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Suggestions for better learning? Intermediate to advanced


Cyath
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Hi all and thanks for all the help and support that have been provided thus far. I've been plugging away at my Chinese for a few years now and my goal is to get to an employable standard by the end of the year (HSK 5) The things I do now are :

 

1. Read one page of a Jin Yong novel each day, with Internet assistance. Doable, but hard!

 

2. Peruse my Pleco word bank of 1000+ words. I revise it whenever I have a free moment outside. I'm just trying to build vocabulary here.

 

3. Play video games in Chinese, like Hearthstone and whatever has a Chinese version.

 

I basically just rinse and repeat these and I think they are working ok - I target about 10-20 new words each day. I am fairly conversant in the grammar of Chinese and I come from a Japanese speaking background, so that's not so bad.

 

The only problem is that they get a little boring now and then. I've looked into DuoLingo and LingQ and other language programs and frankly they don't seem worth it? I am not adverse to spending $ if it gets me where I want to go faster.

 

I could of course increase my immersion by listening to Chinese music, listening to podcasts etc but then I run into the 24 hours a day problem - I have other commitments. :( I do listen to Chinese music as a learning tool.

 

Could anyone recommend anything I have possibly overlooked? Or alternative/better methods? 

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Moving from intermediate to advanced is really hard. Just as you said, it's boring because all the novelty is long gone. It's not so much your studying technique that's important, it's how to maintain your enthusiasm for studying.

 

The key to keeping up your enthusiasm is being in a Chinese-speaking environment so you can actually put your hard-earned labours to use. If that's not possible, finding a local group of Chinese speakers to hang out with is a second-best alternative.

 

Just sitting around those books and computers for years on end is deadly.

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my goal is to get to an employable standard

 

There's a course on business Chinese that you might find useful.  I liked it (though it was a bit too hard for me when I went through it) because it used actual Chinese work documents and explained them:

 

https://www.udemy.com/course/advance-business-chinese-intensive-course-bct-b-reading/

 

The instructor's English is not so great, but most of the time he is understandable.

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1 hour ago, Cyath said:

my goal is to get to an employable standard by the end of the year (HSK 5) The things I do now are :

 

1. Read one page of a Jin Yong novel each day, with Internet assistance. Doable, but hard!

.....

3. Play video games in Chinese, like Hearthstone and whatever has a Chinese version.

 

Which field do you want to be employed in? Unless it is related to video games and youth culture, maybe you should rather read content relevant to your field of work!?

 

1 hour ago, Cyath said:

2. Peruse my Pleco word bank of 1000+ words. I revise it whenever I have a free moment outside. I'm just trying to build vocabulary here.

 

.... I come from a Japanese speaking background, so that's not so bad.

 

1000 words does not sound like much and I would not call it intermediate to advanced. However, since you come from a Japanese background your knowledge of characters is likely much higher. I know this is debated by some, but I believe you should be able to learn way more than 10-20 new  words per day if you already know the characters.

 

1 hour ago, Cyath said:

LingQ and other language programs and frankly they don't seem worth it?

 

I can 100% recommend Lingq and TheChairMansBao and in fact, they are maybe all you will need for a very long time. The content at TheChairMansBao is very diverse and you get to listen to the audio recording of the text if you like. Lingq and TheChairMansBao combined are much cheaper than attending a language class: if you get good deals, both combined should cost you about 15$ per month. This would be the equivalent of 1-2 hours with an Italki tutor or the cost of a movie ticket minus the popcorn. To me it is a non-brainer if you have the money.

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The content at TheChairMansBao is very diverse and you get to listen to the audio recording of the text if you like.

 

I second this suggestion.  The vocabulary and content of TheChairmansBao are very contemporary and relevant to life in China today.

 

I find that by reading 2 articles a day at TheChairmansBao (I am at HSK 5 now but I also read some HSK 4 and 3 articles if they are particularly interesting) and doing the exercises, I am making excellent progress.  The vocabulary there is probably quite different from that of video games and novels.

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Video game localization is my main line of work and another language would be useful. I don't have a specific field in mine besides that. I actually began learning Chinese mainly as an adjunct to my Japanese skills.

 

The free content at the TheChairmansBao seems ok?

 

What advantages does paying for LingQ and TCB offer?

 

Thanks all for your help. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Cyath said:

Peruse my Pleco word bank of 1000+ words.

 

By peruse do you mean study with Pleco's SRS flashcard system? Because that would be a lot more time-effective than randomly browsing through a list of words...

 

If your goal is to get a job in the videogame industry then I'd recommend you augment your reading material with some Chinese videogame reviews. 

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7 hours ago, 889 said:

Moving from intermediate to advanced is really hard. Just as you said, it's boring because all the novelty is long gone. It's not so much your studying technique that's important, it's how to maintain your enthusiasm for studying.

 

Welcome to the plateau,

We've got fun 'n' games,

You can study all you want,

But you'll get fewer gains...

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8 hours ago, Cyath said:

What advantages does paying for LingQ and TCB offer?

 

For TCB: you get access to all lessons. There are approximately 1000 per HSK level.

 

For Lingq: Lingq only really makes sense in the paid version. You can look up as many words you want and save as many new words or phrases (so called "lingqs") as you want.

 

Lingq:

a) can serve as your all-in-one book shelve. You can import virtually any electronic text (.txt, PDFs, etc) into Linq. If you do so, Lingq knows all words you have ever read in Chinese and tells you which ones are new, which ones you already know and which ones you have seen before, but do not know. Obviously, it gives you statistics of your progress. You can easily mark a phrase of part of a sentence and turn this into a vocabulary flashcard, which you can export to Anki or review on Lingq itself. You can assign tags to words (e.g. "important" or "food-related") and filter according to the tags and create Anki decks based on those tags.

b) lets you import subtitled Youtube videos and Netflix movies. You can read the text with Lingq. 

c) has tons of free Chinese content on its site.

 

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I actually don't use the flashcards function in Pleco, I just memorize it the old fashioned way.

 

I just tried out LingQ and it seems a little flashy? Maybe I am too oldschool but I'm currently ok with reading from articles and inputting the words into Pleco. Writing helps with memorization. 

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6 hours ago, Cyath said:

LingQ and it seems a little flashy?

Don't judge a book by its cover 😉

 

6 hours ago, Cyath said:

Maybe I am too oldschool but I'm currently ok with reading from articles and inputting the words into Pleco.

 

Here is a quick demo about what you can do with Lingq that you cannot do with Pleco: 

 

This is a sentence from TCB:

"澳大利亚 森林 大火 , 浓烟 飘 到 奥克兰 上空 .  近日 澳大利亚 发生 了 一场 很 严重 的 森林 大火 , 这场 大火 产生 的 浓烟 不仅 影响 了 澳大利亚 的 多个 城市 , 就 连 新西兰 的 奥克兰 也 受到 了 不小 的 影响 。"

 

If you wanted to export words to Pleco, you could probably export "澳大利亚",  "森林", "大火" etc. In other words, you can export only 2 character words or 2-4 character fixed expressions.

 

With Lingq, I can, for instance, I can export phrases or parts of sentences:

"澳大利亚 森林 大火" (Australian forest fires)

"很 严重 的 森林 大火" (very severe forest fire)

"这场 大火 产生 的 浓烟" (the thick smoke from this fire)

"也 受到 了 不小 的 影响" (has also been greatly affected)

"受到 了 不小" (suffered a lot)

"影响 了 澳大利亚 的 多个 城市" (affected many cities in Australia)

"不仅 影响 了 澳大利亚 的 多个 城市" (not only affects many cities in Australia)

"不仅 影响" (not only affects)

etc.

 

I believe learning such words in context and reviewing then with Anki or TofuLearn (etc) is vastly more interesting and possibly more effective than learning 2-character words. Also by creating such phrase snippets I believe that I read more consciously and understand the sentence structure better.

 

Anyway, do not get it for the sake of it. Everyone learns differently. For me it was a godsend.

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Since  you're reading  Jin Yong and  only 1 page a  day i want  to  suggest  sonething easier and  still in the  Wuxia genre.   Try  reading a  Gu  Long  novel, he was mentioned  on the  forum as the easiest  Wuxia author.  His  novels have a lot  more  dialogue and you can spend  more time  reading and less time looking up obscure words.  You might be able  to  read  50 pages a  day  vs 1 page.  

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  • 8 months later...
On 7/19/2020 at 6:20 AM, Ruky said:

Try  reading a  Gu  Long  novel.

Exactly. His publisher paid per line, so it's usually a fairly comfortable read. I recommend this one for starters: Meteor, Butterly, Sword. (流星‧蝴蝶‧劍)

If you've tried Jin Yong you will find Gu Long refers to Jin Yong's work quite often. Apart from that, I find 流星‧蝴蝶‧劍 opening fantastic. (And very famous, I bet!) :)

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