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Didn't set any goals for 2021 but will be doing so for next year! They are:

  1. Only read books in Chinese (outside of required reading and finishing the one book I'm currently reading).

  2. Log all my language learning with a web dashboard I made for myself recently.

  3. Reach a B2 level of speech in Mandarin. I'd say my reading and listening abilities are pretty near to this level, but speaking is barely at B1.

Fingers crossed I achieve them!

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I have very clearly defined goals for 2022. 2021 was an incredibly productive year. I added ~10.000 words to my passive vocabulary. I read 7 books from cover to cover. However, 2021 was all about children's books, because that was all I could feasibly read. This year, I have a much better selection of books to look forward to. Here's some of the books I'll be able to choose from this coming year (native literature in bold):

  1. The Wandering Earth, by Cixin Liu(流浪地球)
  2. 1988: I Would Like to Speak With the World, by Han Han(1988:我想和这个世界聊天)
  3. The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton(天外病菌)
  4. Animal Farm, by George Orwell(动物庄园)
  5. The Secret Garden, by Frances Burnett(秘密花园)
  6. Cat Country, by Lao She(猫城记)
  7. Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Jones(魔幻城堡)
  8. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro(别让我走)
  9. The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling(哈利波特)
  10. Heroes Don’t Cry, by Gu Long(英雄无泪)
  11. Ender’s Game, by Orson Card(安德的游戏)
  12. The End of Eternity, by Isaac Asimov(永恒的终结)
  13. Foundation, by Isaac Asimov(基地)
  14. Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur Clarke(与拉玛相会)
  15. The Man in the High Castle, by Philip Dick(高堡奇人)
  16. Dune, by Frank Herbert(沙丘)
  17. The His Dark Materials Series, by Philip Pullman(黑暗物质)
  18. The Mandate of Heaven, by Qian Lifang(天意)

I certainly won't be able to read all of these, so my goal is to read at least ten of them. I am particularly excited about Heroes Don't Cry, by Gu Long, The Mandate of Heaven, by Qian Lifang, Foundation, by Isaac Asimov, and The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton -- none of which I have read before, in any language. If anyone has any other recommendations for native literature in the genres science fiction (that aren't by Liu Cixin), thriller, fantasy, historical fantasy, or historical fiction (I especially love gripping political intrigue), please let me know! I keep a pretty exhaustive reading list.

 

In addition to reading at least ten books, I also would like to add another 10.000 words to my vocabulary next year. I also want using Chinese to become a habitual part of my everyday routine -- when I look something up online, I want to be looking it up in Chinese. And I want to be doing that because it's easy and natural and because of force of habit, not because I'm "making" myself do it.

 

I also would like to finally hire a tutor for conversation practice, but if I don't get around to that I won't be terribly disappointed.

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Am I the only person here who wants to be able to read Chinese news and Chinese blogs rather than fiction? 

 

In any case, in 2022 I plan to continue with Chairman's Bao articles (their HSK 4 articles are easy for me, their HSK 5 articles are usually hard) and also try a year's worth of Du Chinese.  In addition, I'm going to go through all the graded readers at my level that I can find.  I have already started this and I think that will help a lot with getting more fluent - not panicking when I see a big block of Chinese characters that includes some words I've never encountered before.

 

And depending on how the pandemic goes, I may try to finish up the HSK 5 course using the standard books and Zero to Hero.

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On 12/26/2021 at 6:12 PM, 黄有光 said:

If anyone has any other recommendations for native literature in the genres science fiction (that aren't by Liu Cixin), thriller, fantasy, historical fantasy, or historical fiction (I especially love gripping political intrigue), please let me know!

If you're up for more lighthearted and digital content, you can't go wrong with the xianxia fantasy novel 修真聊天群. It's been well-received both by the Chinese reading world as a whole and individual people (as well as myself) who have read/are reading it. Just note that being a webnovel, it's incredibly long - around six or seven million characters if I recall correctly.

 

Another good book, if you're not much of a fan of the Daoist/traditional Chinese elements, is 第一序列. It's another, shorter webnovel, that falls into the post-apocalyptic and comedic categories, detailing a character who's developed superhuman abilities.

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On 12/26/2021 at 7:35 PM, imron said:

You could consider splitting out your 2022 goals in a new thread if you like and reap the glory 😄

 

Nah, I think a general thread is going to be enough for me. Don't really see what glory there is to reap..
And I also think that one major point in the exercise is seeing other peoples goals too and them going after them. Maybe that can create some sense of accountability to push you to go more after your own goals too. 🙂

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On 12/26/2021 at 7:48 PM, Moshen said:

Am I the only person here who wants to be able to read Chinese news and Chinese blogs rather than fiction? 

 

I'm also interested in the news and blogs and also in reading what work related stuff the Chinese speaking world writes, but for the time being I feel that familiar novels are easier to approach. I've been thinking about making it into a project to copy by hand all Chairman's Bao articles in order starting from HSK1. I think they all also have audio? Maybe I'll make that into a goal next year.

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On 12/26/2021 at 5:48 PM, Moshen said:

Am I the only person here who wants to be able to read Chinese news and Chinese blogs rather than fiction? 

 

I've certainly noticed a big uptick in how many are reading fiction at the moment - perhaps something related to being able to 'travel' in China without being able to go there? Either way, the majority of my reading has been Chinese news by a long way for some years now - its varied in content but repetitive in style, so very useful for practice. That being said, I too have been delving much more into fiction this year, and have noticed a significant increase in cognitive strain that you just don't get with 'media Chinese'. The latter in particular wants you to understand the information, so is often written in an accessible style: good for practice, but not so good for growth.

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Here are my goals for 2022:

 

1) Keep up the steady, daily work with Cantonese. 30 mins a day minimum on shadowing until summer rolls round. Then its on to booking speaking classes over the summer.

 

2) Read these books (some recent recommendations, some others very overdue!):

 

  1. 鲁迅全集(坟,热风,呐喊)鲁迅 (1923-7)
  2. 老残游记  刘鹗 (1907)
  3. 恨海  吴趼人 (1906)
  4. 子夜  茅盾 (1933)
  5. 四世同堂  老舍 (1944)
  6. 儒林外史  吴敬梓 (1750) (yes, if I manage this one I will be amazed)

 

edit: 松隐漫录 replaced with 四世同堂. I've decided to stick to 偏白话文 books this year, 2023 may end up being dedicated to reading Qing dynasty 文言 literature as a result.

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Wow, everyone here is dedicating way more time than I think I'll be able to in 2022. :(   But I'll keep plugging away, anyway. Here's what I wrote up for my 2022 goals after a frustrating HSK exam result a couple weeks ago (exact same total score as 2.5 years ago):

 

Plan for 2022:

Most important goal is to be able to have conversations with people.  My weak areas are listening skills, vocabulary, and production (speed and correctness using appropriate vocabulary). 

 

Plans starts Dec. 12, 2021.

 

Goals for listening skills:

·       3 hours per week of conversation (e.g., meetups or lessons) or focused listening.  Watching Mandarin Corner or similar videos with subtitles counts as half time.  Unfocused listening counts as 25% time. 

·       15 points per day -- Understand all of a passage in one pass without referring to the text.  After one month, can count a passage as new again.

  [So far, this takes me about ~35 minutes per day.]

o   HSK short passages (15-20 seconds) – 1 point

o   HSK long passages (30-40 seconds) – 3 points

o   One minute of stories or Mandarin Corner videos (60 seconds) – 5 points

o   2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-minute passages: 12, 20, 30, 45 points

 

Goals for vocabulary:

·       500 new high-frequency words or useful phrases.

·       Bring all of the hard [for me] HSK 5 words back into flashcards in rotation.

·       Up to date on cards 90% of days.

 

Goal for supporting work:

·       90 minutes per week of supporting work (including reading).

·       No Quora or Imgur 90% of days.  [Those are time-sucks for me that just take away from time I have for anything, including Chinese.]

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On 12/27/2021 at 1:48 AM, Moshen said:

Am I the only person here who wants to be able to read Chinese news and Chinese blogs rather than fiction? 

 

I'd like to read more news too, but I actually find that harder than books.  First, it's shorter, and it takes me a while to warm up to a particular topic / subject matter.  With news, by the time I'm warmed up, the article is over.  So I'm constantly on first or second gear with news, which feels frustrating.  Second, I find all current news click baity & overly sensationalistic these days (any language), and am generally turned off by the style. 

 

But I still like the idea of getting more practice reading "news-like" material.  What I'd really like is a collection of Old News, like maybe recounting some historical events from the 20th century through news clippings, all piled up in a row so I can get used to the subject matter and ramp up to a level of mastery through it.  I've seen, e.g. WW2 books in English compiled that way, but I don't know if there are any Chinese language books like that. 

 

Has anyone seen any materials like that?

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On 12/27/2021 at 2:00 AM, Fithen said:

If you're up for more lighthearted and digital content, you can't go wrong with the xianxia fantasy novel 修真聊天群. It's been well-received both by the Chinese reading world as a whole and individual people (as well as myself) who have read/are reading it.

Yeah, it's recommended by many but when I tried it, it was so unbearably boring I dropped it before reaching the supposedly good part.

 

For lighthearted webnovels I recommend these instead:

 

史上第一混乱 by 张小花. It's a 反穿 story in which the protagonist, a modern city dweller who works at a pawnshop, is tasked with taking care of various historical figures who suffered wrongful death due to clerical error and are therefore smuggled into his world to take up temporary residence as a form of compensation before they go on their journey to reincarnation. What ensues is hilarious. (铁掌无敌王小军 by the same author is a wuxia comedy in a modern setting that is also worth recommending.)

 

异常生物见闻录 by 远瞳. It can be loosely classified as science fiction. A young man looking for job is chosen by an eccentric goddess to be her representative on Earth. His first job as an employee of the Time and Space Agency of a vast cosmic empire involves providing accommodation to strange creatures such as werewolf and vampire who turn out to be refugees from a neighboring universe. (The author's first book 希灵帝国 is not very good but his third and current one 黎明之剑 is quite interesting. It's a 西幻种田文, i.e. Western style sword and sorcery fantasy with a time traveler's empire building story arc, but there's also a latent sci-fi plot that was not fully developed the last time I read it.)

 

大王饶命 by 会说话的肘子 (same guy who wrote 第一序列). Basically I hate 系统文 (it reflects laziness and lack of imagination in a new generation of writers who grew up playing nothing but video games) but this one is exceptional because it's sufficiently funny. Another exception is 我修的可能是假仙 by 明月地上霜 because the "system" in there really isn't doing much.

 

从前有座灵剑山 by 国王陛下 is a xianxia fantasy, the details of which I've already forgotten, only the impression that it's pretty good. It has a TV adaptation.

 

我家徒弟又挂了 by 尤前 is another xianxia fantasy but written by a female writer for female readers from a female point of view. It's supremely witty and funny, which I find quite unique and refreshing based on my limited experience with 女频 webnovels.

 

Last but not least, 万界圆梦师 by 棉衣卫. The protagonist works for a company with cutting-edge technology to send their clients to parallel universes to fulfill their wildest dreams, such as to have a child with 李寻欢 (a character in Gu Long novels), or learn 葵花宝典 (from Jin Yong's 笑傲江湖), or bring back Thor's hammer, or become a superhero in the Marvel universe, you get the idea. On each trip he can arm himself with two skills/abilities provided by the company that at first glance seem totally ridiculous and useless so he has to be really creative and think outside the box and on his feet. There are so many side-splitting scenes in it that it is hands down the best 搞笑小说 ever but I suspect basic background knowledge is required of a wide variety of fictional works.

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On 12/27/2021 at 10:37 AM, Publius said:

Yeah, it's recommended by many but when I tried it, it was so unbearably boring I dropped it before reaching the supposedly good part.

 

Admittedly, the opening is quite slow-paced, but it does pick up and get quite funny later on.

 

In any case, thank you for sharing your other recommendations, they all look very interesting. Glad to see another by 会说话的肘子 on there, may be looking at that one next! While his works aren't anything very novel or creative, almost every chapter leaves me chuckling.

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For 2022 I want to do more of what I did in 2021 which is more reading and listening. This year I read more than I had before and while it was a challenge and I had to look up many words, I think I have built the foundation to make big improvements next year. 

 

I mostly focus on listening and reading (input) more than output and have found that I'm happy with what I can output when I do decide to.

 

I first took the Zhtoolkit word test in 2020 and since then I have been taking it to have a rough estimate of my vocab size. I noticed that this year my score increased significantly. I'm sure it's due to the reading I have been doing. Here are my past and current scores (I've also included a screenshot of my results in Jan 2021 (left) and Dec 2021 (right) if it's useful to anyone). 

 

Scores:

May 2020: 2873  ± 936

Jan 2021: 3760 ± 966 

Dec 2021: 8367 ± 1345 

 

image.thumb.png.9b40a613e48894aaf06d8a9084cbc304.png

 

I'm not sure how accurate the scores are so I do take them with a gain of salt. I've never taken classes which means I've been self studying since I began. I'm quite happy with the progress I've made. By the end of 2022 I would like to score over 10,000. 

 

2022 Goals (Jan 2022 will be the start of my 4th year learning Mandarin!):

- Reading: Read 1 million characters in books, articles etc and improve reading in traditonal characters

  • I have found so many books I want to read that happen to only be in traditional characters so I would like to improve my recogniziton of them so that I have access to even more books to read

- Listening: Watch & listen to native material like videos, audiobooks & podcasts 

- Speaking: Weekly audio logs or 2 daily speaking challenges where I speak every day for a month

  • I've done this in the past and it's what helped my improve my ability to speak comfortably

- Vocabulary: Setence mine at least 5 cards a day and create new cards with audio every week. 

  • I only started properly setence mining with Anki 2 weeks ago and I've found it to be very useful to learn new words while reading and hearing setences that use those words! 
    • Essentially I take a word I have saved in pleco either from a book I read or video/podcast I listened to, I then go to the Chinese zero to hero dictonary to search up the word and find videos where it has been said. I then use sharex to get an audio clip of the sentence I want and use it to create a card on Anki. 
  • Each sentence card has around 1-3 new words so this should help me increase my vocab if I am consistent 

Overall I just want to increase my vocabulary so I can enjoy the books I read and easily understand what I hear!

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On 12/26/2021 at 1:20 PM, alantin said:

Altogether these activities should give me about 1025 hours of Chinese study time over 2022 of which about 36% (365 hours) should be reading, 44% (452 hours) listening, 8% (87 hours) speaking and 12% (122 hours) writing). That is 80% input activities and 20% output activities

 

On 12/26/2021 at 7:39 PM, Woodford said:

5th year of serious Chinese study (20-25 hours a week since Fall 2017)

 

This is an impressive goal/dedication from both of you!!! Knowing (Alantin) / assuming (Woodford) that you are not students anymore (with unlimited free time), how do you guys manage to squeeze that much time into your daily routine (aka "life")? (20-25 hours per week is "half a job" (!)) 😵 Do you guys ever sleep? 😉 I am honestly curious and aside from time, where do you take the mental energy from? (Is this mostly all-weekend studying?) 

 

 

On 12/27/2021 at 3:23 AM, markpete said:

Wow, everyone here is dedicating way more time than I think I'll be able to in 2022. :( 

Don't worry, I sympathise!

 

On 12/27/2021 at 1:40 AM, Tomsima said:
  • 松隐漫录  王韬 (1875)
  • 儒林外史  吴敬梓 (1750) (yes, if I manage this one I will be amazed)

Sounds quite advanced. A bit like me trying to finally approach Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (in English) (in my case just to "tick that box")

 

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Been thinking about this. I'm not sure what my goals should be as I round into my 12th year of study. So I guess one of my goals will be to figure out a few things...

 

  • I'd really like to explore the idea of studying Classical Chinese. Perhaps in conjunction with learning more about Chinese literature and history. As some people here know, I completed a Master's degree in Chinese literature. I've always felt a bit like a pretender about it, since I'd only had studied Chinese for a couple of years when I started that program, and relied very much (almost exclusively) on translations. I don't think there's anything wrong with that - but I've always felt a part of me wants to go back and do it "for real" this time. Now that I'm reading novels, it seems like I could probably start dipping my toe into native materials about these subjects, and also the literature itself... Maybe @Tomsima could offer some pointers here. 
  • I'll continue novel reading, but my listening continues to lag behind. Weirdly, the better my reading gets, the less of a challenge listening is - because the vocabulary is there, then it really does become a matter of needing people to "slow down". But I do think I should somehow back a couple of hours of listening per week into my routine - I just have to find out how, since I don't care much for watching News, listening to podcasts or watching YouTube in my native language, let alone doing it as a "fun" learning Tool. 
  • Time to explore another language - and unlike in year's passed - consider taking a class. Something about the classroom setting and having the enthusiasm of others to feed off of is so vital for me early on. I've taken stabs at self-studying Japanese, Swedish, and Cantonese so far. Still working on the Canto, but for the other I was never able to get beyond the early stages (maybe the equivalent of half a semester's worth). 

 

On 12/26/2021 at 1:39 PM, Woodford said:

"A Fortress Besieged" by Qian Zhongshu

I've got this one on my reading shelf. Might do it at some point this year also. 

 

Other stuff on my potential reading list: 

傾城之戀  張愛玲

平凡的世界 路遙

紅高粱家族 莫言

 

Pt 2 of 蕭十一郎 古龍

 

As well as the books read as a forum a year or two ago... 

 

Will be happy to do 3 or so of these.

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