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The 2022 Aims and Objectives Progress Topic


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Well, my peeps, I'm tapping out. Originally, my goal was to hit a vocabulary of 25.000 words. I am a bit shy of that, clocking in at a little over 21.000 words. I have decided to end my 1.5 year project of intensive vocabulary studies. I began experiencing the early signs of burnout, and experience has taught me to know when to call it quits for my sanity. I will be spending the remaining months of the year resting and recuperating. I will, however, still be consuming Chinese on a daily (or near-daily) basis.


I'm excited to tell you all that I'm moving into audiobooks! In fact I've already finished two: 哈利波特与魔法石 and 哈利波特与密室. When it comes to print, I've been delving into native content, but given how weak my listening comprehension is, I'm back to content I know like the back my hand for listening practice.


哈利波特与魔法石 was my first-ever audiobook in Chinese. For that book, I read along with the text while listening, and was surprised how easily I was able to keep up with the audio. I followed the same routine for 哈利波特与密室.


哈利波特与阿兹卡班的囚徒 has been a more challenging experience. For this book, I am listening to the audiobook while vaguely following along with an entirely different translation in text. This forces me to rely much, much more heavily on my listening comprehension -- almost exclusively, I'd say -- while still allowing me to check the text for key words if I get lost. I have found this to be a highly effective way of weaning myself off of text support so far. In fact, I might choose to follow this for the fourth book as well! 


I am looking forward to my first audiobook without any text at all. I expect I will probably get there by the end of this year, but we shall see. 

The graphs I posted above are the final results of my extended studies. It feels surreal to see the final data when I can remember plotting the first bits of data as if it were yesterday. 

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On 10/12/2022 at 6:50 PM, Woodford said:

the "Dashu Mandarin" YouTube channel

You may also have found the individual channels for the three teachers: the musings of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXhhmn4mRYk for instance hit the spot for me, while there's worthwhile content also at https://www.youtube.com/c/ChinesewithBen .

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On 10/13/2022 at 9:30 AM, realmayo said:

You may also have found the individual channels for the three teachers

I began to explore one of the channels last night! I saw that Richard (the Taiwanese teacher, apparently) not only has free lessons (live and recorded), but he's also teaching the new HSK 7-9. I may or may not watch those, but that's some impressive dedication. I imagine the other two channels are also great.

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Dropping in for a 2022 aims and objectives update. 


1) Keep going with Cantonese: Yes, I am still going, and getting better. I finally found an excellent face-to-face teacher about two months ago and have made very quick progress since then. I actually did find a good teacher on italki, but the difference in motivation when in an in person setting is huge, much more tangible evidence of progress and therefore much more motivating. 


2) Read lots of books from the late qing/republican period: Yes, this year I have read lots of political essays from the period, and went deep, deep down the Lu Xun rabbit hole. I even managed to read a third of 儒林外史 before I ran out of steam. I actually had to make flashcards for the characters so that I could better keep track of who was who. I will come back to this one day, as it is an amazing way to learn about what it must have really been like trying to work your way through the civil service system. 

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Hi, all. I'm reporting back in here at the end of the year. I met all of my goals for the year, which I feel pretty good about! Roughly, this amounted to about 40 minutes a day of conversation or dedicated listening practice, 10 minutes per day on flash cards, 5 minutes a day of reading, and learning just over 500 new words.


I didn't really feel like my skills improved much over the course of the year, although my score this year on the HSK 5 was 69-60-74 listening-reading-writing, compared to 49-51-79 a year ago. So at least my score was better (although I think I especially under-performed on the listening part of the test last year, so it may not be representative).


I also have to admit that it was a bit of a grind sometimes. I'm going to keep trying to improve in 2023, but will test out a different approach

that I hope will be more motivating / require less grit and also show some good results. We will see! 🙂


Wishing everyone all the best for a happy 2023!




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