's the latest video, at the 3.5 month mark: https://youtu.be/xkhIOMkRXlk

 

My previous progress:

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abcdefg
8 hours ago, liface said:

I thought it would be neat to make a video each month to chart my progress and provide some motivation.

 

Anything that provides you motivation is a good idea. I'd better stop there. 

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somethingfunny

For three and a half months that looks pretty decent.  Keep up the hard work!

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Wurstmann

I guess @abcdefg wanted to say something like this? tldw: as long as you get lots of input, a little bit of speaking shouldn't do too much harm.

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liface
On 7/23/2019 at 12:10 AM, Wurstmann said:

guess @abcdefg wanted to say something like this? tldw: as long as you get lots of input, a little bit of speaking shouldn't do too much harm.

 

little bit of speaking? People actually believe that? 

 

I speak from day one, and I speak often. It's the most efficient way to learn a language, especially for extroverts. 

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Wurstmann

You don't learn anything when speaking though, you use what you've learned before :D

 

How many languages have you learned before then? And is your accent native-like, even without having to put a lot of time into correcting bad habits? Isn't speaking a real struggle if you start that early? I don't want to attack you, I'm honestly curious. I'm of the opinion that you first learn to understand the language, and then can speak quite well even without practice. For real mastery you have to speak a lot too, obviously. But I think a silent period of a year or so at the beginning can really help.

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liface
On 7/25/2019 at 12:57 PM, Wurstmann said:

You don't learn anything when speaking though, you use what you've learned before

 

With my method, speaking is the jumping-off point for all learning. Not only can you struggle with words and then instantly fetch the definition from your listening audience (怎么说。。。?), you also solidify new methods of speaking that you may have only had a rough idea of before. Thirdly, speaking, contrary to popular belief, also involves listening :). You learn much more by listening to a conversation you are a part of, about a subject you're actually interested in, then a Pimsleur recording of two people talking about if Boston has cold winters or not.

 

To answer your other questions, I've learned six languages before Chinese, and I have a native-like accent in only two foreign languages (German and Spanish).

 

Quote

I'm of the opinion that you first learn to understand the language, and then can speak quite well even without practice.

 

I'm sure this is true, but I just can't see a situation where this would be faster than simply integrating speaking from day one. I've noticed that whenever I learn a new language, I'm learning about twice or three times as other students who seem to mainly use input. Now, I'm sure there are other confounding factors, but...

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abcdefg

@liface -- I took a similar approach to yours early on. It served me pretty well. I blundered through thousands of clumsy and awkward conversations and learned from my many mistakes. I supplemented this "output" with tons and tons of "input."

 

Like you, I've always done better as an "active learner" than as a "passive learner." But I hesitate to recommend my own method to others because it has many flaws and drawbacks. Might not suit everyone equally well. 

 

Making a video of the process may be a helpful way for you and your tutor to monitor your progress, but it is absolutely painful to watch. I didn't try video number one and two. Made it through the first half of number three. It would take a lot for me to finish watching it. (I don't mean this in an ugly or mean-spirited way; I"m sure that videos of my own early struggles would be equally hard to watch.) 

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liface
15 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Making a video of the process may be a helpful way for you and your tutor to monitor your progress, but it is absolutely painful to watch. I didn't try number one and two. Made it through the first half of number three. It would take a lot for me to finish watching it.

 

Interesting, I've watched series where other people progress in languages the same way and always found it fascinating, rather than painful. One of the main inspirations for this idea was Micken Mangan's Lernen to Talk series, where he learns German basically from zero, but does it in an entertaining way (e.g. you laugh along with his mistakes).

 

I also enjoyed Benny from Fluent in 3 Months' progress videos, though I empathize with the frustration there as he really struggles and uses a lot of fillers.

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陳德聰

Seems a bit of an odd assertion that you don’t learn anything by speaking. Speaking is a lot more complex than “you use what you’ve learned before” and you seem to imply that one simply speaks in a vacuum without having access to one’s own auditory feedback loop and the feedback and input of other interlocutors... It’s all well and good to learn to understand the language, but doing this absent of speaking is like tying your legs together while you try to learn how to walk.

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道艺黄帝

I think there was some miscommunication above related to the word 'speaking' specifically, some referring to speaking simply as an output,  one of the four domains of language, while others were referring to speaking as 'having conversations with natives'

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Leslie Frank

I'm not saying anything too much different from some of the previous posts; I just wanna give my 2¢ as a proponent for speaking with natives, especially mindful speaking with equal parts of mindful listening to advance your conversational skills. IMO, it's only through practice, practice, practice, practice, ad nauseam, and really paying attention to what the other party is saying that helps your brain get more used to connecting with your tongue to produce meaningful content, whatever level you're at.

 

I can't stand the traditional ways of learning but that's probably hypocritical of me to say, since I've gotten in a good number of years of classroom learning under my belt. It's just that all that schooling seemed to fly out the window the moment I was actually starting to talk to ppl.

 

I learn way... way much more when making mind boggling mistakes as I'm talking to ppl and hearing how they respond and how they say things back to me. I guess I can say the so-called "input" from classroom learning helped expose me to how to better enunciate tones, but it's the years of input from watching Chinese movies, TV drama, the input/output from researching and presenting my Canto/Mando podcast, and perhaps the most important--the input/output from chatting with clients at work, that helps me way more than the input from school ever did.

 

 

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Larry Language Lover

What methods and resources are you using to teach yourself?

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Tomsima

keep going!

 

obviously youre working on your tones, which is great, but you seem to have a bad habit of inverting the tones whenever you want to 'express' yourself more.eg the high tone of 都 went low like a third tone near the beginning, and lots of confusion between 2nd and 4th. takes time, but looks like youre making good progress.

 

also, try saying 對/对 less, its like a safety net response for all things you understood from your teacher, but it sounds really non-chinese. Im definitely not saying Chinese people dont say this (as youve probably discovered, it does get used all the time), but just that it isnt used in the way many foreigners like to, to express 'right, right, sure, i agree' etc.

 

looking forward to future videos

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jonlockk0001

How many languages have you learned before then? And is your accent native-like, even without having to put a lot of time into correcting bad habits? Isn't speaking a real struggle if you start that early? I don't want to attack you, I'm honestly curious. I'm of the opinion that you first learn to understand the language, and then can speak quite well even without practice. For real mastery you have to speak a lot too, obviously. But I think a silent period of a year or so at the beginning can really help.

 

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abcdefg
On 2/10/2020 at 8:48 AM, jonlockk0001 said:

1. I'm honestly curious. I'm of the opinion that you first learn to understand the language, and then can speak quite well even without practice.

2. For real mastery you have to speak a lot too, obviously.

3. But I think a silent period of a year or so at the beginning can really help.

 

Are you kidding? Strongly disagree with you on two of your three points. 

-------------------------------------- 

Edited to add:

 

@imron -- "Which 2?"

 

To be pedantic, Numbers 1 and 3 are the statements with which I strongly disagree. 

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imron

Which 2?

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PerpetualChange

I don't understand why people are ragging on this guy. I've met people in their 4th semester of university classes who can't express themselves nearly as well. Of course you can't learn by speaking alone but if you want to get better at expressing yourself the more you try and actually do that, the easier it will get. 

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ZhuoMing

@liface Just a question out of curiosity, when your Chinese friends are speaking, as in the video at the very end, can you understand what they are saying? I remember when I was speaking around this level I definitely would have never been able to understand people speaking that quickly, and with that kind of vocabulary, but it seems like you are able to!  

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