Popular Post Johnny-5 Posted January 5, 2023 at 08:34 AM Popular Post Report Share Posted January 5, 2023 at 08:34 AM I went a little crazy in 2022 I've been learning Chinese for way too many years and got frustrated with my lack of progress. So in March I decided I would get serious and read 88 (a lucky number ) books by March 2023. Previous to 2022 I'd read the Harry Potter series, a series about some brothers named Hal & Roger, some Agatha Christie, and a number of mysteries translated from Japanese. I was at about 10 books read by March and that's where I started keeping records of how much I was reading each day. I started off trying to read at least an hour each day. I tried using LingQ and reading/listening along to novels, but it was slow and clunky. I moved over to my phone and a text to speech (TTS) app and found that to be a good pace. My reading speed with characters or characters and pinyin was is too slow to keep me interested/motivated, but listening and following along with the text was easier to understand than just listening alone and I found that I could understand better because I was processing the whole sentence instead of word by word. So I got through about 100 books this year. In terms of what I read... I re-read Harry Potter, I read almost all of Agatha Christie's books, read quite a few Japanese mysteries and the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy series, and Les Miserables. I find that mysteries are the easiest because they all have "suspects" and "alibis" and all of these common elements. I don't like books of short stories because by the time I really get into it and understand what's going on the story is finished. I don't like books that are too long or I feel like they won't ever end. I really have no opinion on the question of reading translated books vs. books originally in Chinese, I like reading mysteries and cannot find any written in Chinese so I haven't bothered looking. I think that as long as I'm still running into unknown words in books that I enjoy and can understand that that is good enough. If some day I find that I know all the words I'm encountering I might move on to something else. Frankly the hardest part is finding books that are interesting and comprehensible, that's one reason I've stuck with Agatha Christie, her books are interesting enough, consistent in quality, and are not written at too high a level. I don't have any hard numbers on "progress" in my Chinese ability, but I have observed some changes. I had been holding out reading the Chinese translation of Les Miserables as a sort of ridiculous goal and I was able to read through it in October. I started off with the TTS reading at a 0.75x speed and now I can do a 2.25x speed though I prefer 1.75x. I was taking several days or weeks to read a book early in the year, but by December I was plowing through an entire Agatha Christie book most days. I can read things that are written entirely in Chinese characters that I couldn't a year ago, though I haven't spent any time concentrating on characters. In terms of positives and negatives... on the plus side I can easily transition between actively reading and just listening, on the negative I sometimes zone out and lose track of what's going on in the story because I started thinking about something else. I sometimes look up words, but usually that interrupts the flow of the story too much and isn't worth it unless the page is just completely indecipherable without that word. The biggest plus is that I enjoy doing it and have been able to stick with it. Over the years I've tried Anki and various apps or books and flashcards... but none of it has been something I found myself sticking with and spending time on. Maybe I "should" spend time doing boring and uninteresting study, but I don't want to On any measurement of Chinese profficiency I still have a long way to go to, but I did all of this reading/listening with two kids and a full-time job and I enjoyed it. 8 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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