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Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:49 am
by snowflake
Checking in, not a lot to say….work, health, and motivation issues have resulted in not doing much. That said I find myself in another Mandarin speaking group that, like the other one, challenges my language skills. One of them sent a text, 我们看看有多少活再说。It took pouring over a dictionary to realize that she was using 活 to mean work. I'm working with this group on a specific project. Due to various circumstances, the project will be executed in English so they're accommodating my poor Mandarin skills.

Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:04 am
by snowflake
I just returned from Taiwan and am recovering from jetlag. While there I talked with several people about my Mandarin. The native speakers felt that my speaking skills had improved. This was a surprise given that the people in my current local group tend to immediately switch to English when I pause to think about vocabulary or grammar. The end result is that I’ve had less speaking practice. It’s possible that the people in Taiwan are keying in on my replies generally being more automatic due to better listening comprehension. This trip I also found myself having to sometimes interpret for my group of American friends.

An American friend who lives in Taiwan felt the only way to really advance is to converse with someone whose English is pretty much non-existent.

Was talking there with someone who I thought said cuo4jue2 (错觉)for frustrated but now realize I heard wrong….they said cuo4zhe2 (挫折). This made me think about working on my own pronunciation, which coincided with the release of a new Outlier course. An US Taiwanese friend felt the sample lesson was “really good” though reminded me that I would still need to practice, practice, practice..... all along getting enough practice has been an issue for me.

Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:53 am
by rdearman
Do you do language exchanges via skype or other online system?

Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:39 am
by snowflake
rdearman wrote:Do you do language exchanges via skype or other online system?


Yes, though those are erratic due to schedule....real life gets in the way.

Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:07 am
by snowflake
Checking in….there’s still a lot going on in my RL so I haven’t been doing much other than the usual listening to music, attending my local Mandarin speaking group, and reading a lot of text messages in WeChat and the like.

My local Mandarin group has regular meetings during the week using WeChat for what is essentially a conference call. I usually miss these though try to monitor the associated chat. This week someone wrote, “我下了 我有一难受(emoji).” I didn’t have a clue what 我下了meant and asked a Taiwanese friend who wasn’t sure and was guessing based on the context. He thought it might be regional usage. It was also sent to another Taiwanese friend who felt it was a typo as he’d never heard that before. The latter has spent a lot of time in mainland China on business so he’s had to become more familiar with mainland usage. I ended up asking a Hebei person in the group. She said it was go offline, 我下线了. I gravitate towards Taiwanese Mandarin though that doesn’t help me as much with this group. My last group mostly identified themselves as southerners whereas people in this one tend to identify themselves as northerners or north easterners. And the people in this group seem to use more colloquiums or spoken vernacular which can only be learned through usage.

Bang head here ==> X

Re: Snowflake's Mandarin Log - Continued

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:19 pm
by snowflake
Checking in….4th quarter 2019 was stressful with health issues and changes at my job so doing things in Mandarin was put on the back burner. I continued listening to Mandarin music (CDs purchased in Taiwan and download purchases) and sporadically attended the local Mandarin speaking group. I decided to continue visiting my friends in Taiwan during the summer instead of switching to Chinese New Year’s. Towards that, I’m starting to think about what to do to spiff up my Mandarin. My motivation is extremely low, so I started listening to Mandarin music radio out of Singapore (radiosingapore.org) and have been resisting getting apps to listen to Taiwan and mainland China radio stations. I’m again watching “The New Legends of Monkey” (Australian production), this time in Mandarin without any subtitles. I missed attending the local conference held between Christmas and New Year’s Day which is typically 90-99% in Mandarin…no motivation plus some family were here visiting for the holidays. The job will continue to be stressful for a while so anything done for Mandarin will be very low key. I’m still erratically doing language exchanges with my long time Taiwanese chat partner (started in 2010).

Btw, on the previously posted "我下了 我有一难受(emoji)." After understanding what was meant, my Taiwanese chat partner who originally had no clue what was intended said it was too abbreviated and that he’d say, "我下线了, 我有些难受."

I was in the local Chinatown this week buying pastries and decided to order in English rather than think through how to say things. Interestingly I automatically ordered in Mandarin and then got stuck on the name of a cookie that I don’t typically buy.