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  1. I've achieved a big milestone recently. Up until the last few months my significant other(a native) would never speak mandarin with me. When I first started, I pushed it but she wouldn't budge. I let it go and decided not to push it anymore. Still had her mother to speak Chinese with. As I've improved, expanded my vocabulary, grammar etc, I casually - even accidentally would slip in some mandarin and she kind of naturally started replying in mandarin. It has happened quite naturally. Lately she's even been starting conversations with me in Chinese sometimes. Also, if she says something in English to me that I want to hear in Chinese or that is well within my understanding, I say "再说一遍“, she's a good sport about it and says it again in Chinese. Other than that, I'm still not pushing it. I also don't bother her with grammar questions and the like. Right now I suppose it's 25 percent Chinese 75 English, but a huge change from zero. I'm sure as I continue to improve my skills the percentage will shift further.
    9 points
  2. Well it's been a very long time since I've posted an update, so here goes. Just finished up the first semester of 4th year, one more to go which starts at the beginning of March. Should be graduating in July. We are still in Cambodia, for obvious reasons. I feel like my Chinese has gone downhill, simply because online classes just aren't the same as actually being there, and the environment here is nothing like as helpful for learning as being in China. Some classes were a complete waste of time. Learning about world literature in Chinese is interesting to a degree, but something I will probably never do again, and so I feel my time could have been used much more productively. With 30+ students in a class, the time to talk was minimal, and the exams were somewhat of a joke. It's always nice to get good grades, but far better when you feel like you actually had to work hard to get them, and the exams were a challenge. Currently writing my thesis on 《三体:地球往事》,which has been incredibly interesting and enjoyable. We have until June to finish the whole thing, and it's supposed to be around 10,000 characters (which really isn't many for a 'thesis'). I've written 13,500 so far and just sent it off to my tutor a couple of days ago. He said there are no major issues, just a couple of sections are a bit too short (comparatively), so I will go back and edit those. Feels pretty good to have the bulk of it done a few months early, and will certainly make the final semester far easier. I feel a lot more confident with my Chinese now, even though it has fallen behind somewhat, and when I think back to starting first year, the improvement has been vast. Certain tones are still a big struggle for me, especially when speaking fast. The 4th tone + 1st tone combination really trips me up! It's going to be great to graduate, but really for me the point was never the degree, rather I want to be able to converse fluently in Chinese, and continue to build on that in the future. I will give a full report when I graduate, but if I had to go back I would still choose to do the degree, as the benefits have outweighed the struggles and frustrations. At this point I highly doubt we will be getting back before graduation, and with having to redo visas for the whole family, quarantine, pay for flights, find a place to live again, I am actually quite relieved about that. Would love to go back to China, but not just for a few weeks before graduation. As I say, a more in depth review will come in a few months when I am finished, but just wanted people to know I am still here and still trying my best to study hard!
    7 points
  3. Its now been about a year and a half since I last posted in this blog, and a lot has happened in that time. I wanted to return here to set down some progress updates and new targets. Hopefully some of you might find it interesting and/or useful! Covid accelerated my move into the translation industry when I thought I might go into language education, largely because of the work at home aspect of the job. In the last few years there have been some boring projects along the way, but also some really fascinating ones too. Regardless, I've become a lot more involved and interested in the industry than I thought I might when I completed my Masters in T+I back in 2019. Sitting at home in lockdown has also meant I've had a lot of time to work on my notetaking skills for interpreting, as well as actively building vocabulary in specific professional fields (as per my 2018 post, I've now surpassed 20k general vocab and still come across new words all the time - my experience is very similar in this respect to recent posts by @Woodford). I'm now looking at returning to interpreting and integrating it into my professional life. I once said I wouldn't pursue this route, but in recent months I've been gravitating more towards interpreting practice in my daily study, and I'm starting to feel like I am actually getting the hang of the multitasking now - I've certainly improved since I was on the program, thats for sure. Anyway, I've decided I'm going to study for the DPSI here in the UK, to give me a target to work towards and push me to work harder at training up my interpreting skills, which I confess I have largely avoided since graduating (sorry to @Moki in particular, who started a great thread here but I never got organised enough to contribute to in the end). Either way, its another few years of graft to gain a comprehensive grasp of English Law in both English and Chinese, but I'm looking forward to it - so look forward to more updates on this blog in the future! Another aside: I'm happy to say I've got back on my Canto in the last few months too, which I'm very happy about, and hopefully can make some good headway with it in the coming years too.
    5 points
  4. I didn't give up on my recording myself speaking for one minute(I had posted several up here last year), I just found a better avenue for it! I found a tutor who sends me a question on WeChat every morning and I send her back an audio message (approx 1 minute in length) of my response. She then sends me corrections. I pay her 30 kuai a week for this. Today was the 50th answer. Sometimes her questions are above my level, but I find a way to answer. An example question: "家庭和事业哪一个让你更乐于投入时间和精力?“ I have found this very useful on several levels: I learn some new vocabulary, I think of an answer in Chinese, I have become more comfortable recording audio messages. Sometimes I pose the question to Chinese friends and get their responses.
    4 points
  5. I actually passed LOL Here is an extensive write-up https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/61317-my-month-long-hsk-0-to-3-challenge-experience/
    3 points
  6. Shockingly, I've somehow been on this forum for more than a decade and have posted more than 1,400 times. I decided to take a stroll down memory lane and review everything I've posted that got a like. And in the process, assemble a list of my favorite posts, because it's clear that I love making lists. Grand Comic Reading Project Japanese Shows with Chinese Subtitles Video game reviews Review of 逆转裁判 Review of LostWinds Chinese Game Review: Sloane and McHale's Mysterious Story 2 斯隆与马克海尔的谜之物语2 Chinese Game Review: Professor Layton and the Curious Village 雷顿教授与不可思议的小镇 Challenge! Your! Chinese! Experiences and ideas for running Chinese meetups overseas My replies in 問我anything with feihong My response to Dragon Boat in Shenyang? Chinese webtoons Chinese Webtoon Portals Webcomic recommendations? Awesome Chinese Webcomics Bilingual Webcomics Some thoughts on paid Chinese webtoons Grand Chinese Lyrics Project A workflow for amateur translators Big Band (乐队的夏天) and the history of Chinese rock'n'roll What are the best things you read in 2020? Playlists 健身歌单 Workout playlist Best Songs of 2020 playlist What are the best things you listened to in 2020? First impressions of the Bilibili Manhua app What are the best things you read in 2020? My response to Chinese Music Discovery: How to build up your own Chinese Music Library Clubhouse is a killer app for practicing your Mandarin listening skills I found several somewhat random posts that I've pretty much forgotten about, but reflect some weird interest or opinion of mine at the time I wrote them. 非常了得 Chinese Dating Show 非诚勿扰 Twenty Questions #1 三国杀 and other party games Grand Movie Project Did you study Chinese in Chicago? My very bad prediction about the Trump presidency in Trump- what to make of it
    3 points
  7. It took me quite a while to knock these off since I only did one lesson a week with a teacher on this book. (I'm also busy working my way through Chinese Made easier - book 1 and 2 done, halfway through book 3.) I feel a sense of accomplishment having stuck with the BASIC series consistently and finishing the Spoken, Written and Practice books. I think it's a fantastic set of books and found lots that has been useful in real life. I also found it to contain quite a bit of language that I haven't come across in other places and even enjoyed some of the more "dated" vocab. The books ( especially the practice book) feels like a somewhat modernized version of FSI. I am now going to begin the Intermediate level books of the same series.
    2 points
  8. I have an extended summer holiday this year and plan to make the most of it in regards to Chinese learning. First off, I'll set some goals, for what I hope to have accomplished by the end of summer (the start of September). Then, I'll outline some more granular details, such as what I plan to do each day and how I intend to achieve my goals. This post will help me stay accountable and serve as a space to go back and compare my progress to (throughout and at the end of the summer). Summer Statistics Time: June 11, 2021 - September 1, 2021 Length: 82 days Notes: Roughly half (5.5 weeks) will be spent on holiday going back to the US, and another week in a forest cabin with friends - though I still hope to use this time to learn. The rest of the time is so far without major plans, making it ideal for Chinese study. Goals (Optimistic) learn all HSK 5 vocab | (Pessimistic) learn half of the HSK 5 vocab Chosen as this would be a great achievement that is possible according to other learners, and I plan on learning HSK 5 regardless because of the structure and ease in finding audio/visual resources. This post on the forum has helped me in solidifying how I'm going to approach learning the vocab. Currently, I know all HSK vocab and then a few hundred more words from novels, graded readers, DuChinese, Anki and so on. If I achieve the optimistic goal, a secondary goal would be to pass an HSK 5 mock test in early September. After HSK 5, I plan on leaving HSK altogether. To celebrate, I'll also be taking a look at some highly recommended novels that I'd like to enjoy more extensively, namely 《活着》and 《 许三观卖血记》. Keep up daily LangCorrect journaling - this is a small thing that only takes 10-15 minutes a day, but requires dedicated focus that makes it a good goal to have. Watch the equivalent of one season of the children's cartoon 喜洋洋 (halfway through one now, so finish this and half of another). Read 《小布头奇遇记》- would be my 8th novel, and the 2nd hardest to date. Quite long. Likewise, read two-three other novels around the same difficulty - from my Dushu369 novels list (which it would be nice to update if I have time over the summer as well). If I can get my hands on SinoLingua's 1.5k unique word graded readers, then read those as well. Add and learn at least 300 new words from novels, webnovels, TV, etc. - basically immersion. Study Plan While I have (for at least half the summer) the full day available to me for study, I know there's an upper limit to the time I can spend on Chinese - especially on more active learning activities. However, from my past experiences, I estimate that I can put in 4-5 hours a day normally and perhaps 2 hours daily whilst in the US. This is around the 275h mark for the entire timeframe. At a little over four new HSK words an hour, this'll be a challenge (especially as it won't be pure learning the HSK, or even mostly) - but I'm confident I should be able to at least get halfway through HSK 5 with this plan: Daily LangCorrect journal entry - using new vocabs and a textbook or workbook-provided topic (~15 mins/day) Daily Anki (Spoonfed sentences for speaking + listening practice), Pleco (HSK, tone catchup, handwriting and novel flashcards) (~45 mins/day). I'm planning on looking up new vocab in context (sentences that have the word or textbook dialogues), so this number may grow larger (June 2021, still not implemented, not sure how to approach doing this) an XYY cartoon episode daily (~15 mins/day) Speaking practice, language exchange - an hour or so a week Self-study through 1-2 HSK 5 textbook chapters a week, including doing workbook exercises. Listen along with the free MP3s and do the activities. Add new words as HSK words to flashcard deck. Learn pronunciation of new words, and go back every once in a while to ensure it is learnt. Try to spend at least an hour a day, though more if I have time, reading: aforementioned novels, advanced graded readers, newsletter messages. Listen along with audio if possible. I reckon this is where I'll spend most of my time. Will continue to use the excellent Readibu app for reading novels. Listen to Chinese podcasts (aimed at learners) while walking the dog etc. - turn dead time into Chinese time - (30 mins/day) Shadow 3 level-appropriate articles a day (~15 mins/day) Timing The things mentioned as daily I'll try to do each day. Generally, I'll be reading in the evening to decompress or on public transportation, with a chunk of free time, and so on. I'm aiming to do the meat of the studying - namely the HSK textbook + workbook and flashcards - in the morning, with some time between the two to take a break. Afternoon - if not otherwise occupied - will be more leisurely with podcasts, cartoons, speaking and writing; this is the timeframe where I'll most likely be doing something not Chinese related for my own pleasure in order not to burn out and have a more relaxing few hours to my summer. This adds up to around 3h45m a day of active exercises (i.e. not passive podcast listening, audiobook listening, random speaking and so on). If I come up with any new goals, or the situation changes, I'll update the post to reflect that. Equally, I'll be looking back on these goals and my routine after the summer holiday ends. Wish me luck! If you have any comments or suggestions to add to the goals, improve the plan, etc. please let me know!
    2 points
  9. Posters like this have started to appear all over our college campus as COVID vaccinations are rolled out to students and staff. 我们一起打疫苗 一起苗苗苗苗苗 I presume there's some kind of cultural reference in 苗苗苗苗苗... is it from a children's song or something?
    2 points
  10. Here are the first three videos they I recorded in the last week. All videos are recorded as a single take so I'm not "cheating," but I wrote an outline before recording. I think I did two takes of each of these. Video 1: how I have studied Chinese: https://youtu.be/IK_A7Wbeo5Q Video 2: a 成语故事:塞翁失马: https://youtu.be/0H_He6_5jvY Video 3: random dialog about the pets in my house: https://youtu.be/Lx3SdHzd2RY Certainly a lot of room for improvement, but it should be a good way to look back at previous skill level in the future.
    2 points
  11. Have not posted a recording in a long while, so here goes. This one is done with no editing, no stopping the recorder, no reading. I realize there are of grammar mistakes and I am speaking very slowly. Not sure, but I do "feel" like I sound more natural than the last recording I posted. This was my 5th take. The file is slightly over the max size, so I had to put it on a Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ixumvia9oiudfad/我不高兴.wav?dl=0
    2 points
  12. A few days ago, I finished reading the short story collection 《樱海集》 by 老舍. This brought my reading total above one million characters, completing my goal for the year. 《樱海集》 was first published in 1935. The collection contains a funny and self-effacing preface plus ten short stories of varying lengths (from six to forty-two pages). The stories deal with classical human failings—hypocrisy, pride, envy, bitterness, cowardice, lust, revenge, greed, anger—and the consequences that arise from such failings. Though the stories are thematically related, they differ considerably in their characters, plots, point of views, and settings. Below is a brief synopsis of each story, along with some amplifying details and concluding thoughts. The first story in the collection, 《上任》, is about a recently promoted government official named 尤老二 and the opium-smoking thugs he employs. Much of the story is concerned with 尤老二’s inability to pay for his thugs, who show up at odd times asking for money for travel and other expenses. This story was difficult for me to get into. I found the details of the plot hard to follow and the language more challenging than any other story in the collection. 《牺牲》 is a character sketch of 毛博士, a bizarre 崇洋媚外 teacher educated in the United States. 《柳屯的》 is about a small village, a powerful Christian family, and an unrestrained woman who tries to take over them both. 《末一块钱》 is about a young dissatisfied college student who yearns for the kind of life enjoyed by his more affluent classmates. 《老年的浪漫》 is about an old man who, cursed with greedy former colleagues and a foolish son, decides to settle old scores. 《毛毛虫》 is a very short story that asks the question: What does a community think about that unenviable husband and wife who live down the street, and that husband’s former wife, and their new children? 《善人》 is about a well-to-do woman who sees herself as generous but is oblivious to the suffering of those around her. This story was my favorite story of the collection. 《邻居们》 is about the tensions that flare up between two neighboring families after one receives the other’s mail by mistake. The 明 family and the 杨 family are neighbors. 明家 is selfish and uncivilized. 杨家 is altruistic and lettered. The husband and father in the 杨 family, 杨先生, is described as a “最新式的中国人.” One day, 杨先生 receives a letter addressed to 明先生. 杨太太 attempts to deliver the letter, but 明太太 misunderstands her neighbor’s intentions and rebuffs her. 杨先生 then writes his own letter explaining the situation. 明太太 refuses this letter, too. Tensions between the two families escalate. 杨先生 believes that he and 明先生 can resolve their differences like rational gentlemen, and continues to write his neighbor letters. 明先生 sees 杨先生 as a weak man and despises him for his bookishness and inaction. Eventually… 《月牙儿》 is a longer story about a girl and her hard life after her father dies and her mother is forced out of exigence into prostitution. 《阳光》 is about the life of a beautiful, proud, and dissolute woman from a rich family. Her eventual arranged marriage to a prominent morality-promoting Daoist is comfortable, but stifling. 《樱海集》 is the second work I’ve read by 老舍; the first was his delightful science fiction satire 《猫城记》. There is something irreverent about 老舍’s style in these two works. 老舍’s stories foreground the character defects of early 20th-century Chinese people, whatever their station in life. Opioid-addicted menial laborers, wives of rich businessmen, the orphaned, the educated, the religious and the ideologically possessed—none are spared. By pointing out character defects in such a wide-ranging way, 老舍 advances a kind of criticism of the Chinese society of his day. But 《樱海集》 is not a “critical” work, at least not in the sense that modern people use the term. It isn’t a systematic, theory-driven critique of Chinese society; nor is it especially tragic or concerned with issues of justice. Rather, 《樱海集》 is a moral work. The stories in 《樱海集》 are cautionary tales filled with negative moral examples. They are the modern literary equivalents of fables. The stories paint a pessimistic and probably unbalanced picture of Chinese life. Readers interested in positive moral examples—the righteous government official or revolutionary, the loving and longsuffering mother, the diligent young student who succeeds in life despite enormous opposition—will not find them here. Some of 老舍’s negative moral examples are also offensive to contemporary Western sensibilities. His portraits of women are pretty unflattering. 老舍’s women are ostentatious, stubborn, and quick to anger. (To be fair, the men don’t come off much better. Most of 老舍’s male protagonists are feckless hypocrites.) Others will find 老舍’s portrayal of poor people unsympathetic. The peasants in 《樱海集》 are lazy and spend what little money they find on drugs: It is interesting to consider 老舍’s portrayals of Chinese people in 《樱海集》 in light of then-upcoming theories about politics and art in China. In his lectures at Yan'an in 1942, Mao advocated a new pro-proletariat literature and denounced “petit bourgeois writers” that write “pessimistic literature” and “harm the people.” Were 老舍’s mid-1930’s stories compatible with the new Chinese literature Mao would soon advocate? Was 老舍’s literature “pessimistic”? [For the curious, I blogged about Mao’s Yan'an literature lectures in an earlier post on this blog.] The Chinese language in 《樱海集》 is not especially difficult. The vocabulary is more challenging than contemporary Chinese fiction writers like 余华 and 韩寒, but far easier than writers like 张爱玲 and 莫言. 老舍’s word choices are frequently different from those found in contemporary fiction. This may confuse language learners unfamiliar with early 20th-century Chinese literature. For the uninitiated, try reading other authors from the same period. (I read short stories by 丁玲, 沈从文, and 施蛰存 before. That helped.) My new year’s resolution was to read one million characters in books and articles in 2019. I have now reached that goal with a little over a month to spare. This year I read mostly fiction. I also read Mao’s literature lectures, an article by IBM, a undergraduate thesis on the music of American saxophonist Sonny Stitt, and a third of the Bible. It’s been a great and rewarding experience. From time to time, people ask about the value of studying Chinese language given recent political and economic changes in China. It’s a fair question; there are many reasons to study Chinese and people differ in their motivations and goals. For me, the desire to engage in the cultural and literary traditions of a large and important foreign world was and is a main driver of my Chinese study. This desire was sustained and strengthened this year. I intend to keep reading in Chinese, both fiction and non-fiction. For literature, my near-term goals for the next couple years are to continue with works at or slightly above my current reading level; to move on to major works by 张爱玲, 莫言, and 阎连科; and to tackle tougher early 20th-century works by authors like 鲁迅. I’d like to wade into 文言 someday too, though that day is still a long way off. I had a lot of fun writing these posts and interacting with all of you. In the future, I may continue writing posts here. For now, however, because of many pressing demands on my time, I will put this blog on hiatus and return to posting intermittently in the excellent and underutilized “What are you reading?” thread. Thank you to everyone who read or commented on this blog this year. Link to《樱海集》: https://www.aixdzs.com/d/117/117466/ Some statistics: Characters read this year: 1,000,931 Characters left to read this year: 0 Percent of goal completed: 100% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters) 《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存 (6,181 characters) 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》 (5,483 characters) 《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文 (61,154 characters) 《致银河》 by 王小波 (17,715 characters) 《在细雨中呼喊》 by 余华 (132,769 characters) 《熊猫》 by 棉棉 (53,129 characters) 《1988:我想和这个世界谈谈》 by 韩寒 (81,547 characters) 《偶然事件》 by 余华 (20,226 characters) 《第七天》 by 余华 (84,847 characters) 《圣经》 (新译本) (1,055,606 characters; 315,144 read in 2019) 《樱海集》 by 老舍 (83,649 characters)
    2 points
  13. So to get going again I am starting a new challenge. I've had a 3 week break so it's time to consolidate and build up areas that I did not focus on before. I will also be beginning Korean this month but real slow. I know my target speeds are ambitious... but that's what makes it a challenge Challenge 2: Reading and writing level up! handwriting and typing all HSK3 600 characters in 1 month -> target speed of 40 characters per minute and reading well, to read an HSK 3 book by month end -> target speed of 40 characters per minute Today I was gathering materials and making a game plan. Found tons of writing practice PDF's work on minimum 20 characters a day, writing, typing I will finish the HSK 3 course on coursera. I will work on Hello Chinese again, use sticky study ever so often to keep my vocab. My English typing is slow so I'll be training to touch type as well, else I'll never get to typing 40 chars a minute I'm going through character book reviews to see if I'll like to use any of them I will use learning with texts - I'll use a lot of songs I've come to love and poetry and idioms, yes this will be extra vocab that I don't know but I enjoy the material more so... I will use new reading sites e.g. little fox, chairmans bao, duchinese, dong chinese join the tadoku reading challenge also add anki sentences into the mix Worked on the first 20 characters.
    1 point
  14. I heard it in: 同舟共济创造美好未来——在亚太经合组织工商领导人峰会上的主旨演讲 (2018年11月17日) Jointly Charting a Course Toward a Brighter Future – Keynote Speech at the APEC CEO Summit 然而,不是所有故事都这么美好,人类也有过惨痛教训。上世纪发生的第二次世界大战,让人类陷入了滔天浩劫。就在离我们不远的地方,曾经爆发第二次世界大战期间惨烈的珊瑚海战役、瓜达尔卡纳尔战役。今天,这片海面已经波澜不惊,但我们不能忘却历史上的风风雨雨。“明鏡所以照形,古事所以知今。”我们回顾历史,是要以史为鉴,不让历史悲剧重演。面对历史大潮,如何才能为世界经济发展把握正确方向?如何才能为国际社会找到有效治理思路?这里,我愿提出以下主张。 my English version: "Like looking in a mirror, the past can be looked upon to understand the present"
    1 point
  15. Today 3 hours. Total time put into prep = 96 hours over 32 days (had 5 lazy days) So I put it an hour of vocab and another 2 hours of Revision videos, but was totally finished. HSK 2 went well but was slow for some reason in the reading section so I missed three questions HSK 3 ... well let's just say I was examined... and found wanting. Results are out in 10 days time.. as for today, sleep! I can safely as the first challenge HSK 1 in 40 hours was met and is easy and doable The upgraded challenge of HSK2 in 80 hours (cumulative) I'm sure was met,.. I'll know in 10 days. I had hoped to have more than 120 hours towards HSK 3 but we'll see what 96 hours brings.
    1 point
  16. These are my goals for this week: finish 《宝葫芦的秘密》, continue listening w/ audio - such a fun way to learn get 1/3 of the way through 《小布头奇遇记》 - read at least a couple chapters of the above aloud start summer study plan on Friday when school lets out listen to 5+ xiyangyang episodes 3x/day shadowing HSK reading or Mandarin Bean stories
    1 point
  17. Let's take a look at my goals and how I spent my time. Goals ✓ Made my summer study plan, detailing how I'd break up my time. Goal is all HSK 5 vocab and then leaving HSK to continue learning with webnovels ✓ Finished 《直到花豆煮熟》 ✓ 70% through with the longest-yet 《宝葫芦的秘密 》 ✓ Read another one of SinoLingua's graded readers ✓ Kept up daily LangCorrect ✓ 4 xiyangyang episodes Rough Time Breakdown 15 - 20 minutes daily spent on Anki (SpoonfedChinese deck) ~15 mins/day spent writing my daily LangCorrect entries Roughly an hour a day spent reading easy children's novels with Readibu Roughly 45 mins/day spent on Pleco - tones + handwriting + novels flashcards 10 mins daily - miscellaneous reading sites, shadowing practice, etc. --- An hour this week speaking and listening on WeChat; language exchange Two hours this week of Chinese lessons An hour and a half or so this week spent reading graded readers A couple hours spent building my summer study plan, looking into more advanced graded readers, and researching Chinese grammar points, etc. About an hour spent watchings simple children's cartoons
    1 point
  18. The other day, my teacher gave me homework to write about the new tea tray I bought. Here's my writing followed by her corrections: 让我介绍一下我新买的茶盘。因为我南方家里的茶盘比较大,所以我买了一个小的更适合我北京房间。我选择这种茶盘的过程是这样。我两年以前去广东北边的潮州古城旅游。那时候我很多次看过老人坐在走道上喝茶,聊天。他们用的茶盘很简单。它的样子是圆形的,不太大。有的人用陶瓷的,有的人用不锈钢的。几天前我在淘宝上看了看。我找到一些从潮州来自功夫茶盘。最后我选择了一个12英寸(30厘米),白色的。它要花差不多一百块钱包括快递费。今天早上茶盘到了。我很开心。我觉得这个茶盘挺好看的。我现在能在家里喝茶像潮州老人一样。 With corrections(my wrong sentence in parenthesis): 让我介绍一下我新买的茶盘。因为我南方家里的茶盘比较大,所以我买了一个小的更适合我北京房间。我选择这种茶盘的过程是这样。我两年以前去广东北边的潮州古城旅游。那时候我很多次看过老人坐在走道上喝茶,聊天。他们用的茶盘很简单。它的样子是圆形的,不太大。(他们用的茶盘很简单,圆的,不太大。)有的人用陶瓷的,有的人用不锈钢的。几天前我在淘宝上看了看。我找到一些从潮州来自功夫茶盘。(我找到一些从潮州来的功夫茶盘/我找到一些来自潮州的功夫茶盘。)最后我选择了一个12英寸(30厘米),白色的。它要花差不多一百块钱包括快递费(加上邮费差不多一百块钱)。今天早上茶盘到了。我很开心。我觉得这个茶盘挺好看的。我现在能在家里喝茶像潮州老人一样。(我现在在家里就能像潮州老人一样喝茶了。) 茶盘=tea tray 过程 = process 潮州 = Chaozhou 古城 = ancient city 走道 = sidewalk 圆 = circle, round 陶瓷 = porcelain, ceramic 不锈钢 = stainless steel 功夫 = gong fu 英寸 = inches 厘米 = cm 厘米 = include 快递费 = delivery fee
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  19. 天边的额吉 seems like a really odd name for a brand, possibly something to do with the Mongolian connection...? Anyone know the story behind this?
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  20. My HSK level 4.5 Book title and author 便利店人間 村田沙耶香 Origin country Japan Traditional/Simplified Traditional Pages 207 Paper/E-book Paperback Translated to English (Yes/No) Yes English title Convenience Store Woman Murata Sayaka Approximate comprehension level 94% Approximate hours to complete 21 Start date 05/04/2021 Completion date 25/04/2021 Short paragraph of what it’s about The book tells the story of a woman who works at a convenience store in Japan for 18 years who, from what I can deduce, seems to have symptoms of autism. She deals with it in a very interesting way and seems to be handling her life fine, but people around her keep pushing her to be "normal". She eventually tried to comply but it actually makes her life worse. Short comment I really like this book. It shows how weird the so called "normal" people are. It is interesting to see how 2 people who were dealt similar cards in life deal with it in a very different manner. I also love how Japanese books, movies etc describe mundane everyday things in such great details. This book describes the running of a convenient store in details and I just love it. I can literally see myself at a Family Mart/7 Eleven and having 「古倉惠子」serves me at the till and tells me about the hot dog special offer. Even though from reading the summary it sounds like a pretty simple story but there are actually a lot of words I had to look up and it's not as easy to comprehend as I thought.
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  21. Here's another dim sum menu, sort of. This one is especially useful because it features only 12 items from a busy upstairs restaurant that offers probably a hundred items. (I ate upstairs.) These take away selections are available for purchase on the street level; no need to go inside. My guess is they are some of the house's best sellers. This place was across the street from my Hong Kong (Wan Chai) hotel 華美粵海酒店。 If you figure out and learn these 12 items, you might not be a dim sum virtuoso, but you won't go hungry and will be able to gain a toehold in the dim sum world.
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  22. It was a crappy 2020. Not really sure that I improved very much but it was a busy year. Hopefully 2021 will be better. What should I be doing? Converting the rest of original Glossika to Anki cards and using them for listening practice. Found a deck based on Allset grammar - let’s have a look and listen to that - https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/782551504 There is another for Chinese listening drills - https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1405939111 After that, umm, I don’t have a fully structured plan - Maybe take up some lessons again. Plans are doomed to failure with me especially when it comes to Chinese. I think what I would like to do is to build up a whole load of anki notes that have audio and have them available as one grand deck. Whenever words that you want to drill come up, then the note can be copied into another deck. Obviously some supposedly common words might not have that many sentences so, then perhaps working with a native speaker to get example sentences would be good. Copied notes can be closed as well.
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  23. Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. Today is another time to drink and sing A lot of friends are meeting for the first time Even though you’ve just gotten to know each other, you’ll be saying goodbye again very soon I hope it isn’t for forever Even though Bitter Ghost can only offer the gift of a little music We hope you can hear our warm regards Time passes day by day We still haven’t found ourselves Together with music and beer There’s us, and sometimes there’s you Sometimes happy, sometimes sad Sometimes feel that life isn’t fair enough Music, beer, and you all That’s the point of our existence in this moment clip.mp3 Answer
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  24. I have been quiet but then decided to do some self studying. Here's a little project I have been doing for listening skills. See if it helps you I prepared some Growing up with China flashcards as a training listening deck. Why did I pick this series? - available on Youtube - text and translation easily cut and from here - https://hanyufanting.com/category/other/growing-up-with-chinese/ - Short, manageable dialogue to prepare - sometimes two versions of the same sentence being said - the dialogue from the actors and the host ( Charlotte MacInnis ) repeating it. - said to be beginner level but I tell you when I really was a beginner, I couldn't make head nor tail of what they were saying because of..... - they speak at native speed but short sentences - the actors sometimes speak with words slurred together or using erhuayin which perhaps is more real life like; not typical standard mandarin teaching material How are the Notes within the deck arranged? - The pinyin and traditional characters were inserted using Anki's chinese pack. The pinyin maybe incorrect in places - The recall and recognition cards are hidden - A new card called "listening" was created - this will repeat the sentence automatically five times so if you didn't get it the first time of listening, you don't have to waste time pressing anki to repeat the audio. If after five times, you want to listen again, then use Anki to replay the audio and you get another five chances. - Reveal the back of the card - it gives all the information and then repeats the sentence another 10 times to burn the sentence pattern into your brain. - if it's not enough, use the command within Anki to replay the audio. - if you want to practice shadowing the sentence, then replay the audio and you will get another 10 repeats. If you want 50 repeats, you will only use the Anki replay command five times. 100 repeats would be replaying ten times. So you can very easily build up numbers of repetitions. Some sentences were really hard. I have one language wechat group and I would play the sentence to the group and ask them what they heard. I would do this to try and confirm the subtitles with the audio. Sometimes I would get different answers but mostly the subtitles would be correct and I would be thinking "what the heck......" So far I have done episodes 26 to 30. See what you make of it and what you get out of it GUWC 26-30.apkg
    1 point
  25. So I am going to add a few photos of the campus to this post as was requested, and then hopefully (if I can move my fingers enough to take a picture!), I will grab some of the same shots in mid winter so people can compare. I should probably update my blog at the end of each week rather than the start, so I might change that once I start back. This is our last week before we have a week off. Things are continuing to go well. Yesterday one of my teachers lost it at some of the Korean guys at the back. They were talking all the way through class and it was very distracting for those of us who actually want to learn, or paid our own money to come and study, rather than coming on mummy and daddy's money. I was speaking to the teacher about it today and she said they won't be here much longer - they are being given one more chance. But at the rate most of them are missing class they won't be allowed to sit their final exams in January anyway. The highlight of last week was a really good method (or at least I thought it was) of learning vocab given by one of our teachers, after we covered some in class. We hit nouns, firstly what we could see around us in the classroom and all of our stationary, then then things that we have in our rooms. He said this is a great way for us to learn the names of new things, but then he said don't just leave it at that, learn the measure word for each item, and verbs commonly associated with it, so we did that too. I have also started doing this in my own room and it has been really helpful. For example I looked at my scales and learned 体重器 and 称量,although I still need to learn the measure word for scales! The method I use for my own learning is pretty much rote memorization (which fits really well with the education system here) until I feel I know the word and hanzi (including tones of course), and then after 2 or 3 days of getting the words (5-7 at a time, as many time as needed/possible per day), at which point I put it into one of my anki decks. I try and go through my decks every day, although there are the odd days that I miss for various reasons. If I run out of words to learn then I go through the books I have and look for things I don't know, although with this new way of learning household items etc, I don't think I will struggle to find new vocabulary for the foreseeable future! It looks like a couple of the photos failed to upload, but these ones will do for now. The building with all of the flags outside it is where I study. This is just a snippet of the campus, it's really big. There is also another campus, possible even two, although I have never been to them.
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  26. One of the reasons I now enjoy writing this blog so much, is the feedback and help that I get when I do. I think that at the end of my first year I might try and make a list of the resources I have used, as it will include many things that get suggested over the weeks. This week gwr71 was incredibly helpful in suggesting a cultural visual dictionary, one for measure words, and a grammar book, all of which I now have an am beginning to tuck into. Last week I was also asked about my schedule, including how much time I spend on homework, and so I will give that here. Each week we have 20 hours of class, with each class lasting 2 hours. That is broken down into 4 comprehensive classes, which, as the name suggests, brings all the elements we learn from the other classes together. We have 2 listening classes, 1 reading/writing class, and 3 speaking classes. Listening classes can be a bit repetitious, but I think that's just the nature of it, and there's really no way to avoid it. I also really need it as listening is what I find hardest. Regarding homework, some days we get it, some days we don't, it's fairly unpredictable for the most part. What is predictable is our reading/writing homework each week. In class we cover 2 chapters in the book, and for homework we take the list of new words from each chapter and write them out a couple of times, then make a word of our own choosing, then make a sentence which includes that word. I really enjoy doing this because it's where I get to experiment a lot and the corrections help a ton. We also have to do the exercises for each chapter, and then at the end of each chapter there is a text, and we need to write and answer 3 of our own questions relating to the text. This homework is supposed to be done over the course of the week, but being as it's on a day when I have 4 hours to kill on campus, I just hammer it out then. As I do other reading and writing throughout the week, I don't think it negatively impacts my studies in any way. We rarely get any homework for listening, and for speaking and comprehensive it really varies. Some days we might need to write a dialogue relating to the topic we are studying, or talk about a specific subject. Most days we have dictation in class, and so we need to learn the appropriate characters. We have now moved on to phrases (started with single characters, then words, now phrases, and I assume longer sentences will be next). My assumption is that the idea behind this is so we don't forget characters we have learned previously, and it seems to be doing the job! Being as we are still looking at very common characters, there may only be one or two that I really need to memorize, and so this doesn't normally take very long. This frees me up to do more of my own studying. Random new words that come up in class, and vocabulary that I just want to learn myself, I study throughout the week. I will attach a picture of what it looks like but I just do it in the way that I have found works best for me (and before it gets pointed out, I know how messy my handwriting is, both in Chinese and English!) - I write down 5-7 characters/words that I want to learn, and then write each of them down 5 times. A bit later I come back and write them down again, this time in a different colour. The following day I come back a third time, and again with a different colour I write them down a final time. How many words I do just depends on the week. Once I have a full page of words, I put them into Anki. For listening I just try and get myself as immersed as possible, and spend time with Chinese people. I really like tattoos, and so I have made good friends with 2 tattoo artists who have a shop just down the street from where we live. They don't speak English which is perfect, and they are really fun to hang out with, and have even offered to teach me some stuff! It's perfect because they speak just like anybody else, which of course is often a far cry from what we learn in the books! I also find myself reading and writing more with Wechat (although it is of course pinyin input). I frequently message my current teachers, and my previous ones, with different questions about new vocab and grammar, and I will actually often ask the same question to different teachers, or just make up a question so that I can practice reading when they respond. Thankfully none of them have let on that they are fed up of me yet hah! A highlight this week was attending a sort of 'Chinese competition' at the international student center at uni. Fortunately I wasn't involved, as this is only for the short term classes that I was a part of before I started the degree. This was a more advanced level than the one I had to compete in, as I was watching my friend who has now moved up to a higher level class. The reason I was happy not to be involved was that not only did they have to act out a skit of some sort in Chinese, but they had to sing a song, and my voice is unbelievably bad! It was great to watch, and actually quite funny. I think it also alerted me to the fact that the previous classes seem to have been much more rigid in the structure they follow. I feel like in the degree program there is much more freedom and the pace is basically whatever the students make it, rather than very rigidly sticking to the book and having to pack a large amount of content into a short space of time. I chuckled when I heard the phrases '三天打鱼,两天晒网不行‘ 和 ’在家靠父母,出去靠朋友‘,which I myself learned in the short term class only a few months back! The final thing for this week (I feel like there is a ton I want to write, but I want to save stuff for future posts also!), was my reading/writing midterm. I think it went fairly well. I kicked myself afterwards at having written 容 incorrectly! I wrote two characters next to each other to try and compare them and remember which was right, one of them had a tiny extra heng just above the kou, and unfortunately I went with that one and erased the other one! Other than that, unless I have grossly overestimated my ability, I don't think it was too bad. Ok, one final, final thing! As I add pictures each week and describe what I am doing to learn, please feel free to critique, make suggestions, tell me why there is a better way of doing things etc. I want to learn and I want to do it efficiently, and so far the help that people have given has been really, really useful. Thank you! Edit - Please excuse the lack of pictures this week. I tried 4 times to upload a couple of photos but for some reason it failed every time, even after copying the blog post and reloading the page. I will try again next week.
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