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StChris
On 2/2/2021 at 12:08 AM, Tomsima said:

I would argue 'a gentle incline' would be a better description - im definitely in the 逆水行舟,不进则退 boat, as it were.

 

I think that so long as you feel relatively comfortable handling most native material and already habitually consume such material as a normal part of your everyday life, then it really is more akin to a gentle decline in terms of effort required in order to further improve. Understanding 90%+ of whatever you are engaging with makes passive learning a realistic option. It's not only being able to pick up new vocab on the fly due to understanding the context it appears in, it's also about further solidifying the language abilities you already have through hearing certain already known vocab and expressions in new contexts.

 

Before I started to learn Chinese I learnt Thai, and got to a pretty decent level (enough to get a little bit of basic translation work). However, I don't think I ever got fully comfortable with native material, and after I left Thailand I didn't use the language in any capacity. Now that really was a gentle incline, and as a result of putting no effort into maintaining it my Thai has regressed quite a lot since then (although a lot of it has come flooding back since I started watching Thai shows and films on Netflix these past few months).

 

Let's see, maybe at the end of this year I will feel that I have made a mistake and should have stuck to more involved studying methods, rather than just passively consuming a huge amount of native materials.

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StChris
On 2/2/2021 at 5:24 AM, imron said:

Learn rust.

 

Is that this:

 

https://www.rust-lang.org/

 

Do you think it has a good future (Firefox and Dropbox are already using it apparently, so it seems to be on the up)? Like many beginners, I used to stress out trying to decide which language to learn, but it seems that the skillset used is very similar no matter what the language. For now, I'm happy to just focus on C and 68k assembly for fun side projects, and C++ for serious stuff (it seems very versatile). Once I feel I am fully competent in those I would be up to try something else though, so would be willing to give Rust a try.

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jannesan
3 hours ago, StChris said:

Do you think it has a good future (Firefox and Dropbox are already using it apparently, so it seems to be on the up)?

 

Yes, it has massive uptake now, all big tech firms are starting to use it for projects that would have been C++ before. May be a bit biased here as a fanboy, but you should really learn Rust instead of C++ for both a better learning experience and better software you’ll write. While not easy, the learning material and community is outstanding (official book: https://doc.rust-lang.org/book, forum: https://users.rust-lang.org).

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StChris
23 minutes ago, jannesan said:

Yes, it has massive uptake now, all big tech firms are starting to use it for projects that would have been C++ before. May be a bit biased here as a fanboy, but you should really learn Rust instead of C++ for both a better learning experience and better software you’ll write. While not easy, the learning material and community is outstanding (official book: https://doc.rust-lang.org/book, forum: https://users.rust-lang.org).

 

I did some research on Rust after Imron mentioned it. Firstly, it doesn't seem hugely well known yet, which isn't necessarily a bad thing (searching for "Rust" tends to bring up a computer game of the same name rather than info about the language 😄 ). Although popular with programmers (most loved programming language on stackoverflow every year since 2016), it doesn't seem anywhere near critical mass level yet in terms of establishing itself as a long term and widely used language. That said, I'm not averse to learning things out of a sense of pure curiosity (as evidenced by my assembly language studies), so I'm willing to give it a go. Although there aren't really any jobs available for it yet, if it does eventually take off then it would be advantageous to be one of the few people who knows how to code in it. 

 

I've got plenty of time on my hands, so I guess it wouldn't hurt to divert some of it to trying out Rust. If I do end up really getting into it, then I suppose all that time learning about pointers and memory management in C/C++ will have been for nothing!

 

Thanks to you both for the advice.

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imron
18 hours ago, StChris said:

Do you think it has a good future

It has a massive future.  Rust is going to be one of those things that isn't used anywhere, and then is suddenly used everywhere all at once - at least in fields where performance, stability and reliability count.  A number of large companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Cloudfare to name a few) all are starting to use Rust in production, usually because it brings about a significant reduction in resource use, and is significantly more stable and reliable.

 

It's quite common to see blog posts like "Switching to rust reduced operating costs 10x" or similar, and that sort of thing has starting catching the eye of people who care about such things.

 

At the company I worked for previously, the CTO investigated Rust for the performance heavy side of the services they ran, and a hacked together prototype looked like it could run at 100x the speed of the existing highly-tuned Java app, so they started looking at switching all that to Rust with the aim of reducing the 20 very-not-cheap servers they currently had handling that load down to a single server.

 

It's this kind of thing that is going to make Rust "no where and then everywhere", because most people who care about performance have been noticing these stories and investigating rust, and working on internal projects in Rust, and then suddenly those projects will mature.

 

At the company I'm currently working for, I'm doing "Embedded C++" but I've also started introducing Rust where it makes sense.  Not for performance reasons but for stability reasons.  I've kept a list of all the bugs I've encountered in the C++ side of things that would be impossible in Rust, and have been using that as rationale for developing new things in Rust rather than C++.  There's another developer here who is as keen on Rust as myself, and the only objection the company has is that they think it will be difficult to hire Rust developers - which I don't really think is true (after all, they found me) but that's the perception.

 

13 hours ago, StChris said:

Although there aren't really any jobs available for it yet,

 

Yes there are, they just aren't advertised as Rust jobs yet.

 

13 hours ago, StChris said:

then I suppose all that time learning about pointers and memory management in C/C++ will have been for nothing!

No!  In fact it will make it easier to learn Rust, because you'll understand why the compiler isn't letting you do something.   People say the Rust learning curve is high, but if you come from a background of careful C or C++ i.e. the kind of C++ where you don't make memory errors, or have any data races (hah), you'll find Rust to be a joy because it takes all the mental load of being careful and offloads it to the compiler, and will also catch you when you weren't being careful enough (which will be more often than you think).

 

14 hours ago, jannesan said:

but you should really learn Rust instead of C++ for both a better learning experience and better software you’ll write.

严师出高徒 :mrgreen:
 

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Jan Finster
On 12/25/2020 at 11:20 AM, Jan Finster said:

Because the first 3-4 months of 2021 will be super busy work-wise, my main goal for the first third of 2021 is not to regress. I am a bit hesitant to make any goals for 2021. I guess, I will be happy with 2021 if I look back and I have:

 

1) read and listened to at least 1000 articles in TCB (at least 50% at HSK 5 level)

2) my reading speed has increased from around 50 CPM to to 150 characters per minute following Imron's method (https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/20007-what-to-study-after-heisig/page/3/)

3) I have completed Chinese Zero to Hero's HSK 4 and 5 videos [I have bought it during the Black Friday sales, but have not looked at it]

4) Finish 2 non-fiction books in Chinese

5) considering (according to Lichess) I have spent the equivalent of 21 whole days playing online blitz chess from April 2020 to December 2020 , I hope I can find a way to make learning Chinese as relaxing and addictive. Sadly, I believe I have not spent the equivalent of 21 whole days learning Chinese since April. When I am super tired from work and I have to choose between Lichess and Chinese, Lichess feels much less like "hard work". How do you make Chinese a "zoning-out activity"?

6) Continue shadowing and eventually start online speaking sessions again.

 

So,after the first quarter if over, here is a brief progress report:

Basically the only thing I did was "1" and "2". While I read 1000 TCB articles in 8 months in 2020, so far I have "only" read 32 articles and 12823 words. As I anticipated, I am super busy with work. However, the main reason for that low number is that I really tried to implement Imron's reading method. So, I basically read and re-read the same texts and passages until I was reasonable fluent. So, the 12823 words is not including the re-reads. I am  pleasantly surprised that my character recognition has become much better. Also, those 32 articles have all been HSK 6 articles, because I realised, if I re-read the texts anyway, it does not make much of a difference it they are HSK 4 or 6 to me. So, basically, I skipped HSK 5 (I read mostly HSK 3 & 4 articles and only 10-20% HSK 5 articles in 2020). One thing I am struggling with is boredom. Re-reading ad nauseam is highly effective but so boring....

 

Actually, one more thing I did was listening to those HSK 6 articles again and again. This happens mainly on the go rather than as dedicated listening time (with checking the texts, if I do not understand things. My listening comprehension is still only about 30-75% (depending on the articles. Recognition is higher (80-95% for those that I have read only a few days ago)).

 

Any comments or tips?

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imron
On 3/6/2021 at 5:36 PM, Jan Finster said:

the main reason for that low number is that I really tried to implement Imron's reading method

Is that this one?

 

If so, probably the best thing to do to counter the boredom is to switch up the articles a little bit more frequently.  Note, one of the key points in that post is

 

*Keep using new material

 

There will still be boredom, as you'll need to do some amount of repetitions to get the benefits, but hopefully it won't be as much.

 

Out of curiosity, have you been keeping track of reading speed improvements? (the posts mentions this is a useful thing to do).  If so, I'd be interested to know what sort of improvement you've seen.

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Jan Finster
2 hours ago, imron said:

Out of curiosity, have you been keeping track of reading speed improvements? (the posts mentions this is a useful thing to do).  If so, I'd be interested to know what sort of improvement you've seen.

 

Thanks! Yes, this was the article I was referring to.

No, I have not really tracked reading speed. I realised that my character recognition was getting much better and that was my goal. (after a major frustration in the summer of 2020, this was great (https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/13726-i-hate-hanzi/?do=findComment&comment=471032). I will probably start tracking speed at some point.

Regarding switching to new articles, maybe I should go back to HSK 4 & 5 level texts. I can probably don 3-4 of those in the time that it takes me to do an HSK 6 text (!?)  

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imron
On 3/9/2021 at 9:06 AM, Jan Finster said:

I can probably don 3-4 of those in the time that it takes me to do an HSK 6 text

A key point from my post was this:

 

On 4/8/2009 at 1:33 AM, imron said:

[make] sure you understand the meaning of every word and sentence, looking up and learning the ones you don't know - obviously you want to keep this to a minimum, hence the importance of selecting the right text.

So it really depends on how much time you are looking up words.  What's the word count of an HSK 4&5 article vs an HSK 6 article?

If 3-4 easier texts is longer than a single HSK6 text, then I would say it's a no brainer

 

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Jan Finster
1 hour ago, imron said:

So it really depends on how much time you are looking up words.  What's the word count of an HSK 4&5 article vs an HSK 6 article?

 

about 200-220 words for HSK 4 vs 340-380 words for HSK 6.

 

1 hour ago, imron said:

If 3-4 easier texts is longer than a single HSK6 text, then I would say it's a no brainer

 

I will give that a try then. In my experience it is a good idea to mix the levels anyway. 2 steps forward, 1 step back, etc..

 

 

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imron

It's not really 1 step back though.  The higher levels are quite arbitrary in many ways - yes they're based on frequency, but over a broad range of topics so if you prefer reading about a specific topic and not others, it might not be representative of your needs.

 

The important thing is that you are still learning new words.  It doesn't matter if you get them from an HSK4 article or an HSK6 article - a new word is a new word, and for all intents and purposes, there is an unlimited supply of them regardless of what you are reading.

 

There is however a difference between learning 10 new words in 800 words vs 10 new words in 400 words, and generally speaking, the former will be better than the latter.

 

This is both from a qualitative point of view (you'll understand more of what you're reading and will have less interruptions from unknown words) and from a quantitative point of view (you'll be doing more reading).

 

Don't get hung up on the HSK level of the article.  As long as you are still learning new words it is all steps forward.

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Sreeni

Saw this post, about goals a bit late.
My 2021 Goals as below:

 

1. Learn 5 new words (  1/2/3/4 character Idioms or words I count as 1 Word) per day and retain all learned words. The source is high school Textbook  and complete it. 

 

2. Take one Comprehension per month and understand completely.

 

revisit the count of the words on quarterly basis to increase or decrease.

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timseb
8 hours ago, imron said:

There is however a difference between learning 10 new words in 800 words vs 10 new words in 400 words, and generally speaking, the former will be better than the latter.

 

This. When I read a novel in English and encounter a new word, I only have to look it up once to understand them the next time I encounter it. There are exceptions, of course.

 

I started reading Niezi a few weeks ago, but having to look up words a bit too frequently, I shelved it and read another book instead, which resulted in me reading much more material in the same amount of time.

 

Regarding my goals for 2021, I don't think I ever wrote anything down. I simply want to increase my comprehension, and how long that will take time will show. In a few days I've finished my 9th novel in Chinese, which I'm very happy with. By now I have a quite good knowledge of 3960 characters which has boosted my reading. Even if some of those characters only appear a few times per novel, I like not having to look them up while I'm doing pleasure reading. I've always tried to do as little active study as possible outside Anki.

 

What needs boosting the most right now is my listening comprehension. After I finished the last Harry Potter book I've started listening to the audiobooks. This seems like a good method because I'm familiar with the material and I understand most of it. I try to listen at least an hour a day by now. Will do the same with the other books I've finished.  I also listen to podcasts.

 

My biggest problem is finding native listening material with visual clues. This is quite clearly the best method of picking up *new* words by listening. Listening to audiobooks doesn't provide visual clues, thus mostly helps me parsing words I already now faster and getting more used to the sounds. I'm having big trouble watching mainland TV; it just doesn't cut it as entertainment (and is also often subtitled). I've also tried Chinese dramas, most of them are OK-ish but there's just too much dead space (no one talking) to motivate the time spent on it. My largest interest is arthouse cinema and I do like lot of Chinese arthouse directors, however most of their films are in other dialects and/or doesn't include much dialogue.

 

I would really love some recommendations of Chinese dramas that are heavily packed with dialogue.

 

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roddy

You might want to have a look for the 'Learning With Netflix' browser plugin I've posted about previously - it lets you skip past all the non-talking bits and get to the dialogue.

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timseb
6 minutes ago, roddy said:

You might want to have a look for the 'Learning With Netflix' browser plugin I've posted about previously - it lets you skip past all the non-talking bits and get to the dialogue.

 

An excellent recommendation, even if that turns the entertainment into studying. 😅

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jannesan

So, the first quarter is over and in the meanwhile I graduated and will be looking for a job starting this month.

It will be more difficult with a full-time job to dedicate myself to Chinese, but I'm still very motivated and enjoying it,

so I think the plan I set for this year is very doable.

So far I've managed to keep up with most of the things I wanted to do :)

 

On 12/23/2020 at 5:58 PM, jannesan said:
  • study 简化总表 (list of character simplifications) | yes, have studied 1/3 of this with Anki so far (5 per day)
  • add 繁体字 to all Anki cards, existing and new | no, will do so after completing the above
  • read 1-2 textbooks in 繁体字 | no, same as above
  • start consuming some news written in 繁体字 | no, same as above

Goals for every month:

  • read 1/2 book | yes, read 草房子, half-way through 一地鸡毛, sometimes reading 方方's recent blog/diary
  • write one article by hand and correct it together with a teacher | yes, but it's always hard to push myself to sit down and do it

Every week:

  • watch some TV show episode(s) or/and some movie(s) | yes, last show was 谁是被害者 which was fine
  • listen to at least 1,5 hours of podcast (故事FM while cooking is a good combo for me) | yes, not tracking time, but i feel I'm doing even more
  • 1-2 Italki classes, but less free talking than this year, more concentrated study | yes, have been doing at least 2/week, also found a 4. teacher to focus on pronunciation
  • one session of 50/50 German/Chinese with my girlfriend, with focus on more complex topics than the everyday 家常 | no, we haven't established a consistent session yet, this needs to be tackled

Every day:

  • Anki review + at least 5 new words | yes
  • write entry in dream journal | yes, but more like every second day, can't always remember my dreams, recently didn't write anything for 2 weeks, but now I'm back at it

 

加油 to everyone! 😀

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Weyland

Failed in my goal to get an average of 92 on the PSC texts within half a year. Got an average of 91.22,up from 86.46 in September. But, now that I have to wear my aligners every day I won't be able to improve anymore for the remainder of this year.

At least I have the HSK3.0 grammar I can work on.

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Sreeni
On 3/11/2021 at 3:12 PM, Sreeni said:

1. Learn 5 new words (  1/2/3/4 character Idioms or words I count as 1 Word) per day and retain all learned words. The source is high school Textbook  and complete it. 

 

2. Take one Comprehension per month and understand completely.


1. Learning 5 or more new words per day, but not able to retain some of them. 
2. Able to complete 1 Comprehension per month. again some of the words from Comprehension not able to retain. 

 

Focus on retaining all the vocabulary learnt. 

 

 

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