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  1. Despite much threatening to quit this language, I've managed to not totally do it. I'm about 50% of the way through 草房子 by 曹文轩. I'm enjoying the story about growing up in rural China from the different perspectives of the people who live in the town. It's also right at my level, in terms of reading. I finger over words on my Kindle about once per page, but find I can get pretty much the entire plot even without lookups. At this rate, I'll probably just keep plugging away at 曹文轩 novels until I get bored of them - not like I'll be done with this one any time soon.
    9 points
  2. 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 points
  3. I've seen the heated debates on here about SRS, and I think about it a lot! Of course, I took the SRS route in my early years of study, but I have gathered the following observations in favor of the opposite persuasion: 1. Reviewing a word by reading (even if you're a slow reader at 50-75 WPM) is a lot faster than reviewing it by flashcard, where you have to pause, think about what the word might mean, reveal the answer, and then mark it correct/incorrect (it takes me around 20 minutes to review 100 words until I get them all right, so that's far slower). 2. Before I did SRS, I was frustrated that I was forgetting the same words over and over again and not really gaining any traction. SRS did help me solve that issue, but if I had gone on without SRS and just did a Pleco lookup of all those forgotten words, they probably would have stuck in my memory. Tedious? Yes. But so is reviewing SRS cards. So it will be tedious either way. 3. As many have noted, SRS cards with single words on them lack context. Some have said (I think truthfully) that that can be an advantage ("If you can recall the meaning of a word *without* context, it should be even easier to understand it *in* context!"). I think that's true, but I have found the inverse to be true, too: There are some words I keep getting wrong in my SRS tests, but I have no problem understanding them when I find them in a book. So I'm not sure how SRS helps in those cases, except for making more unnecessary work. 4. As Imron has noted, reviewing words through reading ensures that you encounter words according to their natural frequency/importance. There are maybe some words I've slaved over in SRS that are extremely rare in the real world. But SRS can't normally operate on the "rareness" of any given word. Yeah, my database just consists of the bulk of all modern Mandarin words that I gleaned from around 30 books, so it's really too generic to be useful. It really is the equivalent of a mini-dictionary within Pleco.
    6 points
  4. It sounds like she's busy having a baby and doesn't have time for chit-chat.
    5 points
  5. The thing I found most useful about casual conversations with people when I lived in China was finding out whether or not they understood me. If the people I met and talked with were always "drawing a blank," then it meant I was saying things wrong. Either I was using non-native sentence patterns or I was pronouncing words wrong or maybe I was putting the emphasis in the wrong places to a degree that upset the rhythm and interfered with understanding. I made a point of troubleshooting these issues with a teacher. I would try to reproduce the conversation that "didn't work," explain in some round about way what I really meant, and ask for thoughts on how to do it better next time. Armed with this information, I would hurry to test it in real life, on the street, to see whether or not I had actually "got it." My teachers were so painfully polite. I could absolutely butcher something and they would say, "其实,你说的有点不太对。" On the street, mangling the same phrase would just get me a blank stare. The feedback was unmistakable and blunt. Greatly motivating. This exercise you are doing may have some benefits in promoting fluency, but the big element it lacks, in my opinion, is the instant feedback that real conversation provides. Maybe "phase two" of your project could include some unscripted conversations with ordinary people who are native speakers.
    5 points
  6. @Woodford Another way to get off without feeling like you're throwing away hard work is to export the whole deck, but without exporting the scheduling data. I've done this with a few of my big collections, deleting my study history with the deck, but not the deck itself. This means I can continue to use it as a searchable database in future, but will very likely not actively study it again.
    5 points
  7. Some of you may already know ChatGpt (https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt/). It is basically an AI language system (prototype-ish). You can ask question and chatgpt will come up with answers. It is pretty good, it is currently free, but not yet 100% error-free 😉 I played around it a bit and I feel it could revolutionise many things in my life, including language learning. Here some examples: Write a dialogue in Mandarin about 2 people on a blind date at Beijing's summer palace (Person A and Person B have never met before and are meeting for a blind date at the Summer Palace in Beijing) Person A: 你好,我是李雪。你是谁? (Hello, I am Li Xue. Who are you?) Person B: 你好,我是张伟。很高兴认识你。 (Hello, I am Zhang Wei. Nice to meet you.) Person A: 同样很高兴。我们在这里约会是很好的选择。 (Likewise, I'm glad to meet you. It's a great choice to have a date here.) Person B: 我同意。夏宫是北京最美丽的地方之一。 (I agree. The Summer Palace is one of the most beautiful places in Beijing.) Person A: 我们应该开始参观。我们可以先去看长廊。 (We should start the tour. We can go see the Long Corridor first.) Person B: 好的。那里有很多美丽的图画。 (OK. There are many beautiful pictures there.) (They walk and talk while visiting the Long Corridor) Person A: 张伟,你喜欢什么样的女孩子? (Zhang Wei, what type of girl do you like?) Person B: 我喜欢有爱心,有责任感,并且能与我相处的女孩。 (I like a girl who is caring, responsible, and can get along with me.) Person A: 哦,我喜欢有梦想,有目标,并且有自己的想法的男孩。 (Oh, I like a boy who has dreams, goals, and has his own ideas.) Person B: 我同意。我们的目标是一样的。 (I agree. Our goals are the same.) (They continue to visit other parts of the Summer Palace) Person A: 真是太美了,我真的很喜欢这里。 (It's so beautiful, I really like it here.) Person B: 我也是。我们应该再来一次。 (Me too. We should come again.) Person A: 我希望我们能再次约会。 (I hope we can have another date.) Person B: 我也是。那么,我们下次 Write a 200 words summary of the book 定西 孤儿院 纪事in Mandarin for 3rd grade students 《定西孤儿院纪事》是一本关于孤儿院生活的书。在这本书中,我们讲述了孤儿院里的小朋友们的故事。他们有的来自富有的家庭,有的来自贫穷的家庭。但是,在孤儿院里,他们都是一样的。他们都需要爱和关心。 在孤儿院里,小朋友们有很多有趣的事情可以做。他们可以和其他小朋友一起玩耍,学习新的知识和技能,还可以参加各种活动。小朋友们也有很多老师和照顾他们的人,他们会给小朋友们带来很多爱。 然而,尽管孤儿院是一个很好的地方,但是小朋友们还是希望有一天能够回到自己的家。他们希望有一天能够和自己的父母重逢。这本书告诉我们,即使是在孤儿院里,小朋友们也会有温馨和爱的生活。
    4 points
  8. 4 points
  9. I did that early on and enjoyed it quite a bit. It not only expanded my "practical" vocabulary, but it helped me learn to talk in a less "bookish" manner. Often that meant paring extra verbiage out of my sentences and learning when it was OK to speak more "telegraphically." One of my pet peeves with several of the textbooks I used was that they devoted lots of space to what might have been practical vocabulary for a 19-year old college student living in a dorm. I got hugely tired of example dialogues about campus life. Didn't fit my situation or my needs.
    4 points
  10. I'm assuming you refer to preparing and maintaining the Anki hanzi deck? I strongly recommend switching to a simpler system that requires less time to prepare the cards. Use Pleco for instance and you can setup your card with a single tap. This is going to considerably lessen the "load" and keep the motivation up in the long term. My experience is that decks have a way of gradually sneaking up on you and before you know it you are spending hours on it. You know it's not the best way to spend your time but you are feeling too guilty to cold turkey stop doing it, and you don't want to destroy all those cards you spent so much time and care creating. Then, almost unavoidably comes a time when you eventually break down and destroy your deck in a fit of rage. You feel disappointed and bitter and you want to stop studying Chinese. Finally, after a few months you realize nothing has changed and the anki deck was not so fundamental to your Chinese knowledge after all. You start over, this time taking it a bit more casually and periodically resetting your deck cause, after all, it gets to a point where you have no idea if you know 3000 or 5000 words and - guess what - it doesn't really matter that much, as long as you know the words you need when you need them. (This has probably been said many times and it's slightly off topic, but sorry I couldn't resist )
    4 points
  11. Jan, I didn't read the whole thread, but there are a lot of complications to your question. Here are a few of them: Chinese restaurant food has very little relationship to what and how Chinese people eat at home. So generalizations about Chinese restaurant food don't really apply to Chinese food in general. What you eat in Chinese restaurants outside China has little relationship to what you get in restaurants in China. When I lived in Boston there was *one* Chinese restaurant in the greater Boston area that Chinese people from the mainland considered authentic. Everywhere else the food was changed to meet the tastes and preferences of the locals. Until the current generation, it was unsafe to eat raw vegetables or unpeeled raw fruit in China because there was little refrigeration, poor sanitation and many foods were grown in manure. So their cuisine developed without those elements.
    4 points
  12. I encountered this word in Zhihu today, and I thought it was amusing. It ultimately means "pet owner:" 铲屎官
    4 points
  13. Late to the party but here it goes. My goal for 2021 was to "memorize 1500 characters, or enough to read graded material at 98% comprehension, get to a place where I can read extensively". Throughout 2021 I read 57 graded readers and a handful of translated and native children's books. While I'm no longer as "quantitative" with my character/vocabulary knowledge, I at least got myself to a reasonably comfortable position to begin extensive reading. My goal for 2022 was to read my first native novel. Happy to say I did this starting with 活着 by 余华, then on to an additional seven novels, novellas, and short story collections. Cherry on top is that I am really enjoying the content, especially 余华, who is up there with some of my favorite English language authors (forgive me but I like to compare him to Hemingway). More on my reading progress here. I am also pretty happy with how my listening comprehension has progressed. I've gotten to a point where podcasts for learners are fairly comprehensible, at least after listening a few times through and key word look ups. I can also get the gist / mostly follow the story of native TV (as long as there are subtitles). Still a long way to go with listening. My goal for 2023? Start having regular conversations. Plan is to find tutors and have two-three weekly conversations. A stretch goal is to log 100 hours of conversation for the year. That's ambitious especially considering I'm an introvert... any advice or support for beginning to speak would be most appreciated. Cheers everyone hope 2023 is great year for your Chinese! 加油!
    4 points
  14. Update on reading speed I've read a cumulative of 1.7 million characters since April 2nd 2021. Here is how I proceeded: started with graded readers (Rainbow Bridge and Mandarin Companion) translated children's books (Winnie the Pooh, Roald Dahl) native children's / young adult fiction (曹文轩,夏正正,孙幼军,张天翼著) and now native adult fiction (余华 novels and short stories,刘慈欣 short stories, 紫金陈's King of Reason i.e. bad kids trilogy) Note the reading speed also includes time looking up words (Pleco dictionary) and translating occasional sentences. Recently I have been trying monolingual dictionaries which also slow my CPM. Tracking my reading speed was a really important motivator in the beginning, now its more or less a habit and something I do to share with others. I plan to continue tracking at least until I hit 10+ million plus or when I start reading paper books, whichever comes first. These days my interests have shifted to exploring native Chinese literature, discovering new authors, building and working through my reading list. Cheers and happy reading!
    4 points
  15. The reading has continued at a pretty consistent pace. First, I've read 中国哲学简史 by 冯友兰. Really fascinating material written at a layperson's level. The book covers ancient schools of thought, like the Confucianists, the Daoists, the Legalists, the Mohists, etc. It reminds me of the days I read Western philosophy, like Plato's Republic. The parallels are strong, and Eastern philosophers were asking many of the same questions that Western ones were, from slightly different angles. The one lamentable thing is that the author quotes a lot of classical source material, which was extremely difficult for me to understand. It didn't totally destroy the experience for me, but it probably would have been better to get a bilingual edition of the book, like this: https://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Chinese-Philosophy/dp/7513561281. The book motivated me to learn some Classical Chinese, which I might do later in the year. I'll never be comfortable reading it, but it would be great to grasp the basic vocabulary/grammar conventions. The classical/semi-classical style shows up in so many modern works of fiction. So much 之, so much 也, so many single-character words instead of compound words. Next, I broke one of my own rules (don't read English works translated into Chinese), and I read the illustrated edition of 时间简史, by Stephen Hawking. In terms of grammar and vocabulary, a very easy read. In terms of the scientific concepts....not so simple. Really challenging. Currently, I'm about to finish a small, recently-published novel called 秋园, by 杨本芬. It's touted as the female version of Yu Hua's "To Live," and it has rave reviews on the internet. I think it's definitely more literary/difficult to read than "To Live," and I found that Yu Hua's book was more emotionally impactful. Perhaps "To Live" has better character development--I'm not sure. The author is an amateur writer who got started when she was about 60 years old, if I remember correctly. It fits pretty well within the genre--it talks about the struggles of rural Chinese life through political upheaval, poverty, and starvation. It's interesting enough. I'd say I like it, and the author's use of words can be really striking and memorable. It can get extremely gruesome and graphic in some places (more so than any other books I've read). The author doesn't hide the ugliness and brutality of life in that time and place. Meanwhile, I am slowly working my way through Taiwanese magazine/news articles online, so I can learn traditional characters. Not too hard. Just hard enough to be awkward. I think I'll have a decent (not perfect) grasp on reading traditional characters in a month or so.
    4 points
  16. I suppose her waters may have broken immediately upon receiving abcdefg's congratulations. 美贺水破!
    3 points
  17. Anyone seen Tencent's 三体/Three-Body (available on 腾讯视频/WeTV currently at 14/30)? Any comment?
    3 points
  18. Regular reading will have the same effect. Reading a book a month will cover ~3 million characters over a year. If you choose a broad enough range you’ll encounter most vocabulary in your deck more frequently than you would doing revisions, and reading gives you more accurate feedback about how well you really know a given word.
    3 points
  19. I thought Yixi was the Chinese TED: https://yixi.tv/#/home Here are some more more from TedTaiwan: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?app=desktop&list=PLlF_KnBJIeHTY9-gH1wX6xUzq8ffBk_nc
    3 points
  20. Throughout the past 5.5 years, I have maybe averaged around 2-3 hours a day of Chinese study, and I have recently cut back to something closer to 1-2 hours (with a lot of passive listening practice during the day). My flashcard habit is...probably on the extreme end. I have a deck of around 22,500 vocabulary words that I encountered in HSK lists, books and internet articles. At this point, I don't find new words nearly as often as I used to, so that 22,500 number is staying pretty still and will likely never hit the 25,000 mark (unless I dive into extremely archaic or technical literature, beyond what I would even approach in my own native English language). Pleco's SRS program is giving me about 100-125 words to review each day (about 20-30 minutes of drilling), and the great majority of them belong to the group of about 1,000 silly "leech" words that I keep forgetting endlessly. The other words tend to stick in my mind more permanently (I'm often surprised which ones do and which ones don't). Of course, an SRS program is really good at taking the most frustrating words and bringing them up for review, so the longer I've done this routine, the more difficult the review process has gotten. I can relate to what @matteo said about feeling guilty about stopping cold turkey. It feels like I put so much effort into this database that carefully catalogues my knowledge of a vast body of Mandarin words and brings up every single one for review in a timely manner so that I can stay sharp. But indeed, it just gets pointless and cumbersome after a certain stage. So my plan is: 1. Refuse to add any more words to my deck. Not a single one! 2. Review the deck for a few more months 3. Choose a good date to delete the whole deck 4. Devote that time to other things
    3 points
  21. This is the big one as far as I'm concerned, especially if you include "fast food" in the broader category of "restaurant food." I know for sure I ate healthy in China because I bought lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. Selections were great, prices were reasonable. I bought things that were in season. I cooked and ate simply. like my native Chinese friends. Delicious yet simple meals. Back in Texas now, the closest Chinese restaurant (an "all you can eat" buffet restaurant) serves mainly fried dishes that are doused with some kind of gloopy sweet sauce. Wretched stuff. They explain that it has been "Adapted to local tastes."
    3 points
  22. Hi Dr. Mack, Outside of Chinese Forums, I write and teach about the needs of introverts. While I don't know you, and your needs may differ, I can offer some advice based on more than a decade of study, observation and interviews with introverts. * Introverts generally do well with one-on-one conversations on topics they care about, with someone who has just as much to offer as themselves. Introverts tend to hate and look down on social chitchat. Therefore you should try to find someone who has common interests and to talk about those areas of common interests. Most likely this would be either a hobby (such as chess, running, art appreciation, etc.) or what you do for work (another doctor?). You'll need some good searching and trial and error to find the right conversational partner(s), but otherwise this activity won't keep your interest and will come to feel awkward and pointless. * Another, alternative tack is to try to make the conversations as practical as possible. For instance, if you plan to visit China someday, then sessions where you role-play real-world situations (buying train tickets, trying to sort out a problem at the hotel) would probably keep your interest. This works because there's a clear point to this practice. There are some people on the forum (can't remember who) who have done this with their Chinese tutors and loved it. * Finally, think about the kind of conversations you have in English that most interest you and come up with ways to recreate them in Chinese. Ditto for the kind of people you enjoy speaking with in your day-to-day life. Good luck, Moshen
    3 points
  23. If you enjoy the mystery/crime genre and are looking for native material you could try 推理之王 trilogy by 紫金陈. The second book (The Bad Kids) was my favorite and stands on its own pretty well. This was also made into a well received TV show. Here is the character count / unique character count using Chinese Text Analyzer:
    3 points
  24. Remember, if you ask too general questions, you get too general answers. What is your current level? What is your textbook called? What level are you expected to reach? etc? So, here you go: If I were you, I would spend every available free minute watching and listening to the thousands of beginner (HSK 1-4) videos on Youtube. Further, check what learning points there are in your textbooks and try to find lessons on it on Youtube. Listen to dozens of different content creators on the same learning point. Listen to them while you go shopping, workout at the gym, ride a bike, etc and shadow them (repeat what they are saying). Regarding writing: rote repetition....
    3 points
  25. These are all not simplified characters. Mainland just standardized a different version of an 异体字. You’ll find quite a few of those. I once wanted to compile a list of different standardizations in China/Taiwan, but never finished that. Edit: check https://www.wikiwand.com/zh-cn/漢字標準列表 for a nice overview on standardizations of 汉字 in China, HK, Taiwan. TLDR: Simplification is just one kind of standardization.
    3 points
  26. There's about 200-300 very different ones that are commonly used. If you are already familiar with one set, learning the other can be done very quickly (reading one or two books is enough). I used to think this too, however now I mostly consume traditional. When going from simplified to traditional (e.g. you read a book in simplified and then your next book is traditional), everything feels archaic - e.g. it's like seeing something like "ye olde shoppe" as an English speaker. The more you read, the more that feeling goes away and it just feels normal. On the other hand, if you then go and read something in simplified (after doing a lot of reading in traditional) it feels like everything is written in txt speak e.g. 'k. brb, c u l8r m8'. Once you see it, it's difficult to unsee and it finally made me appreciate the aversion HK and Taiwan have to simplified. I still don't mind reading Simplified, but it's no longer my home.
    3 points
  27. Well, first off I'm tackling Agatha Christie books which are not the longest or most challenging books around. So oftentimes my Kindle tells me that the current book will take 4-5 hours to read. Second I trained myself to listen/read faster. At first I was at 0.75x and found it hard to keep up with the text and the meaning, so I bumped it down to 0.5x and read a few books that way, but gradually I tried speeding it up (and also not trying to read anything too far outside my comfort zone) and now I cruise at 1.75x and at that pace a 200 page book takes about 4 hours. Third, I used to watch Youtube videos or browse the web for an hour or so before bed, but that's good reading time. Also breakfast and lunch time I can get some reading in, and other times I may not be reading but I can have my headphones in while I'm driving and make progress in the story. I have two kids and one of them has no trouble doing homework, but the other needs to be watched, so I can sit with her and read (say "I'm doing my homework") while she's doing hers. I don't cut into family time or other obligations, but just fit it in where I can... Hell, I'll also set a bookmark and let my Kindle read me to sleep. I find it stimulating enough to keep my mind off other topics, but not so stimulating to keep me awake. I usually have to go back and start over from the bookmark the next day.
    3 points
  28. Well these questions all kind of coincide with eachother. The basic answer is I use my Kindle Paperwhite, but recommend the wechat reading app "微信读书“ instead. There are a few more details to that answer The problem with most TTS is that it sounds bad, robotic, and not easy or pleasurable to listen to. I've owned and used Kindles for years. I have an old Kindle 3 (from 2010) with a headphone jack and as I recall it did English TTS and after installing a Chinese firmware called "Duokan" it was able to do Chinese TTS (but it sounds horrible) I forget the exact progression, but I've tried lots of ways to do more reading. I found a font that has pinyin baked in and installed that on my Kindle to read with, and newer kindles have a pinyin function built in. I got a 2018 Kindle paperwhite and started buying some books from amazon.cn and realized it had the ability to do text to speech and it was very listenable. unfortunately this functionality isn't available for Kindles not registered to amazon.cn or for books sideloaded onto the Kindle... and rights holders can disable this functionality, which I realized later when I wanted to re-read the Harry Potter series. So because the Kindle couldn't do TTS on sideloaded books I looked for another solution because I have a large collection of Chinese books I downloaded from a torrent some years ago... I tried LingQ but it was kind of slow and clunky to do TTS, then I found a nice iOS app called "speech central" that uses the iPhones' built in TTS. I used that for a while, but the TTS voices are not very good quality and I found myself getting distracted by other things on my phone. So I really wanted the superior TTS of the Kindle, so took another crack at figuring out how the TTS on the kindle works. Long story short, you need a program called Calibre, and the KFX format tools from Amazon, and then you can copy over an identifying code (mobi-asin) from a book purchased on that Kindle to another book and make sure you convert that book to the KFX format, and finally you can send that to your Kindle over USB and it will allow you to read it with TTS... I would not reccomend this path unless you currently own a Kindle. A much better path is the Wechat reading app "微信读书“. Which has some pretty good TTS and a huge selection of books (that you can read for "free"? I don't really know they make money, haven't charged me anything yet...). Obviously you can use that app on your phone or tablet, but if you want the advantages of an e-ink device then the "BOOX Poke 4S" is only 699 RMB and unlike the Kindle it can run Android apps. So you could just install the wechat reading app and read and listen to books to your heart's content.
    3 points
  29. I haven't really tried, I just notice as that I'm more able to read stuff I see in daily life. I find that most of the time what trips me up reading Christie specifically without the TTS is the names of people or places. Because they tend to use phonetic Chinese characters that are less common and the people's names or places in England are harder to look up in the dictionary. Hearing those words makes it much easier because they usually sound like an English name. Of course it doesn't help when she gives her characters silly names like Lucy Eyelesbarrow. But to answer your question more directly, I just opened up the latest Christie book I'm reading and I can read through the page no problem, except for tripping over a few names. I'm not sure what you'd call it, but it seems fairly effective. I understand better when I'm looking at the characters than if I were just listening. The papers I've looked at (like Paul Nation) seem to suggest that more words are better as long as you're around the 98% comprehension point. In my opinion reading at 2-3 pages per minute with audio is just more enjoyable than reading 1 page/minute on my own. At the end of the day learning a language is about acquiring vocabulary. There are two levers you can pull, one is "acquire more words per hour" and the other is "spend more hours". I find that what I have been doing maximizes the hours I can spend (because I can listen when I can't sit down and read) as well as the hours I want to spend. It also seems to me that encountering more words per hour (especially at 98% comprehension level because you're encountering fairly few unknown words) is going to help with acquiring more words per hour.
    3 points
  30. thanks i needed some new podcast material since all my regulars are on break / have less content. I think we all kinda wondered what CCP's endgame was with regard to covid zero, because it was never going to be viable long-term. On a slight tangent, I recently came across this podcast episode (in chinese) that talks to a few of the "Ürümqi/covid protestors". https://www.bumingbai.net/2022/11/ep-027-china-protestors/ - 不明白播客 。 for anyone interested. the protestors's voices are altered slightly so its a nice side-challenge. It's a bit surreal to listen to protestors having to digitally alter their voices and talk about whether they are "scared" of any retaliation by the State. But it was also really nice to hear directly from a few of them
    3 points
  31. so the conversation is like : you : "你是说你要买宠物还是要生孩子吗?" she replied, "还有两周左右,我的第一个孩子将要出生." then you replied, "太好了!恭喜你!" right? I think it's okay. If she were my friend, I might replied, "恭喜你将要得到一个温柔可爱的兔宝宝!" 😁
    2 points
  32. Watched the first two episodes last night and I must say I am impressed so far for the following reasons: The director is not afraid to let a scene play out slowly and properly build tension. I feel like most Chinese shows are appealing to the lowest common denominator and are deathly afraid of their audience being bored if “nothing" is happening. A cast that seems to be hired for their acting ability/suitability for a certain role and not their looks or 流量 Sticking closely to the book so far, no sign of any filler etc (at least as far as I can remember, it has been a while since i read it) Already looking forward to continuing watching tonight. I'm exited to see how they handle the cultural revolution stuff, how much will be changed/cut etc. So far I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to western viewers who has no special attachment or interest in China, which I would almost never do for a Chinese TV show. Of course it is a bit too early to give a proper judgement after only two episodes, lots of time to screw it up still 😅
    2 points
  33. Congrats! 10m chars in a year is quite an achievement as is being able to read at 1.75x listening speed, which is approx 435 characters per minute. I don't know of a good online vocab test, but here's a good online character count test that estimates your # known chars in about a minute. http://hanzitest.ericjiang.com/ I scored 4300 just now, and I have ~4600 chars in my flash cards, so it's pretty accurate for me, considering I'm sure I forgot a few chars from my pile.
    2 points
  34. I would politely suggest not trying to find a Chinese name that sounds similar to your English name. Just find a Chinese name that can stand on its own merits. You have correctly identified the paramount importance of it "making sense" as a name and not sounding weird or ridiculous to native speakers. That's really all that counts. If you plan to travel extensively in China or live there for a while, you might find you want to revise your chosen Chinese name after using it on a daily basis during a "trial run." If you find it always causes consternation or elicits a laugh or is not easily understandable, you can change it. Choosing a Chinese name is not something that is pressing. If you are in the very early stages of learning the language, as you imply, there is no harm in waiting. Having a Chinese name becomes useful when interacting frequently with Chinese people. If you are not at that stage, then it's just an idle game. Something with no point.
    2 points
  35. It’s already available on YouTube (in the USA, anyway)! I’ve only begun the first episode. It’s been interesting to take the characters I imagined in my head and compare them to the TV versions. And as someone whose first language is not Chinese, I’m reminded how terribly difficult it is to understand movie/TV dialog (even more so than other kinds of audio). I resort to subtitles at times.
    2 points
  36. Keeping old decks as searchable databases makes most sense if they contain original work that's valuable to you (personalised translations, morphological analyses, complex tagging or cross-referencing, etc). Otherwise, your future self is probably best served just using a good dictionary/corpus instead.
    2 points
  37. If you think about it, this is the end goal of all learners - after all, it’s not like people flashcard vocabulary in their native language (people studying for SAT or equivalent exams excepted). Congrats on leveling up 👍
    2 points
  38. I learned handwriting mostly by writing down example sentences in a notebook while studying vocabulary. I didn't think of learning handwriting as a separate task---it's what I used to learn other aspects. Handwriting is used for making notes, dictation exercises, doing homework, etc. It helps you pay attention to character components, and at a certain level, learning to handwrite a character is mostly a matter of remembering which component goes where. It's also useful for learning how to read handwritten characters, and if you're ever going to give a speech, perhaps you'll need to write characters on a whiteboard. You can write on the HSK test paper (the paper one), such as during the listening section so you don't forget things, or during the reading section to indicate parts you've already read. I also note that the HSK 3.0 Standards lists handwriting as a required task, listing out the characters students are expected to be able to handwrite, although the recent HSK 7-9 exam didn't have a handwriting component. I see people on YouTube practice handwriting individual characters over and over, which I feel is a total waste of time (I did it early on---I forgot everything the next day). I think this is what people envisage when they baulk at the idea of learning Chinese handwriting, not merely writing down the example sentences they find useful.
    2 points
  39. The advance level for both the Grammar Learning Manual and the Chinese Character Writing Manual will be available end of this month. Grammar Learning Manual 高等: https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?abbucket=9&id=696985984719&ns=1&spm=a230r.1.14.40.29ed7192yBFbDV Chinese Character Writing Manual 高等: https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?abbucket=9&id=698149275702&ns=1&spm=a230r.1.14.124.29ed7192yBFbDV
    2 points
  40. This list was generated from all the texts of the "Pre-Qin and Han" category of the ctext.org website, which includes all of the Classical Chinese corpus prior to the end of the Han dynasty (220 AD). It consists of a base file of 12,236,622 characters. I took this massive data file (5,609 pages!) and sorted it using a character frequency counter online. This method found approximately 14,000 unique characters. After cleaning the data for non-Chinese characters (, . ? ! 1 @ # [ 。、) and etc., I was left with a frequency-sorted list of 13,673 unique characters. I have included the tab-separated raw frequency data to enable you to ascertain how common a character's occurrence is within Pre-Qin and Han texts when viewing this table. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTk5SxXG_n-V6erAG0dJJOu7SYQwxyO6pEk0lzp2rdfpfdmiT_b1mbiKJK2rzdJMjwLejug-amMY15Y/pubhtml?gid=1128595619&single=true Classical Chinese Frequency List.txt
    2 points
  41. One term you often read when it's someone of Chinese ancestry from elsewhere is 华裔 and that works for other heritages too, definitely seen 非裔 and 拉美裔 in the US context. ETA Should say I think it works for countries too, as in I could say I'm 爱尔兰裔的英格兰人.
    2 points
  42. That was 16 years ago, that movie can get a drivers license this year in most US states...
    2 points
  43. Not "in the know" but I am in China, and they seem to have just flipped a switch. One day it was "show your green QR code on your phone and take a test every 2-3 days" and then it was just "try not to get sick!" Crazy really, my wife was feeling unwell and went to get tested, the test results showed up positive on her Alipay, but her QR code stayed green. Last year some guys would have come and hauled you off in a van if you had a positive covid test, but now nobody cares!
    2 points
  44. Maybe you should give an idea of your background and current level in Chinese. It wouldn't be a bad idea to mention the textbook you're using in school, as well. It's very hard to give advice when we know nothing of your situation. But there's really no magic bullet that will replace studying and reviewing (revising) what the teachers outlined as the goals for the course at the beginning of the semester. However, maybe there's a short overview of the Chinese language that could give you some perspective you're not getting from the textbook. But if you've waited until just before exams to ask for help... TBZ
    2 points
  45. I have started the process of learning traditional characters, which simply involves...well....reading stuff written in traditional characters! I take a news article, load it into Pleco's clipboard reader, and tap on the words with confusing characters in them. It's a strange paradox. On the one hand, it feels very easy. There is a learning curve involved here, but it probably won't be a very big time investment. It feels like 50% of the characters are identical to their simplified counterparts, 30% of them look pretty similar, and the remaining ones are very different. But even among the "very different" ones, only a certain amount of them are commonly used. So if you already know the simplified characters, you can learn how to read traditional characters very quickly. On the other hand, it feels really awkward in the beginning. Some crazy differences I've observed are 儘 (尽), 歲 (岁), and 發 (发), among a handful of others. There was probably some kind of methodology behind how those characters were simplified, but wow, I'm not sure what it was. I think simplified characters will always be my "home." In the meantime, dabbling in the traditional ones allows me to understand Taiwanese media, gain insight into the roots of the Chinese writing system, understand overseas Chinese stuff (in the USA, a lot of immigrant populations continued to use traditional script), and study a bit of classical Chinese, which I want to do later this year. As a serious hobbyist who really wants to embrace the Chinese language, I felt like I couldn't totally ignore the traditional characters. With listening skills, it feels like I'm entering a new stage where I can understand, IF I'm actively paying attention. Which is often hard for me, especially when multitasking (even when listening to English stuff). It's a constant battle with my attention span. As a side note, Duolingo German came to an abrupt end. I found out that the last major portion of the curriculum merely consists of review! No new words, no new concepts. It feels like a bunch of "filler" content that's meant to promote traffic on their platform (review is important, but there was plenty of review already). Therefore, I could test out of it all, reach the last level, finish it, and acquire the silly cartoon trophy. I knew that Duolingo only teaches you the basics, and then it's up to you to go on to more advanced studies, but I failed to anticipate just how basic it actually is. I guess, however, that I'm at the German equivalent of HSK4, and I'm ready to bridge my way into real German books and articles. Admittedly, that's been a bit gratifying, and it's been much less effort than Chinese.
    2 points
  46. How easy is that to do? In my experience, it's not that easy to find something that's perfectly at my level. Fortunately, I find the videos from that channel to be inherently interesting to me. So, I am sticking with this content for now. I allocate only a very limited amount of time to the process. And each review session using Anki only takes several minutes. So it's a painful process spread out over a long period of time. I am happy with my routine for now and I don't have any plans to change it. Thank you for your suggestion.
    2 points
  47. Is it appropriate to share the progress on here? I started the goals in early December. I already reached a small milestone and I want to share and celebrate. My first goal was to learn characters "deeply", which, at least to me, means taking the time to understand how the meanings have been derived and what roles each component of a character plays. The Outlier dictionary plugin made for Pleco has been immensely helpful in this regard. Then, on Skritter, I'd learn a handful number of characters per day. As of today, I studied 200 characters and I have been keeping the streak for 38 days. 能源危机,到底是怎么回事儿? I spent the whole month watching the linked video above, identifying every word or expression that I find worth learning, and reviewing using Anki. By the time I was finished with the whole process for this video alone, I had made 174 new cards. I am also attaching an Excel file that contains the subtitles that should be perfectly accurate since I spent time again and again comparing the audio against the video/spoken audio. 能源危机,到底是怎么回事儿?(AutoRecovered) with words identified.xlsx
    2 points
  48. Very interesting program... Im thinking if we assume that Paul Nation is more or less right about 17 occurences that makring anything with 17 or above occurences would produce a somewhat more reliable figure. Anyhow, interesting thing I learned from your program "资产阶级"(bourgeoisie) occurs 89 times in Les Miserables... and I certainly knew that word by the end of the book ... and Napoleon 231 times, which is no surprise if you've ever read Les Mis Ok, so I went through and started with 95% and then shifted to the 17 words cutoff point. So Now Les Mis shows 92% known, an Agatha Christie novel shows 95% and "Journey to the West" and "Water Margin" both show 78% known... and "hong lou meng" is 84% and "The Bourne Identity" which I tried reading over a year ago, but gave up on, is 91%. No doubt it was under 90% a year ago, so no wonder I found it frustrating. Thanks for the suggestion, I think your program might turn out to be a helpful tool in sorting out books that are in the right zone. Edit: I think I might put together a script to go through all the books I have and make a list from easiest to hardest for me... This is soo cool Edit:Edit: Wow, see you already did that here https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/53065-lua-script-and-chinese-text-analyser/page/3/
    2 points
  49. But oh, do we need it sometimes. I still have nightmares about the time I waited in a long telephone queue to my ISP because I was having trouble with my digital box. Her first, and annoyingly obvious first question: have you tried restarting it? Perhaps for the first time ever, I had indeed not done so. Thirty seconds later and voila, I had a fully functioning machine.
    2 points
  50. I just crossed the 100-hour mark in my 500-hour challenge . What's changed thus far? I'm substantially less nervous about speaking Chinese in front of the camera. I'm finding myself paying a lot of attention to mistakes in my pronunciation, and especially tones. There's an "invisible audience" that I'm talking to. I sometimes listen to my own videos, and discover pronunciation errors I don't realize I'm making. My speaking speed seems to have increased. It's not just that I'm getting better at mentally constructing sentences, I feel like my muscles are getting better at knowing what to do. It's like hitting the racetrack, but for my facial muscles. I'm becoming increasingly interested in making YouTube videos, and increasingly aware of YouTube's many features. (And I'm becoming increasingly aware how many new skills I'd need to become a successful YouTuber.) I find myself trying quirky study methods, e.g., in my latest video, I seem to have created a new type of challenge: a kind of speedrun where I read aloud a text as fast as I can. Developers of various websites I use, like HSK Level and MyLingua, seem to find my videos helpful for understanding how their sites are being used. I've deleted a few videos, since e.g. I accidentally leaked my info in them (and editing videos is 麻烦). Sometimes my battery or storage space has run out while videoing on the go. I've tried livestreaming, but it's just too complicated since I live in China and YouTube is blocked. At the moment, I haven't spent a fortune (perhaps 100 yuan). I bought some ultra-cheap equipment (mic, stands, green screen) since I don't know where this is all going. But I feel like I should buy a good quality mic; even if this ends up going nowhere, I can use the mic for other things.
    2 points
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