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大块头

Which project should I work on next? (poll)

Which project should I work on next?  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the following Anki decks would you be most interested in?

    • Chinese slang and vulgarities
      6
    • regional accents and mannerisms (i.e. a deck that would train you to identify where a speaker grew up)
      3
    • Chinese geography (provinces, counties, and the largest cities contained therein)
      2
    • a sentence-based deck made with the Common Voice dataset and MorphMan (like Spoonfed but without all the copyright infringement)
      5
    • Wubi character input method
      2
    • something else (comment below)
      2


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大块头

The yacht may have to wait for another day, but income from the HSK 3.0 deck I made looks like it could at least partially subsidize the development of other SRS products. If you have an idea that isn't on the poll above, I'm all ears!

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艾墨本

I want to add a bit of details on my vote: a sentence based deck.

 

My dream deck would be one that had sentences organized in a way that each new sentence actually only introduced one new word with the grammar patterns of that HSK level frequently repeated throughout the example sentences. The problem with many example sentences is that they have words that have not been learned yet or are written using such a basic structure it just gets old.

 

The biggest challenge (in my mind) that such a deck would pose is making sure that while the new words are introduced one at a time the sentences are also unique enough that they don't result in confusion between the different vocabulary.

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abcdefg

Following @艾墨本 's example, I'll explain my vote for the second option, "regional accents and mannerisms (i.e. a deck that would train you to identify where a speaker grew up.)" I think we can all pick out someone speaking Beijinghua and Cantonese influenced Guangdong Mandarin. I can usually identify Kunminghua, but that's because I've lived there most of the last ten years. I'm hopeless on the rest. Would settle for being able to pick out 3 or 4 of the major regional accents. Don't really have the desire to fine tune it. 

 

As to why I passed over the Chinese Geography choice, I think that is best learned through game apps. I used two of them a lot in early years and the information just stuck after that, only reinforced by reading the news and looking up unfamiliar place names.One should not only know provinces and large cities, one should be aware of rivers and mountains since these shape history and influence current events. This tool is my favorite: https://online.seterra.com/en/vgp/3206 

 

An offshoot of this that has been fun is to learn to recognize the province "nicknames" 简称 that appear on automobile license tags 车牌 when driving city streets.  粤 for Guangdong would be an example. Another is 滇 for Yunnan. Lots of these are difficult to just guess, although their derivation can be understood with a little more thought.  

 

Chinese slang or vulgarities sounds interesting until you remember how fast such things change and also how difficult it is to use these terms in an appropriate native manner even if you know the actual word or phrase. What you might think someone would consider friendly and hip could instead get you punched in the nose. The line between an insult used in friendly jest and an insult becoming "fighting words" is thin indeed and requires more situational awareness than most foreigners posess.  

 

Proper use of slang and vulgarities requires not only a glossary of words and phrases, but a very keen situational awareness to guide one in knowing what's appropriate and when. Such things do not transfer well from one culture to another. 

 

 

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realmayo

Personally I live in hope of one day finding or creating a serious "minimal pairs" deck, comprising brief sentences spoken at fast native speed where you can't rely on knowing what the sentence means in order to work out what sounds you're hearing.

For instance I realised I'd got sufficiently rusty these last three years that I heard "学..." as "我学..." at the start of a rushed sentence. Would be nice to drill trying to discriminate between those (better still, when the same tone), as well as same-sound-different-tones.

But so far the only resources I've found are too easy - too slow, or too easy to guess (because you know what the person is saying).

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大块头

A big thank you to the 81 people (:shock:) that voted in this poll here and on r/ChineseLanguage.

 

poll.thumb.png.3de1eaa4d57d37197b4528663c943c55.png

 

It looks like there is strong interest in a slang and vulgarities deck, but I'm going to focus on the regional accents and mannerisms deck first because that's a smaller-scale project requiring less of my time. (If I told my wife that I'm going to start shutting myself up in my office again every weekend to write flashcards she wouldn't be too pleased...) I've reached out to an old friend that works in the Chinese entertainment industry, and he said he knows some actors who can potentially do the voice recording work that I need. If anybody reading this happens to know a Chinese dialect coach or voice actor that can speak Mandarin with a variety of thick regional accents, please let me know.

 

@艾墨本

That's an good idea, albeit one that's beyond my resources. Anybody beginner to intermediate who is looking for example sentences like that might want to check out the Tuttle Learner's Dictionary.

 

@abcdefg

Thanks for sharing that geography quiz tool. I agree that misusing vulgarities can be dangerous. When I make that deck I'm going to structure the flashcards in a passive recognition format. My goal would be to enable people to understand coarse language, not teach them to swear like sailors.

 

@realmayo

You could potentially do something like that with the Common Voice dataset. Sort out all the phrases shorter than 8 characters, then use Audacity's macro function to increase the playback speed of all the remaining audio files to 1.25x.

 

@Jan Finster

This may be a discussion for the relevant thread, but the HSK 3.0 deck I made contains all the data you would need to do that. To generate what I call the "interference warnings" I wrote some Python code to identify potentially confused characters/words, then paid a freelancer $200 to remove all the false positives.

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imron
13 hours ago, 艾墨本 said:

My dream deck would be one that had sentences organized in a way that each new sentence actually only introduced one new word with the grammar patterns of that HSK level frequently repeated throughout the example sentences

@艾墨本 This might interest you (though well below your level).

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