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Vincent666

How I learned Chinese Part 1

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Vincent666

I came to China on August 19 2017. I started learning Chinese pretty much immediately when I landed and I haven't stopped since. I had decided to take it a bit easy when I first started or maybe I just did what was appropriate. I only stuck with one source until I finished it. I studied using an app called "Hello Chinese" and I often used what I learned with the locals. That app alone helped me out tremendously. I also avoided locals who could speak English and I avoided hanging out with other foreigners. I only wanted to speak Chinese. I finished the app in about a year and a half. It took some repetition to remember some words and what not. 2 years later, I find myself still using the app. I am completing the app again just for review. I still am far from even mastering the characters in the app. 

 

I am at an intermediate level in my Mandarin at this point. (Beginner Intermediate). 

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Dawei3
13 hours ago, Vincent666 said:

I also avoided locals who could speak English and I avoided hanging out with other foreigners

It's interesting to hear your success with Hello Chinese.  I like hearing how different people learn the language.  I'm a fan of Pimsleur supplemented with old Chinesepod lessons, movies, & talking with friends.

 

I can only imagine what it was like to be with locals who only spoke Chinese and having limited Chinese skills.  I'm still amazed how much I DON'T understand in a conversation.  A friend will start talking and sometimes I do, sometimes I don't get what they are saying.  Whereas with European languages, I might get bits even if I know little of the language, I find Chinese much more of a challenge.  (albeit, I've never lived in China & never needed to "survive" on daily basis by speaking Chinese.)  Immersion like you did makes lots of sense for someone living there.    

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abcdefg
On 8/29/2019 at 11:27 AM, Vincent666 said:

I came to China on August 19 2017.

 

About 2 years. Congratulations!

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道艺黄帝

Can you clarify what you mean by beginner intermediate? Can you explain what that app does? I've never used an app for language learning...I've never found it useful.

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suMMit

My name is SuMMit and I'm a Putonghuaholic...So I actually came to China(Beijing) in 2012. I was all excited to learn Chinese and signed up for one on one tutoring. I did like a month or two of nothing but pronunciation - pinyin, tones, tone pair combinations, some simple sentences. The teacher was from Changping district and she was very patient with teaching pron. I cant really remember what material we used, but it was something I had found myself, maybe it was FSI.  Then we started book one of some series. It required learning characters right from the get go, both reading and writing. I felt overwhelmed and I only wanted speaking and listening. My work was starting to get very busy and I didn't "need" Chinese anyway, so I scrapped it altogether and made due with a pretty well pronounced 😉 多少钱 , 这个, 一瓶啤酒 for like 5 years. I cry every time I think about how good I would be now if I had stuck with it😪.

 

So, 5 or 6 years later I move to Guangzhou and my job gives me a Chinese Pod subscription as one of our benefits. That was a year and a half ago. I started listening to Cpod at first just to add in a few more useful phrases for eating out when I'm on the road. Well, I started to get hooked on Chinese. Around the same time, I was with a colleague on a work trip in Kunming and he was ordering food, dealing with taxis, etc - all so fluently...I had to be able to do that! I found for me cpod, while useful and entertaining, there wasn't enough structure for me. I searched and came across YOYO Chinese, which appealed to me because its got structure and a 'teacher' who explains everything clearly in nice size videos. I did the beginner course and absolutely loved it. Then, although I didn't really want to, I started their 300 character course. I ended up getting hooked immediately! I'm now on Character 275 and 3/4's of the way through their Intermediate Conversational course. I will continue with their second set of 300 characters and next conversation course. I have not missed a day of the Yoyo course in 232 days and counting.

 

I found two things missing from it though: 1)Its aim is conversation, not practical daily tasks 2)theres no live feedback. So, around a month ago I started with a one to one tutor online and we are working through the Chinese Made Easier series. It might be a tad bit dated, but I like the book a lot. It covers daily life in China and more and pairs well with the conversational course. I think working with a live teacher is really good, because I can test things out that I've learned from my various study sources and it's getting me used to answering questions, listening carefully etc. It also forces me to speak Chinese with a real person several time a week, whether I feel like it or not.

 

I feel like its all going well, slow but sure progress. I am planning to continue with all this, and in the future go on to something like NPCR. 

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Vincent666

By beginner-intermediate, I mean I have just started my intermediate studies. So I guess I should say I am at an intermediate level. 
 

Hello Chinese is more of a basic book made into an app. It teaches you pronunciation, characters, grammar. You can briefly look into it.

 

other apps are Chinese Skill and Memrise. And Duolingo. I am starting to feel like Memrise is the better app amongst them all. That app is really colloquial! It even teachers you emergency numbers. I have lived in China for two years and have never known any really. It is not easy to search for these numbers online. This app has taught me three so far.

 

打110 call the police

打120 call the ambulance

打119 call the fire department 

 

@suMMit definitely continue! I am familiar with yo-yo chinese.

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DavyJonesLocker
15 hours ago, Vincent666 said:

 

打110 call the police

打120 call the ambulance

打119 call the fire department 

 

Although this may seem like a great addition, in reality it's pointless . There is no real thought put into this kind of teaching. You ring them and quickly find out you can't understand a word they say nor they you. It's just a language practice topic, nothing more. 

 

In a real world situation you are far better flagging down a passer by and get them to call ( as happened to me a few years ago when the building caught fire)

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