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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/09/2021 in all areas

  1. I started studying Chinese as a hobby 4 years ago when I turned 30. As someone who lives in the US, is married and has a full time job completely unrelated to languages, I had always mentally toyed around with the idea of taking a "sabbatical" for a year and studying in China for a few months...although never in a serious way. Last December, I randomly decided to see if I could take advantage of the fact that covid was making a lot of Universities and programs rethink about having remote offerings, and found Tsinghua University's IUP program. I attended class from January through
    17 points
  2. Some Taiwanese podcasts specifically for Chinese learners (roughly ordered by difficulty): Inspire Mandarin https://inspiremandarin.com transcripts: no very beginner friendly Learn Taiwanese Mandarin https://lear-taiwanese-mandarin.webnode.tw/ transcripts: yes beginner friendly Talk Taiwanese Mandarin with Abby https://talktaiwanesemandarin.com/ transcripts: yes Mandarin with Miss Lin https://www.patreon.com/MandarinWithMissLin
    7 points
  3. I think it's very inefficient as a study method. You might learn something, but reading one page of a textbook a day would do much more. Watching shows in Mandarin is a good way of being a little bit productive in your free time, bonding with your target language, but it only becomes actually useful as a method for learning the language if you can understand most of what's being said.
    6 points
  4. How about a suggestion from way out in left field... I read quite a bit, as it's the only exposure I have to Chinese, other than YouTube, etc. But unlike most of the readers here, I'm not that interested in novels. I get a big enough jolt of angst from daily life. So a year or so ago, when the lockdowns and work at home requirements started to put a crimp in life hereabouts, I looked for something to read. My search coincided with the Chinese Moon launches, and I began to follow things in the newspapers, about both Chinese and Japanese space achievements, which were tak
    5 points
  5. For me, absolutely. I'm lucky enough to be at a point in my life where the high cost was not a real factor, and I specifically wanted a serious program that I could use to "go hard" in Chinese for a period of time. This program provided what I wanted. I am considering continuing at a significantly lower cadence in the Fall, but we will see how things pan out with returns to offices, etc. I think it was about 16 weeks. Sure - you can always organize anything yourself. However... 1. As @roddy pointed out, the time cost of organizing multiple teachers, c
    5 points
  6. It's the same language, useage is slightly different here and there, as is the accent. Chinese and Taiwanese people can understand each other no problem, with just the occasional misunderstanding (for example, 土豆 is potato in China, peanut in Taiwan). About as different from each other as Dutch Dutch and Belgian Dutch, or American English and British English. If you learn Chinese in one place, you can use it in the other place, with just some occasional confusion over which tone a word is. The bigger difference is of course in the script used: traditional Chinese in Taiwan, simplif
    4 points
  7. EDOC is licensed but not released, due to a combination of data processing issues + the fact that we still don't have a great system for appending notes / references / etc to dictionaries (and those are super important for that particular title). We might take another stab at it after 4.0 is out but of course by that point modern Chinese will probably be considered Old Chinese 🙂
    4 points
  8. I was also inspired by @Jan Finster to go through all of the TCB's HSK 1 content. I've been doing it for a few weeks now, and I've got ~480 articles in my "read" status (that does include Blogs, but probably less than 50 of them). I have ~460 left to go before I'm up to date with all HSK 1, but to be honest I've lost interest in it now, and am finding it hard to motivate myself to stick to a daily schedule. My method was to try to tackle between 1-2 month's worth of articles per day (depending on how much time I had), which was usually about 20 articles. At first (once they added t
    4 points
  9. Yeah I'm waiting for my HSK 2 and HSK 3 results and I'll write a proper write up... then begin the next challenge, I learn easier/better/faster with competition and tight deadlines!
    4 points
  10. I'm Dutch and no we don't. We learn it in school, tv is additional material. I'm sure it helps and I absolutely recommend anyone studying a language to watch tv in that language, but one doesn't learn a language just from tv. Also, Chinese is a lot more different from European languages than English is. Watching an English show (or Swedish, or Spanish, or Polish) one can pick up a halfway familiar word here and there and the grammar is not completely alien. For Chinese, this won't work. ETA: We had a forum member a few years ago who tried learning Chinese just from film
    3 points
  11. One of my favourite methods in an arsenal of many I once did a lesson with this guy on youtube, for Polish to see it in action and I still remember 'Co to jest? To jest banan. To jest jablko'. It stuck just from the one lesson, so yes definitely works LOL. I find the different ways people learn fascinating. It always leads me down a research rabbit hole Here are some methods you can explore as ways people learn languages. Language acquisition theories and Second Language acquisition methods and theories are all fascinating I made these notes from a redditor way back when but th
    3 points
  12. Try to get through that phase as fast as you can. Many years ago, just starting out, I wrote a note to the mother of a friend in Harbin thanking her for a weekend in which she had been very hospitable and kind. I spent hours wrestling my thoughts into perfect Pinyin, complete with tone marks. It took her forever to comment. When I pressed, she said "I had to get my 7-year old child to translate it for me. He's in elementary school. Nobody else here can read Pinyin." That was an eye-opener and it was the point at which I decided I had to immediately begin struggling wi
    3 points
  13. No sabbatical, haha. I got off work at 5, and had class until 7. I then took a break for dinner and to relax a bit, and did homework from 9 to 11ish. Yeah, sounds pretty ridiculous when I type it out, but since I enjoy studying and attending classes it wasn't that bad...
    3 points
  14. Hey Jan, thanks for this. I took your posts as inspiration follow you on your journey. I started with the HSK 1 articles a few days ago - i listen to the article first (mostly 2 times) and then listen to it once more with reading the text in parallel. Lets see where it brings me 🙂 Vielen Dank!
    3 points
  15. So, did you end up taking a "sabbatical" (voluntarily or due to COVID) or did you squeeze in the program in your spare time and continued working? The latter would sound complicated (scheduling) and exhausting.
    3 points
  16. Sure! It's actually two 50-minute classes. Each 50-minute class is with a different teacher. After 8 weeks, the teachers and learning material were changed, and I had 2 new teachers and new material in the same format. Both teachers focused on different aspects of the material; for example, one might focus on grammar constructs and understanding of the material, and the other on proper vocabulary usage and pronunciation. The teachers were very friendly, and I enjoyed the classes. However, they certainly are intense...although not necessarily more than the in-person
    3 points
  17. I don't think so. Wish it were. Most of the classes I've taken have approximately followed the pattern of: 1. Brief preview of today's new material 2. Tackle the process of learning the new material, with explanation, discussion, exercises and practice. 3. Brief summary/review of what was learned, with homework designed to re-enforce the new material. I have usually urged and exhorted my teachers to spend time at the very beginning of each session reviewing key parts of what went before. That helped me a lot, making it less likely that things would just go in one ear
    3 points
  18. Going to put that on a t-shirt. I suspect organising that much tuition, in that short a space of time, would be pretty challenging. I don't think I'd want to do it all with one tutor (and would they want to do it with me), but then you have to coordinate across classes... I understand the price concerns, but I can see advantages to just having it all sorted out. There's an option 4: It's really easy that way.
    3 points
  19. A good choice is Chinese Collocation Assistant,: http://cca.xingtanlu.cn/ It is a free online collocation search website just released. The target users are L2 Chinese learners. Collocations are extracted from over 100 Chinese textbooks and Chinese Wikipedia corpus. Context sentences for each collocation are given and searching results can be ranked by their frequency.
    3 points
  20. Here's my almost-half-year update. 1) Have 150 hours worth of voice calls on HelloTalk. I've done 126.8 hours as of today. Logging hours and making this goal has motivated me to spend more time on this than I would've otherwise. Lesson learnt: log hours to track progress and keep motivated! 2) Learn 4 new words per day in Anki. I bumped it up to 5 and have stuck with it. One thing I learnt is that in the past I was too conservative with my Anki answers, i.e. tapping 'hard' when I should've tapped 'good'. By being more aggressive with my answers I can learn mor
    2 points
  21. @Demonic_Duck Yes, this is the main reason - peanut oil. Sorry for derailing the topic a bit, it just struck me as a really useful thing to know. Confusing potatoes and peanuts can be the difference between life and death. @mungouk Thanks for that. I don't mean to belittle the choices of a vegan/vegetarian or other food choices but it won't kill you to eat meat accidentally where as even the tiniest about of peanut can have serious consequences for a nut allergy sufferer. I just can't take the risk. I don't even eat out in the UK where I should be perfectly understood as some people sti
    2 points
  22. I think most learning materials for non-native learners would use Hanyu Pinyin, the same standard as mainland China. A minority might use Zhuyin, and a smaller minority (particularly of older materials) might use Tongyong Pinyin, a competing romanization standard that was used in Taiwan before it officially switched to Hanyu Pinyin. I wouldn't worry too much about it — even if you have to learn Zhuyin in addition to Pinyin, it's really not all that much extra work, especially when you compare it to learning thousands upon thousands of characters, each of which encodes significantly
    2 points
  23. I had been delaying taking the HSK4 for almost a year. I wanted to take the paper-based version, just to see if I could actually write the characters down... but it was taking too long. I like to keep my documents up-to-date just in case, and I'm too far from getting a 90%+ on HSK5, so I took the HSK4 earlier this month anyway.
    2 points
  24. Note that children take years to get to a halfway decent level, and they are constantly surrounded by people who lovingly practice with them for hours every day. As to your examples, Swedish and German children learn English in school, the English they hear on tv (subtitled in Swedish, in Sweden) is just additional input. The kid in France was probably not only watching tv but also going to school, where he interacted with the teacher and children their own age. So yes, watching tv and series is a good way to reinforce things you have learned and occasionally pick up new things, but as a main
    2 points
  25. @Jan Finster. This may like the ultimate weasel-out, but I just looked up a half dozen of the books I bought on Amazon, and they're almost all listed as 'no longer available.' This takes the picture of the book and information about it off the site. I'll look for a few others, but I'm afraid I'm a pretty good scavenger. I got most of the low-hanging fruit on an easy site like Amazon in rocket science. And Amazon is the most accessible for most people here. I've only left upper level books still available. But after shooting my mouth off, I gotta face the music, and teach you how
    2 points
  26. Hello Experts, is there a web source or a book that explains in English (!) the etymology of Chinese words (not characters)? The reason for asking: I stumbled over the word 行李箱. How did the plum tree get into the suitcase? Does somebody know? Thank You
    2 points
  27. I did this after only 3 months of studying Chinese. Looking back I realized it is a form of procrastination. What you will learn is minimal compared what you could learn in the same time if you studied with a textbook, a teacher, with ChinesePod or TheChairMansBao. I would not watch kids shows either. Boring! Honestly, at this stage, learning by watching movies or TV shows is not realistic. I suggest, Youtube channels for Chinese learners, ChinesePod or TheChairMansBao.
    2 points
  28. Outlier is specifically for characters, not words. (and they're still cheerfully producing updates - the project may be slow but it's very much alive)
    2 points
  29. Would Outlier Linguistics be of help for your purpose? They got a lot of coverage here for a while, but seem to have somewhat dropped out of view. Here's an old link. At the bottom of it is a link to their website. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/44854-resources-on-character-etymology/?tab=comments#comment-336265
    2 points
  30. 李 is a 通假字 for 理, that means "to manage".
    2 points
  31. I would agree with everything @7800 said, however I wouldn't take that as a negative. Some parts of the HSK are not well designed for ensuring you know the material, but if you passed then you passed. It's more an indication of the actual value that being an "HSK2 level student" has. But you're not going to stop here, are you? I have studied in a language school in Shanghai, where people are taking 3 hours of classes per day, 5 days per week, and are immersed. It still takes most students ~6-8 weeks to achieve HSK2 level. @tsitsi has achieved this in 5 weeks doing self study in their own count
    2 points
  32. According to Wiktionary it's simply a phonetic borrowing of the character that's existed since Old Chinese. Old source cited though. Duffus, William (1883) , “baggage”, in English-Chinese Vocabulary of the Vernacular or Spoken Language of Swatow, Swatow: English Presbyterian Mission Press, page 16
    2 points
  33. I think you've achieved quite a lot, but I'd like to bring your attention to the fact that the HSK is very badly designed. Even if you only know around 40% of what's being tested, you can get a passing grade, and that means very little. There are too many questions in which you have a 50% chance of being right even if you don't read them, some questions can be solved simply by excluding possibilities, some questions have answers that make no sense at all, and some questions only require you to accurately listen to a single key word. In my opinion, for the first 4 levels, if you're not fully
    2 points
  34. It's really difficult to read Pinyin in that format, with spaces between each syllable and no tone marks. Usually you'd write the sentence in Pinyin like this, with spaces between each word: Zhège nánháizi jīngcháng xǐzǎo, zhìshǎo měi gè xīngqī èrshí cì. That also makes the meaning clear — if it was 10 times every Tuesday, it'd be “měi gè xīngqī’èr shí cì”. The difference can also be expressed in spoken Mandarin using different intonation, and in written characters using Arabic numerals: “每个星期 20 次” vs “每个星期二 10 次”.
    2 points
  35. I would also not be too focussed on taking the most efficient way for learning kanji. Learn them as they come up, use Chinese readings (where possible) as a memory aid and do not neglect the rest. For me, the most difficult part was everything that is not written in kanji, i.e. grammar, including verb forms, and entire words written in hiragana (although a kanji would exist - this is done quite frequently in texts for children, but also in other texts so as not to overburden a sentence with kanji) . Not that these things are immensely difficult, but I tended to not really internalise them and
    2 points
  36. They preferred using something called "Voov" - I hadn't heard of it before, but seems like some Chinese meeting software. It was fine, but primitive, no issues really. They were flexible though, and could also use Zoom, Skype, or WeChat if I cared - with WeChat not being preferred because they can't share screen. My only advice is have a good mic and/or headset, and be in a quiet environment. People using crappy mics in meetings or classes creates frustration and makes the experience wear on you a lot more. Plus, if they can't hear you clearly, they can't correct you. I person
    2 points
  37. I am not the best person to ask as I learnt both Chinese (first) and Japanese (afterwards) in a rather unorganized way. But I can now read easy Japanese novels. What worked well for me was the Chinese textbook set 新标准日本语, which exists at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level. It comes with an exercise book 同步练习, which I found useful and which also has extra audio recordings. The book is made for self-study and quite comprehensive, the texts are reasonably interesting (sometimes there were quite a lot of business related dialogues; sometimes you wondered why they talk so much a
    2 points
  38. Ten years on and off with loads of long breaks of no studying at all. In the beginning I did loads of the (free) ChinesePod. Then I guess I floundered a with native content for a long time, not really sure of where to find the right stuff. Working through 家有儿女, some random textbooks, LinQ's content, and I can't remember what else, I sort of brute forced through that phase with the help of Anki and rote vocab learning. Recently I've gotten to a point where I'm reading news and novels without too much hassle so it's made mass input a lot more fun. I've been reading throu
    2 points
  39. Wow, thats scary as a person with a severe peanut allergy. This is actually one reason I never made it to China, fear of eating anything
    1 point
  40. Hello everyone I watched a video on YouTube (can find the link below) created by Jeff Brown, A full-time Spanish professor in the US and a Polyglot of 5+ languages. It discusses the "right" or perhaps most effective way to pickup a language - acquiring it. in the hourlong video he describes in detail The Natural Approach (acquiring a language like a baby, and not learning it - he emphasizes the difference) and TPR (I forget what it stands for, but had a lot to do with reading and listening to stories) I've never personally used this approach to study, I've always done a more tra
    1 point
  41. Sounds like we are at about the same level. I'd say you can't really read enough but I do recognize the notion of "running out of steam". I don't think reading is that "passive" after all. Although my reading is currently mostly novels at around the same level as you (95% comprehension level or so). I don't really stay and dwell on words or characters that I can't read, but is never the less tiring and doesn't really take me into a flow state. Still I would say that reading more than anything lays the foundation for any language so if you want to improve, then you can't
    1 point
  42. I'm unsure whether 行李 was ever rendered as 行理, only info I found is that the two are etymologically related. Sorry if this is a confusing distinction. To say whether the word 行李 was ever written 行理, you would need to find an instance of the written form 行理 where the contemporary meaning of the word which 行李 represents had developed, but it wasn't rendered with the two characters 行李. It may be the case that the word 行李 has never been written with the characters 行理, but only the original word 行理, which holds an etymologically related meaning. Does that make any sense? It'
    1 point
  43. 十次 'ten times'. But I think you're reading it slightly wrong, I read it not as 'meige xingqi'er / shi ci' but as 'meige xingqi / ershi ci', twenty times a week. (Still a pretty large number.) For typing pinyin with tone marks, you can download Pinyinput, more info here.
    1 point
  44. Probably depends on how good your imagination is. For me I would say that knowing the Japanese pronunciation has maybe helped with say 10% of the Hanzi. And the problem with Japanese is that there are usually multiple Kun yomi as well and they can be quite different to each other too. You can find some examples by considering the list here and copying the Japanese words to Google Translate for example to hear how they are pronounced. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese–Japanese_false_friends
    1 point
  45. Haha, good questions I actually have historically written a decent number of essays - for my previous teacher, I wrote approximately 1 essay per week as homework. Additionally, I have used "HelloTalk" as a bit of a blog where a few times per week I would post various essays I would write. I used minimal to no google translator for this course. Since I was doing this for my own growth, and not for a grade, forcing myself to type essays was part of the learning. This actually helps the teachers identify common, repeat errors (those that are ingrained and need to be corrected). D
    1 point
  46. iTalki does those. https://www.italki.com/languagechallenge
    1 point
  47. Not heard it before though I expect it parses 斩白 then 水 as one meaning of the latter is gratuity etc, see definition 5 here: https://www.zdic.net/hans/水 I can imagine 斩白 as some euphemism for allowing access to one's pure person/flesh but that's a complete guess to be honest; doubt it's an allusion to the founder of the Han killing the white snake which is 斩白蛇 and the other place I've seen that combination of characters. That 开刀 suggested as a synonym looks like it might work in a similar way re. access.
    1 point
  48. Thanks, Shelley. I remember you and I both moaning over how Perapera stopped working with Firefox several years ago. I have just now installed Zhongwen and look forward to using it. One feature of which I was not aware was that it will store a list of words that you looked up. Very useful. Will let me review and learn words over which I frequently stumble.
    1 point
  49. My understanding is for all extents and purposes , it is just a name change and won't alter how the front end of the CI works! Here's hoping the CI's stay in the UK for a long time! I feel they only get bad PR in a handful of countries. Predominantly from a global perspective they are welcomed!
    1 point
  50. I've been there. I was in Hong Kong, though. I was awarded a scholarship targeted at international students to study in a Chinese department from 2010-2012, after two years of Chinese study at the college level. As a naive 23 year old, even though it was in Hong Kong I thought it would be like 2 years of Chinese bootcamp where I would have an abundance of Chinese classes as well as language and culture classes. When I got there, I found something much different, and that something was "not much at all". HK grad students are like UK grad students - coursework takes a b
    1 point
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