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The 2020 Aims and Objectives Progress Topic

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BearXiong

When I first started learning Chinese 5 years ago, I learnt to write about 500 characters then stopped and forgot how to write them. Recently I started writing out characters which I get wrong in my Anki reviews. I figured it might help consolidate them. I gotta say I think it has helped. Just forces me to spend more time internalising them and analysing them in more detail. I don't intend that this activity helps me write them in the long term, just to help me recognise them. I'm actually quite enjoying the process of writing characters. It's relaxing, and since I just do this whenever I want, I don't feel bad not doing it. It's actually making me more interested in learning to write more characters, just for fun!

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Jan Finster
On 2/19/2020 at 7:29 AM, wschlender said:

Flashcards haven't worked for me (they're boring) so I want to find something more interesting.

 

To help with the boredom I flashcard Chinese vocabulary mostly while I am watching not too challenging Netflix shows in English.

You can also turn the flashcards into audio flashcards that are automatically read to you while you cook, brush your teeth, etc.

 

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杰.克

2020 aims - not contract Coronavirus

 

progress updates to follow...

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oceancalligraphy

Since my first (in awhile) update was on the 15th, I'll try to update on the 15th. 

 

I finished making my flashcards for 說文部首, all 540. I'm not relying on electronic tools, as calligraphy and seal carving are my break from screens.

 

I haven't started memorizing yet, but this update is motivating me to start today. 😆

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Tomsima

Its taken three months of daily practice, but I just had my first full on conversation over wechat using only Cangjie to type. It was stressfull, full on and I so nearly switched back to pinyin to keep up with the pace like I usually do...but I didn't, for the first time! I've noticed my typing speed has increased a lot in the last few weeks, which is obviously a really great feeling. Nine times out of ten I can now correctly type out a character I've never typed/seen before without having to check the dictionary - the feeling of freedom is great, and my character retention for lesser seen/used characters is helping massively in learning new words (神龕, 螽斯, 孱弱, 駕馭 are examples off the top of my head of some recent ones that have finally stuck)

 

@oceancalligraphy Enjoying following your goals progress. I saw your 石門頌 on the subreddit yesterday, looking really nice - would love to see you 通臨 and post it at some point in the future!

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jannesan
On 12/21/2019 at 3:20 PM, jannesan said:

each month:

  • write at least one essay longer than one page

 

Haven't done this so far, I started writing a journal instead, but only really wrote in it up to the end of February.

I find it hard to sit down and write something non-trivial, it would probably help to have regular assignments.

 

Other than that, I'm keeping up with my plan, on my second (short) novel now:)

 

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oceancalligraphy

I actually did stuff, so I guess it's time for an update. After spending some weeks getting used to stay at home life, I've started memorizing the 說文 radicals. I'm trying the Leitner system, and so far so good. I don't ever remember using flashcards in school, so this is a major experiment for me.

 

On 3/31/2020 at 6:40 AM, Tomsima said:

@oceancalligraphy Enjoying following your goals progress. I saw your 石門頌 on the subreddit yesterday, looking really nice - would love to see you 通臨 and post it at some point in the future!

 

Thank you! Not sure when I'll 通臨石門頌,but 通臨說文部首 has been on my mind, especially once I know what they all are. 

I wonder if I should start a blog here and post some calligraphy here as well.

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Singe

Not posted on here for years but here goes. While there's some fairly awful stuff going on around the world at the moment and we're currently in lockdown, it's given me an opportunity to do something I've wanted to do for years - pick up the Chinese books again. In fact, I'm astonished with how much I've enjoyed it after almost 20 years. I've always wanted to do a HSK exam and I might even give it a go this year. I realise the HSKs aren't the be all and end all but it's still a good goal (as per thread title). Normally live life at a million miles an hour, it is just amazing to be able to completely wind down, re-evaluate life and do stuff that has been on the back burner for so long. For the first time I can really see the possibility of heading for 3/4 months study in China, perhaps that will have to wait until a 2021 thread - looking at maybe Kunming or Chengdu.

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∞保罗∞

你好 nǐhǎo hello
五月 wǔyuè May

2020年三分之一过去了。
1/3 of 2020 has gone.

五月有什么计划? 哈哈
What is your plan for May? Haha

没有计划,也是计划。
No plan is also a plan.

好好照顾你自己,必须相信一切都会好了。

 

jumanji.thumb.jpg.e0730d8ecd3c3acd0ab6d9ea64eef81e.jpg

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Flickserve
5 hours ago, ∞保罗∞ said:

What is your plan for May? Haha

 

For May and rest of the year is to be motivated.

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oceancalligraphy

A month of memorizing and I've gone through about 100 說文 radicals (out of 540). There are some pretty strange and tough ones that do not correspond to a Kanxi radical, so I had to start another deck of flashcards to learn those. I'm going at my own leisurely pace, so I'll be happy if I can get through another hundred radicals this month.

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oceancalligraphy

Time for an update. Even though it looks like I was the last one who posted on this thread. 😆

 

I lost interest in the flashcards, which I predicted would happen when I started. I have never been good with flashcards.

 

I've started grouping similar radicals together, and I think that will work better for me.

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BearXiong
On 1/4/2020 at 11:29 AM, BearXiong said:

I've been learning Chinese for nearly 5 years now. I could have done more but I'm happy with the very modest progress I made. I can recognise about 3200 characters, read simpler novels, chat online with people about lots of different topics, watch TV shows etc.

 

That said, I don't have the same energy/motivation as I once did but also don't want to plateau at this level. I still do my Anki reviews daily and add words/characters I want to learn to Anki. However, in 2019 I didn't add as many words/characters as I would've liked. My goals for this year is simply to be a bit more aggressive with addings words/characters and keep up with consuming media. I figure over one year this might not make much of a difference but if I continue for another 5 years, even learning 2-3 words per day, which isn't so hard to do, will add up to ~5000 words which is quite significant.

 

I'm pleased to say that the act of self reflecting on my progress while making the above post actually got me consistently adding words in Anki again, which I've done daily this year so far. I'm back up to learning 5 words/day. I just figured that if I ever hope to get to a reasonably advanced level I'm going to need to have a vocab of 15k+ words, and at 2 words/day that's not gonna happen in a reasonable amount of time (say in 5 or so years). I've entertained the idea of upping the number of words a bit, to say 7 words/day, but then I think of those busy days where doing my Anki reviews is a real grind and feel like it's probably wisest to keep it at 5.

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BlackMamba
On 12/22/2019 at 5:35 PM, mackie1402 said:

I see you're based in Europe. Sign up at Dalarna university online for free Chinese courses.

I applied for this now. Did someone do this in spring semester? How was it? Is this Dalarna university the only offering these classes for free?

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mackie1402
10 hours ago, BlackMamba said:

I applied for this now. Did someone do this in spring semester? How was it? Is this Dalarna university the only offering these classes for free?

 

I've been taking their Chinese courses for 1.5 years ago. The quality is OK. The benefits are that you have a scheduled class every week with assignments, so even if the teaching quality is mediocre, you're still getting practice every week which gets corrected for you. The class aren't exactly free. If you're from Europe, you're entitled to the same education as local students in that country, and Swedish students get free education, therefore europeans get free education at Swedish universities too. However, for anyone outside of Europe you still have to pay for the tuition. Personally, if I had to pay for the classes, I wouldn't recommend them, but considering I don't have to pay yet, I'm still taking as many as I can until I can write my final thesis paper there. 

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rebor

Quick mid-year update (my previous post in this topic can be found here)

 

I've finished 家 by now (a couple of weeks ago), so I took my time doing it. There was a marked increase in reading speed/decrease in perceived fatigue during the course of the book. I think I read the last 100 pages over a few weeks, achieving some manner of actual flow towards the end. At first I couldn't stand more than a couple of pages at once, without Pleco-cheating the parsing of word boundaries really got a lot more tiring. But I feel I was able to rid myself of the training wheels fairly easily all things considered. I've done all of the vocabulary for 圈子圈套3  in by now and I've read the first chapter or so. It takes a bit of effort to become comfortable with a new author, but it's a much nicer experience than when I picked up 家. There is also the sense of accomplishment in having really read something. I've also read a few articles online, and while there were unknown words and a couple of obscure (to me) sentences per article, I could read them all. 

 

I decided to nuke the new HSK words. "Nuke" is a bit of an overstatement as I still have the cards in Pleco, I've just removed them from the test I'm running. Basically I was at a point where I either knew cards by heart or struggled with the same handful of leeches, making the time spent doing them pretty much wasted. I've done some intensive work on the remaining troublemakers, and I won't forget the useful words as they'll appear when I read. A lot of new vocabulary is merely variations on previously known words or words I know from before that isn't in my system (old words remembered from my studies or old reading/watching/listening materials). I try to prioritize reading before flashcards, but it's hard to kill old habits. 

 

I've listened a bit to "Learning Chinese Through Stories", seemed good but I haven't really made a habit out of it yet. All in due time :)

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Tomsima

One of my main goals this year was to get good at Cangjie. I'm now typing at around 25-30cpm, so still pretty slow, but I'm really happy with my progress and how much it has helped in character writing and retention. I just recorded a progress video of me typing for anyone that wants to see what it looks like...you might want to notch the speed up a bit though if you want to make it all the way to the end...

 

https://youtu.be/DaZ9QRSKTbc

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Jan Finster
On 12/31/2019 at 5:50 AM, Jan Finster said:

My goals for 2020 are:

1) read, listen to and "shadow"/chorus  every episode of Chinesepod Elementary and Intermediate before my subscription runs out on Black Friday 2020: those would be around 4-5 episodes per day.

2) watch Chinese dramas (at least 5-7 episodes per week) and review the subtitles (read the subtitles on Lingq and SRS study important words).

3) Listen to Chinesepod, audio from Chinese dramas and other audio products on the go (gym).

4) try to work on my oral speaking skills with a tutor on Skype or iTalki. This, I have neglected recently due to loads of stress at work.  I hope I can get tutoring at least 1-2 hour per week. I am not really keen on preparing homework for my tutors, but maybe there is a way around it...

5) try to learn some medical Chinese vocabulary (still have not found a good western medical textbook translated into Chinese, only TCM books (!?))

 

I thought I would write a brief update on my progress:

 

On 12/31/2019 at 5:50 AM, Jan Finster said:

1) read, listen to and "shadow"/chorus  every episode of Chinesepod Elementary and Intermediate before my subscription runs out on Black Friday 2020: those would be around 4-5 episodes per day.

 

Here I am happy with my progress. I am probably averaging 4-5 episodes a day. I never listen to the whole episode, but rather just shadow the dialogue and "expansion" sentences. I feel my tones and overall smoothness when speaking are getting much better.

 

On 12/31/2019 at 5:50 AM, Jan Finster said:

2) watch Chinese dramas (at least 5-7 episodes per week) and review the subtitles (read the subtitles on Lingq and SRS study important words).

 

I pretty much stopped doing this around March/April. I realised watching TV dramas is a subtle way of procrastinating. I believe at my level I can invest my time better. So, I started TheChairmansBao. The benefit of using TCB to me is the incredible breadth of topics. If you watch a spy drama with 70 episodes, the vocabulary will be rather narrow (guns, bombs, enemy tactics, etc). With TCB you can jump from "producing art from garbage" to "why are domestic hog breeds at the verge of extinction" to "a Chinese man unicyles around the world" in an instant. I have been reading and listening to about 5 lessons per day (mostly HSK 3-5 levels).

 

On 12/31/2019 at 5:50 AM, Jan Finster said:

3) Listen to Chinesepod, audio from Chinese dramas and other audio products on the go (gym).

 

Been doing this consistently while running. Not sure how much it really helps...

 

On 12/31/2019 at 5:50 AM, Jan Finster said:

4) try to work on my oral speaking skills with a tutor on Skype or iTalki. This, I have neglected recently due to loads of stress at work.  I hope I can get tutoring at least 1-2 hour per week. I am not really keen on preparing homework for my tutors, but maybe there is a way around it...

 

Starting doing lessons once a week with a tutor on Skype since May. I wish I had more time to do this 2-3x per week. Speaking skills are still really bad, but getting better.

 

On 12/31/2019 at 5:50 AM, Jan Finster said:

5) try to learn some medical Chinese vocabulary (still have not found a good western medical textbook translated into Chinese, only TCM books (!?))

 

Total failure on that part. I created some 2000 or so flashcards, but did not really study them. I probably should wait until my "normal" Mandarin gets better.

 

 

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js6426

Update time!

 

For obvious reasons, a huge spanner has been thrown in the works.  In many ways I feel my Chinese has gotten worse, because online classes just don't cut it the way that being at university did.  On the plus side, we are living with a lady from Hong Kong at the moment, and so I can to bust out Chinese fairly frequently now, and I also get to listen to her Hong Kong accent, rather than the standard Dongbei I would hear at uni (have to say I prefer her accent, even though it is completely different)!  So actually my speaking is probably improving.

Second goal was being consistent with pleco, and I am doing way better at that than I was, so that's another bonus.

 

Third goal was reading.  I read 《三体》which I absolutely loved, and then to make things even better I found out that I can actually do my thesis on it!  I just started reading 《我这一辈子》which I am enjoying, and prior to that I did 《月牙》。 I have a list of books I would like to read at the moment, but the only thing putting my off is I can only access them via my iphone, and I really don't like reading on such a small screen, especially if I have to keep flipping over to the pleco dictionary.

 

Final goal was watching more Chinese stuff, and unfortunately I am failing miserably at this.  Really need to work on it.

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