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  2. This is great advice. I often talk with friends while exercising and I don't write new words down, but I should. I do lots of passive listening, i.e., to Chinesepod, while doing chores & other things. However, as several have noted, this is just minimally effective. However, it's better than zero; I find that if later a friend teaches me something I've heard on a Chinesepod lesson, I tend to retain it better. For the difference between active & passive learning, I love the following quote: "A man may hear a 1000 lectures and read a 1000 volumes, and be at the end of the process very much where he was, as regards knowledge. Something more than merely admitting it in a negative way into the mind is necessary, if it is to remain there. It must not be passively received, but actually and actively entered into, embraced, mastered. The mind must go half-way to meet what comes to it from without." John Henry Newman, (1852) The Idea of a University (English prelate and theologian) While Newman was talking about learning in general, what he said is particularly applicable to language learning (and supports the theme in many/most of the posted comments).
  3. Flickserve

    Getting out of a listening rut

    Good for you! 90 minutes of following a conversation in mandarin is a beast. Hope that it carries on. I am sure that hard work before helps you now. Reduce the reading , increase the aural input proportion significantly. That has been my strategy as well. I deliberately don't read in order to force myself to pay attention to listening. The trade off is slower acquisition of vocabulary.
  4. Also known as "years of hard work" I'm glad you've managed to break through the mental blocks. Remember this feeling for the next plateau.
  5. Shelley

    How to buy a traditional Flying Pigeon bike

    You can't send private messages until you have made 5 posts.
  6. Hallelujah! It had to come eventually. A useful lesson for us all — thanks for sharing this.
  7. 突破!Breakthrough! Last week I realised something critical: when I practise verbal Chinese, I’ve always wanted to be awake and alert and ready to go. If I was tired or distracted, I wouldn’t do it at all because I thought it’d be a waste of time. What I realised last week is that I’ve never applied this to reading or writing. I’ll do it before bed, when I have insomnia, when I’m stressed, totally uninterested, any time at all. The main consequence of this has been that I’ve racked up thousands of hours of reading and writing (and I’m relatively good at that), but I’ve turned down opportunities to talk to people so often that I’ve really not done much of it at all, and when I have it’s always felt like I’m sitting an exam. My balance between characters and speech has tipped the scales diagonally. Noticing this discrepancy was a huge step for me. I immediately started to fight it, and now I’m far more likely to have conversations at any time (and my eagerness to talk to people is increasing by the day). This in turn has relaxed me a lot, because there’s no specific investment or goal or fear in conversing — I’m quickly building up to just doing it whenever and wherever now, just like the way I’ve always done reading and writing. I’ve only been in Taiwan three days and I’ve been forcing myself to fight this stupid habit and talk to people. I’ve been to two language exchange meetups and they’ve been spectacularly good: last night was 90 minutes straight of Chinese, and I understood enough to stay involved in the conversation (they were speaking clearly for foreigners) without feeling the need to beat myself up, while completely understanding where I’ve been going wrong. I’m also walking around with wireless earbuds in my bag, ready to take calls from people spontaneously. This is the breakthrough I’ve been hoping for. All your suggestions have been great, but the root cause had to be something unique and specific. This is it — not simply doing things wrong, not simply doing too little practice, but simply understanding this stupid imbalance I’ve been perpetuating for so many years. There’s a long way to go, but I’ve not been this excited or confident in a long time.
  8. If you're looking for information about books or movies I would recommend to search on Douban.
  9. ZhuoMing

    Keats School, Kunming - A Query

    I am also interested in hearing how much the local dialect affects learning the language. I have lived in Chengdu in the past and Sichuanhua was no issue at all (aside from having to second guess every time someone said 40 or 14...), everyone I needed to speak to just spoke putonghua (except the baoan outside my apartment 🙄) or an accented version of it that was not terribly hard to decipher after getting used to it. I imagine kKunming is the same, can someone confirm this?
  10. The speaker's overall point was that Americans sometimes get into business deals in China, when they don't know what is going on. And Chinese do the same with deals with Americans. They didn't know what they didn't know. He wasn't saying all meetings had 30% correct, just that he had seen such situations when this occurred. I've been in situations (not business deals) when Americans used long-detailed nuanced explanations and flowery idioms and the translator put the concept into 3 or 4 words (just the essence of what was said). Or the American talks for a few minutes, without a break, and the translator just relays part of what they said. It wasn't wrong, but it also wasn't complete. The Americans didn't know how to work with a translator. Also, these weren't professional translators, just Chinese colleagues with very good English skills.
  11. I'm in China 😀 Have used more Baidu and Bing in the last three weeks than in the last three years.
  12. DuckDuckGo has a link on the first page of results (but in the bottom half). Google has a link to the book as the top result.
  13. 陳德聰

    Where am I?

    Some sort of Hong Kong tug boat? The kind that... you row yourself...
  14. abcdefg

    Keats School, Kunming - A Query

    Local people speak dialect when they talk to each other. They will speak Putonghua when they talk to you. Children all learn standard Chinese in school even though they might talk dialect at home with Grandma. In short, don't worry about it. Hope you have a good time in Kunming!
  15. Yesterday
  16. abcdefg

    How to buy a traditional Flying Pigeon bike

    Didn't get it. Please try again.
  17. ~30% must be an overstatement, business deals would surely collapse due to incoherent responses at such a low level. Even around ~70% feels pretty uncomfortable for everyone from what I've experienced so far. We are basically told, once graduated, students should begin to 'specialize', taking jobs only in one or two related fields, eg. pharma. Then get known as someone who is good in that area and build on your reputation. I've seen people that have done this interpreting at very high quality in medical, environmental, pharma, with all the correct terminology. People already in the field who have not specifically prepared bilingual terminology, but have good language skills, would almost certainly not do as good a job. That being said, if preparation was done, the inverse may indeed be true.
  18. It's very interesting to read how you are learning SI. I understand it can be quite challenging. A Chinese attorney who lives in the US said he had been involved in business deals where only ~30% of the translation was correct. These were business deals involving life sciences & pharmaceuticals, so terminology was a challenge (as you illustrated). His message was "use good translators." I expect those he was referring to were not trained translators, but just those who did so as part of their jobs because they were perceived as having good language skills.
  19. The applications are on now, the deadline is April 30. I contacted my embassy and got the information, applied and submitted hard copies to the ECCO office. I am from Malawi.
  20. Luscious

    Communication University of China

    It's 2019 and anybody who has applied to this Uni especially the international communication Master? That's my choice too, hoping to make it this time around.
  21. Richard_

    Keats School, Kunming - A Query

    How is it Kunming with putonghua now? I'm going to spend 32 weeks in Keats and my only concern is the dialect. Well, I suppose I'd have problem with dialect everywhere in China so.. I heard Keats is famous for the one on one classes but I prefer the small group. Is it good as the one on one?
  22. mackie1402

    Licences for e-bikes in Beijing and elsewhere

    In Hangzhou all ebikes (mopeds) over 25km per hour and 55kg are banned now. Most people had what is now classed as an illegal ebike, so there was a grace period the last few months where they would give your bike a 3 year license plate as long as you signed up before the end of March. I got mine no problem. You just had to queue up at one of those police traffic boxes, fill out a form and get a picture taken with your bike and new license plate, then it was all done. If you still don't have a license for your ebike now and it doesn't meet the standards, then it gets confiscated for good. Not wearing a helmet is also a finable offence now. Also, the only need for a driver's license is for motorbikes, but they're impossible to get plates for in Hangzhou, so motorbike are basically non-existent here. This photo shows the queue when I went to get a plate for my bike last month.
  23. @abcdefg — you should be publishing these somewhere! I really appreciate you taking the time to go into such depth, and I particularly like the personal reflections and discussions you've added, so these posts are not just "recipes" or DIY instructions.
  24. I agree with you, what I was talking about has, for the most part, disappeared in the the realms of Old wives tales and home remedies which have been superseded by western medicine. I think I was just trying to say that it is possible for someone with some small knowledge of these things to understand and find it easier to accept the wisdom of the east in these matters. I am not saying it is all correct and has a purpose but you can see how it can contribute to the health of the people when thats all they have as it was once here in the west with no western medicine to turn to.
  25. Alex327

    How to buy a traditional Flying Pigeon bike

    I'm still here. Don't check this forum regularly. I think I sent a private message to abcdef. Let me know if you didn't get it.
  26. thanks Lu, just might to note for the OP that the link I posted seems to refer to all of China, if I have read the site correctly
  27. I split off a bunch of posts on e-bike licences in Beijing, those can be found here.
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