Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

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snowflake
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Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby snowflake » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:34 pm

http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... 11518&PN=1

From the 1st page of my HTLAL log (6 August 2008), " Some background....I spoke Toishanese as a child and “lost” most of my knowledge of that dialect growing up. For my college language requirement, I took Mandarin. I struggled through and promptly forgot most of it after graduating. About 10-12 years ago I started learning spoken Cantonese using the then brand new Pimsleur material. The effort moved around my brain furniture and affected my ability to do my job. So I had to give that up. About a year ago I started learning spoken Cantonese again using Pimsleur, though the updated version. I didn’t get very far before leaving to visit Hong Kong and mainland China, last fall. My cousin, with whom we stayed in Hong Kong, said it was better to learn Mandarin instead of Cantonese. Since I hadn’t made enough of a dent in learning Cantonese, in Dec I switched to working on spoken Mandarin."

And for context, I'm an older person. When I took Mandarin in college, our text books used Yale romanization. The DeFrancis series was available and Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji" had just come out.
Last edited by snowflake on Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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snowflake
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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby snowflake » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:58 pm

When HTLAL went down, thought that I'd stop writing my occasional blurbs and just be heads down working on Mandarin. Well I'm finding that mulling in English, at least for now is something I need to do. Of course, then I debated whether to post this in my HTLAL log or join this forum.

99.6% thru Neutrino, have one month left..... I'm finding that my circumlocution is half past decent. This is an end goal of Neutrino so while I don't expect to be fluent due to what I didn't do though asked to in the program, regardless I'm very pleased with where things are. The morning after moving up to the last level, I woke up thinking in Mandarin! Nothing profound, just 别闹了 in response to noise in the hallway outside my room, and thinking it was too early and wanted to go back to sleep (don’t remember what words were used).

Due to the Labor Day weekend, the schedule was quite different so Sunday I attended both my Mandarin groups. For those new to my log, these groups are 99% composed of native speakers who were born and educated overseas. Anyhow, the meeting in the morning was the group that I tend to dread attending due to having to read aloud. Since the group is smaller (generally 10 people) reading in front of them is not as intimidating as reading for the other group. After I read my section everyone broke out in congratulations and one person even clapped. The reading did go better than usual, suspect it's due to the book I'm currently reading.... current day master assassin is killed and reincarnates into the body of a young girl in ancient times though the world has mystical elements such as people with special abilities and powers, dragons can talk, etc. Anyhow between the made-up names and the different vocabulary, I have to focus more on individual characters and of course liberally use the dictionary.

At the second group meeting, saw someone whom I haven't talked to since Christmas. After commenting that my Mandarin was much better, she suggested I share about my trip to Taiwan at a regular group meeting. She then turned around and grabbed J to arrange it. J politely insisted that I give the talk in Mandarin. The upshot is that I'm on the docket for a 30 minute talk. J said he'd do on the spot translation help for anything that I have problems with. Talk about jumping head first into output.
Bang head here ==> X
While both groups have been trying to get me to talk more, the latter one has been more persistent and assertive.

Planning on going to a local meetup ....suspect seeing myself in comparison to other Mandarin learners will be motivating as constantly being with native speakers can be pretty mortifying.
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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby snowflake » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:35 am

Made it to the local meetup... The attendees included a person who minored in Chinese and another person who is a language instructor (not Mandarin) at a local college. The language instructor thought my Mandarin was fluent so had to explain why I see that differently. Given the language skills I saw there and other things which happened this weekend at my Mandarin speaking groups, I feel really glad that I went through Neutrino. Now I need to think about how to start incorporating the things that I was supposed to do in Neutrino, but didn't. There are some things which I'm sure I'll never do like go through chemistry and higher math classes though I definitely should work through lower math like fractions, percentages, etc. A way to make it fun might be to find kids activity books which include math games.
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snowflake
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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby snowflake » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:40 pm

This will ramble.....

Neutrino only lists 117 levels though I’m on level 118, so am thinking that maybe the cutoff is 995 days as opposed to accumulating the full target points. For a few days I had mixed emotions about finishing the Neutrino program since it's gotten to be a habit, then came to terms with things and stopped logging activity. Today I went back in and discovered that Neutrino was accumulating ROT points. ROT basically is points taken away for not doing things in Mandarin since we should be doing things in Mandarin every day and preferably spaced throughout the day. So now am thinking maybe I should continue to log until my 995th (last) day which is about 20 days away. Mulling about this transition period has my mind all over the place as this is really about "studying Mandarin" in general since things seem to have started hitting critical mass.

I'm still reading 邪王追妻:废材逆天小姐 and am on chapter 1123...this is with a lot of skimming and sometimes skipping say fight scenes that span multiple chapters. This internet book has over 4000 chapters with the author continuing to add chapters. Don't know if I'll read all of it but for now the story is interesting enough plus the different vocabulary and character usage seems to be helpful.

This past weekend I skipped my Fri evening group. Sat had an activity where I encountered some friends and went to lunch with them. We were at a food court in a small Asian owned mall where I heard Mandarin, Cantonese, and Toishanese (mostly Mandarin). The combination of these though tends to throw me off. I tried to order my food in Mandarin but what came out of my mouth was something in between Mandarin and Toishanese. Did separately successfully order bubble tea in Mandarin, then conversed in Mandarin with someone who it turned out is Toishanese. Her father has extremely strong Mandarin due to his business base being in mainland China though I doubt that her Mandarin is as strong as his. She was telling a couple sitting at our table (native Cantonese speakers) that my Mandarin is really good... it's always wierd hearing that given how much I bang my head especially when talking with the people from my Fri night group. Attended my Sunday Mandarin speaking group though this last time we did not go around reading aloud. They told me about another activity so ended up hearing a Mandarin choral group that afternoon. Lately my listening comprehension has ranged from really good to totally lost.

Was thinking about popular culture and conversations I've had with native speakers from the mainland, all people from my Friday group, where they expected me to be familiar with...
1... 张伯笠, a student leader in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. At that time 张伯笠 was speaking locally.
2... the gambling issues which Macao is currently grappling with
3... the name of a particular volley ball coach for the Chinese national team. This came up because at that time our group was in a volleyball competition. My group ended up enlisting several former players from the national team who live in this area. Getting ringers was also done by the other participating teams.
Anyhow, the expectation that I know these kinds of things can be rather deflating.

I’m scheduled this Fri to talk about my trip to Taiwan. Last week I decided it was less important whether the entire talk takes up a full ½ hour as was originally requested.
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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby snowflake » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:18 pm

Did my presentation on the trip to Taiwan for what ended up being a group of about 15 people, all from the mainland. My talk took more than a half hour and was pretty ugly. Afterward a number of people were quite positive despite my mangled Mandarin. Several of the group leaders said I should talk more and share again with the group. The context here are subjects which are not necessarily the typical islands one might put together. For example in my talk we touched on the abortion rate in Taiwan. I mentioned this sharing session to my other Mandarin speaking group. They also were very supportive. One person to encourage me further mentioned someone we know who is from Hong Kong and learned Mandarin while here in the US as an older adult. This Hong Kong person functions in Mandarin above the B2 level. Of course he also had the advantage of already being proficient with characters.

Am putting together a list of islands that I need to write which includes the usual family information, why I’m learning Mandarin, etc. In the past I felt quite shy about talking about myself and so would start writing islands and then stop. Lately a decent amount of that personal reluctance seems to have fallen by the wayside which is probably linked to how enthusiastic native speakers have been toward me lately.

规矩死的,人是活的… This phrase has shown up in the books I’ve read though my understanding of it in the context of the novels is different than what I’m reading when googling it. I probably should also talk with different native speakers to see how they understand the phrase.

I’ve gotten away from reading aloud when doing my personal reading and really need to get back to it. It basically keeps me honest about how to say a particular word as opposed to depending on mentally knowing what the individual character means.
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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby snowflake » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:53 am

I've been blah about "studying" Mandarin in the past month due to health issues and being busy with my job. Usually during blah periods I don't attend my Mandarin speaking groups though this time around I was a bit better about going. Today people were encouraging me to go to the annual local conference which is after Christmas. It's 4 days of being in an environment where Mandarin is spoken about 99% of the time, lots of different accents, different 说法's and a lot of specialized vocabulary. I was quibbling due to listening comprehension concerns. Someone said I was selling myself short. Then he talked about the importance of immersion and told me about an Android app to stream live TV from the mainland 24x7. I have Apple devices since my other group seems to prefer those. Thankfully Android tablets are less expensive so will be checking that out. This person was saying I should leave the TV on while running around the house which was interesting to hear given that I just got out of Neutrino. For anyone who already has an Android device, the app name he gave is TV+2.0.
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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby aabram » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:27 am

I'm apparently out of the loop, but what's "Neutrino"?
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snowflake
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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby snowflake » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:08 pm

Neutrino is Khatz's AJATT program. I signed up for it after not getting traction on learning characters.

On streaming TV, am also looking at the iTune options and found 2 freebie apps....downloaded one last night.
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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby aabram » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:43 pm

There's also PPTV which is available both for Android and iOS and at least for Android there are also CCTV and 央视影音HD apps.
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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Postby snowflake » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:52 am

I'm feeling totally wiped between a combination of long work hours and a health issue that keeps flaring up. I'm thinking of going back to reading translated works for a while to take a break from certain things that keep appearing in my readings. Signed up for the conference at the end of this month and I am debating signing up for the output challenge, bought an Android device but haven't done much with it yet.
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