Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

德国人

Time shortage - best method to continue learning Chinese?

Recommended Posts

德国人

I started summer 2017 learning Chinese. Wanted to concentrate on communication (listening, speaking) only. I tried for half of a year by myself, then continued with a Chinese teacher. My oral production is quite good. But concentrating on pinyin only kicked me hard in autumn 2019 as I got aware that I has blocked myself. I have learned hundreds of words and even sentences, but forgotten 95% of it. Waste of effort. Neither effective nor efficient.

In spring 2020 I started to learn characters intensively (using Mandarin BluePrint method). Up to now, after ~5 months I do have 400 chars and more than 400 words. Not too bad, but still not enough.

Now another problem jumps in: my time. In average I have learned 1,25 hours per day. Every day, every month, whole year. Four years are approx. 2000 hours. With all the stumblings of jumblings at the beginning it's approx. 1.500 hours. But lots in listening and speaking. Not in reading. Big dysbalance.

But still my time is precious. I might even have to reduce. Perhaps only 45 mins to 60 mins per day. I have a quite busy job, family, garden, woodwork, etc.

 

I'm considering to stop learning Chinese. But I love it. It's so inspiring. Permanent new things. Alien and interesting in the same moment.

But the question is: it it worth the effort? I mean - despite the effort, will I degrade, no longer going forward, perhaps even not maintaining the status quo?

Does anybody of you have some experience?

 

What might be a good way to proceed even with very limited time? Perhaps concentrating only on one aspect? Only reading?

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Flickserve
53 minutes ago, 德国人 said:

But the question is: it it worth the effort? I mean - despite the effort, will I degrade, no longer going forward, perhaps even not maintaining the status quo?


It is a hobby for you. You enjoy it. That’s great. 
 

Keep enjoying it like other people do here 😊

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PerpetualChange

You could spend a half hour per day working through a textbook-like curriculum. I do that with Japanese and Minna No Nihongo right now. It took awhile before I got into a good grove, but basically I dedicate 1 day per week to the listening section, 1 day per week to reviewing vocabulary, 1 day per week to reviewing the textbook examples, and 1 day per week to the workbook exercises. Sometimes these things take longer than a day and other times I take a day or two off per week. It's a fun, low pressure hobby, and once I make it through the textbook (as currently paced, maybe by the end of the year) I will start looking for things like graded readers and conversation partners. Maybe you can do something similar with Chinese.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
德国人

Thank you guys for your replies.

 

Seems I (again) stepped into my own trap: only black & white thinking. My paradigm was to run a holistic approach now: new words, new spelling, new listening, new reading - all at the same time or quite close. If I untight this paradigm a bit, at first the time constraint gets relaxed. Not everything at the same time. @PerpetualChange nailed it here. Not everyday everything, but different emphasis at different days. 

Also I needed to question myself: if it is a pure hobby, why shall I introduce this much pressure? Or is it something else. NO - it is fun. Shall be fun. I do not have deadlines or externally given targets.

 

I will continue with my morning walk repeating my anki-decks, mainly for learning characters and words (20-30 mins).

Then some 15-20 mins somewhen over the day to insert new words into the anki-deck.

And reading/listening in the evening. Here I will alternate between Graded Reader, TCB or some ChinesePod lessons.

And over the day, if there's some room, e.g. driving, waiting, etc. I'll also listen to podcasts.

Shadowing is another opportunity I'll take whenever I have an opportunity (being alone is some mandatory condition obviously).

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PerpetualChange
4 hours ago, 德国人 said:

 

I will continue with my morning walk repeating my anki-decks, mainly for learning characters and words (20-30 mins).

Then some 15-20 mins somewhen over the day to insert new words into the anki-deck.

And reading/listening in the evening. Here I will alternate between Graded Reader, TCB or some ChinesePod lessons.

And over the day, if there's some room, e.g. driving, waiting, etc. I'll also listen to podcasts.

Shadowing is another opportunity I'll take whenever I have an opportunity (being alone is some mandatory condition obviously).

 

By my estimation this is a 90+ minute routine, lol. Not sure how that helps you! 

 

I recommended spending no more than 10% of your study time on SRS/flashcards. Instead, if you have a textbook or CPod lessons, there should be ample example sentences that reinforce the vocabulary you are trying to learn. If you can limit anki to 5-10 minutes per day, maybe you've got a 60 minute routine here. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
德国人
On 8/19/2020 at 4:29 PM, PerpetualChange said:

I recommended spending no more than 10% of your study time on SRS/flashcards. Instead, if you have a textbook or CPod lessons, there should be ample example sentences that reinforce the vocabulary you are trying to learn. If you can limit anki to 5-10 minutes per day, maybe you've got a 60 minute routine here. 

 

Thanks a lot for your reply. I'm going in circles. I still have my ChinesePod subscription valid until November. Will check it out again under this different aspect now. I always loved the episodes from 2008-2013 (very good native speakers, one guy I makes me love all the time). Going back to Elementary then due to the characters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phil Crimmins

Hey @德国人

 

Here's a response for you with added context of how you might move forward while continuing Mandarin Blueprint: https://www.loom.com/share/ed05b0ff684f4bfba10ed33072a88be7

 

Phil

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
德国人

Hi Phil, thanks a lot for your response.

I have already changed my learning setup. Well, let's say I have found a more interesting direction.

First, in the morning I continue with MandarinBlueprint Anki-habit.

New characters (approx. 15-25) are inputted every second day.

I've seen some settlement in Anki's algorithm, if I'm not pushing in constantly new items.

I use the characters&words, but no longer the Grammer section.

 

For the lessons I also take the stories for reading and listening, but only the original speed. Everything else sounds unnatural. Of course here and there I need to wring my tongue/mouth around, but regularly I take it as a competition: the sentence, its pronounciation and me 🙂

 

In the afternoon/evening I rework 2-5 Elementary sessions of ChinesePod. Mainly for reading purposes. I nearly know all characters, but I use the sessions from 2008-2013 to have a stable curriculum. That's giving me some reading speed. Interestingly I have seen that first time a few days ago, as I observed that I suddenly hovered over some characters/words and the seeing/understanding was one moment. No longer decomposition or active looking. That really makes fun.

 

And here and there I'm willing to take a challenge. For example the MandarinCorner interviews - they are doing a marvellous job in presenting all the Hanzi+subtitles. Of course I've paid their "entry fee" 😉

Their last story about "New meat" - aka female looking Chinese male, was interesting to listen. 

 

So thanks a lot for your encouraging words. 

Edited by 德国人
Fixed some weird auto-correction stuff.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...