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The 2020 Aims and Objectives Progress Topic

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oceancalligraphy

June went by really fast! I finished grouping/chunking the seal script radicals. It was actually a really good exercise, since I had look at each one and consider other radicals to group. I'm becoming more familiar with the radicals, so I think I'm going down the right path.

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Singe

Well, I've really blown it now. I just enrolled on a 300-level paper at Massey University here in NZ, 'Translation From and Into Chinese'. Work (unrelated) has been really busy and I nearly missed the cut-off date for Semester 2 and a huge part of me was hoping I wouldn't be accepted onto this level paper as it's just over 20 years since I last did a paper. Anyway, I just got the e-mail saying my application has been accepted - bugger! Seriously, during lockdown I thoroughly enjoyed spending time getting back into the Chinese and enrolling on a paper is a way of making sure I keep it up. I'm not a quitter so I know it will serve a really important purpose. One final comment - there's some real superstars on this site who freely give advice etc - one of my go-to sites every morning before going to work. Well done all!

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mungouk
2 hours ago, Singe said:

I just enrolled on a 300-level paper at Massey University here in NZ

 

Do they allow anyone to enrol on individual "papers" (aka modules) at Massey? 

 

Are these by distance learning or do you have F2F classes?

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Singe
6 hours ago, mungouk said:

Do they allow anyone to enrol on individual "papers" (aka modules) at Massey? 

 

Are these by distance learning or do you have F2F classes?

 

I'm doing this as an individual paper/module, so there's no problem there. Also, I'm doing it entirely from distance - I could have done either F2F or distance as below;

 

https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/learning/programme-course/course.cfm?course_code=241305

 

The only issue is that you have to show evidence to be eligible to enrol in the first place as per below (being a non New Zealander isn't a problem but the costs for overseas students start to get prohibitive). This was relatively easy for me as I have a previous degree through Massey.

 

https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/admission/enrolment/entry-requirements/entry-requirements_home.cfm

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oceancalligraphy

Studying 說文部首 has slowed down a bit due to other priorities. I should write out the groupings with a brush for calligraphy practice, even if the groupings are just things I made up to make studying easier. 

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roddy
On 8/3/2020 at 11:04 AM, Lu said:

- Read more Chinese literature, both novels and short stories. This was going pretty well (I read 3 books in 3 months during lockdown), slowed down in the last two months, because...

Yeah, this is familiar. I had (as you all saw) a bit of a Chinese reading spurt, but have fallen back into more TV watching, with a half-valid claim that it's constructive as I'm doing it in Spanish. I'm telling myself when I finish the current series I'm watching I'll start a new one but actually do more vocab noting and the like as I go this time.

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roddy
On 8/3/2020 at 10:28 AM, roddy said:

my pronunciation knowledge had got sloppy.

I could probably write a dull and poorly-selling book on all the different ways this has happened. Looking at 孕育, I was fairly confident that first character was a fu, though wouldn't have bet on which tone. But show me 孕妇 and I'd know it's yun4, because I know that word better. So I think what's happening is I'm looking at 孕育, 孕 is bringing up the whole 孕妇 pronunciation, and perhaps because of the matching final and tone in 育 ,妇  my brain is taking a guess on the wrong syllable. If I'd taken more time, I (like to think) I'd have got it right, but who takes time? Or maybe it's interference from 抚育. There's probably a paper in it, and I'm probably wrong about what's happening.

 

This whole revision process has been interesting - realising how much I've forgotten, what I never actually knew, and spending time poking around in the depths of the dictionaries. 

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timseb

My target for this year was set up this summer: finish all Harry Potter books and at least one Chinese novel (not translated from English, that is). I will be moving away from actively studying Chinese, while the plan is to keep exposing myself to it, somewhere around Christmas, since I never really intended to learn Chinese. Japanese has always been the language of my dreams and I will start studying that in January (self-study, just like Chinese, so a month here or there is up to me). The goal is for my Chinese to be at such a level that active study is not needed to keep reading books. Whether or not that is possible will be clear in a few months. The time limit in other words is not set by my capabilities, but rather by my patience (or lack thereof). Studing a language I originally didn't intend to learn hasn't been that bad, but knowing the language I really want to learn is waiting around the corner is quite annoying. I'm not strongwilled enough to let it wait another year or so.

 

If it's not at all possible, I'm going to have to make a late decision on how to handle that...

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Tomsima

@timseb whats your story, interested to hear what the decision making process here was

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timseb
Just now, Tomsima said:

whats your story, interested to hear what the decision making process here was

 

It's a bit silly, to be honest. Me and my boyfriend were on a 6 month vacation all over Asia. We visited a lot of countries (not China, think more Indoneisa to Turkey route with hops). However, it was not a backpacking thing, we stayed at quite nice hotels all the time. Therefore, one day I felt I had some responsibilty to actually do something of value every day, so I decided I would learn a language. I knew nothing of Anki (or Pleco for that matter) and had my smartphone with me, and decided on Japanese, since I've always loved it and a lot of the media (manga, anime, but also 30s to 80s cinema). I started a premade Anki deck but after a month or so I got tired of it because it was too difficult to learn that way. Once again, I knew nothing of Anki and didn't spend much time researching while abroad, so I downloaded a Chinese deck instead (Spoonfed Chinese, I'm sure a lot of people here have heard of it). It was better sorted, it was easier when hanzi mostly had one reading instead of many, and so on. I figured at least I'll learn the characters, which would help my Japanese.

 

Most of these reasons would make no sense for someone who has actually done a bit of reading up, but I had not. When I got home I had only scratched the surface of the deck, but my reasoning went a bit like this: "I've done these two months or so of Chinese, it would be such a waste to just throw it away". I know this is a psychological phenomenon that has a catchy name, but I can't recall it now.

 

I started reading up a bit more on how the language worked and I learned Anki to the core (most things I want to achieve in Anki I know can, and I never use it on the smartphone anymore). I threw away my Spoonfed Chinese deck since I didn't like it, and instead went my own way, but built on what I had learnt from Spoonfed Chinese.

 

Basically I just stuck with Chinese that way. It should be said I had been in China on vacation twice and I do like Chinese arthouse cinema (Jia Zhangke and so on), but I had no experience of the language except from two weeks of an online course back in 2016. So even if it wasn't the language I wanted to learn, it was still a culture I wasn't completely unfamiliar with or had no interest in. If that were the case I probably would have just thrown that Anki experience away when I came home.

 

Fast forward until today and I'm still doing Chinese, but every week that passes I long for Japanese. I have set December 1st as the date where I'm beginning to phase out my active Chinese studying, and January 1st as my starting Japanese date. I will keep exposing myself to Chinese stuff and will keep hanging around this forum.

 

In some way it's been a blessing in disguise I think. I know more Chinese than I thought I ever would. I also have much more knowledge of how to actually study a language, and how to use Anki, to achieve the results I'm after.

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大块头
9 minutes ago, timseb said:

I know this is a psychological phenomenon that has a catchy name, but I can't recall it now.

 

sunk cost fallacy?

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大块头
On 12/29/2019 at 4:38 PM, 大块头 said:

Other than my current goals to improve or maintain my reading, speaking, and listening skills, I would also like to develop my handwriting ability such that:

  • My penmanship is indistinguishable from that of a college-educated native speaker.
  • I can write about typical topics without having to constantly reference a dictionary.
  • My handwriting is neat and legible, but does not necessarily ascribe to any specific calligraphic standard of beauty.

To work towards achieving the goals listed above, I will spend 25 minutes a day performing the following tasks:

  1. Complete the exercises prescribed in《席殊3SFM实用硬笔字60小时训练》. I will keep a blog on Chinese-forums with my answers to the problems in this book, as there does not appear to be an answer key.
  2. Devise a mnemonic system for remembering how to write words. Rote memorization with Anki has worked OK for me in the past, but a minority of words has always tripped me up. I will come up with something similar to the Heisig approach, but applied to whole words instead of individual characters.
  3. Finish learning to write HSK 1-6 vocabulary.

Completing task 3 may take a couple years, but I hope to get a good start on it this year.

 

A big project related to the new new HSK (more on that next month hopefully) has supplanted task 1 for the time being. I've come up with a mnemonic system for task 2, and I'd appreciate any ideas for improving it.

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timseb
On 9/1/2020 at 4:11 PM, timseb said:

My target for this year was set up this summer: finish all Harry Potter books and at least one Chinese novel (not translated from English, that is).

 

And here's November 13th. Time really flies. I noticed that all Harry Potter books in a row was a bit monotonous (I guess that would be the case in English as well), so between some of them I took a break and read some English novels instead. Yesterday I finished the The Half Blood Prince however, which is the sixth book in the series. In other words, I'm pretty much on track, even if that non-Harry Potter book might be finished sometime in early January. At the same time, a novel like To Live is much shorter than the Harry Potter books, so who knows?

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roddy
9 minutes ago, timseb said:

I noticed that all Harry Potter books in a row was a bit monotonous (I guess that would be the case in English as well)

I used the audiobooks for Spanish learning (which I now realise I've just forgotten about for several weeks) and got thoroughly sick of them. Can't even remember the Spanish for broomstick now.

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timseb
21 minutes ago, roddy said:

Can't even remember the Spanish for broomstick now.

 

😀

 

Fortunately the "fantasy words" are really a tiny minority of all vocabulary in the books. I use the audiobooks sometimes for improving my listening ability, which still lags far behind my reading skills. Yesterday I watched Pinocchio and understood most of it, so at least the listening as well is improving gradually.

 

To be honest, I still really enjoy the books. Had you read them before in English? Maybe the reason I'm still into them is not only that I like the world, but also that it's my first time reading them. There are a lot of plot points I didn't know about.

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roddy

No, it's really not my kind of thing - I'm not opposed to a good bit of children's / YA fiction, but I'm not a fan and only went for the Harry Potter series as it was there on Audible / Amazon. Once I figured out I could manage grown-up stuff I moved on. 

 

Used to live quite close to JK Rowling, I think. She had a slightly larger property, though...

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timseb

I see! I know Stephen Krashen can be a bit stubborn, but I do believe in one key aspect of his message: that the things you read for study should be compelling. I think that's why Harry Potter has been working for me. I doesn't feel like studying, because I'm really into the story. Therefore I need to think carefully about what books I buy next, when I'm wading into Chinese literature. I think Niezi will be a great read, but I'm scared it's still too difficult for me.

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