Not much time to study last week. Work picked up and family visited for the weekend. But I remained committed and continued my early morning study and finished the week with a 16 hour total study time. I think it's safe to say that my interest in Mandarin is not a fad.
Something peculiar happened during the early hours of Saturday morning. As I was drifting in and out of wakefulness, I begun to form Chinese sentences. Simple sentences to be sure, but nonetheless genuine thoughts originating in Mandarin. At the time I was vaguely aware of this being interesting, but only now realize this is a significant step closer to generating original L2 thoughts. Does sleep have a special role in this? Or could it be that sleeping-in for the first time in weeks (instead of waking early to study), my brain was use to inputting in the morning, and because I wasn't inputting my brain begun it's own active process of output. I'm curious to see if this happens again, and if it does, will think of ways to reproduce it (for example, go for an early morning walk once a week during the time I normally study).
An exciting book arrived: "Chinese Characters: A Genealogy and Dictionary" edited by Rick Harbaugh.
"This dictionary is specially designed to help students understand, appreciate and remember Chinese characters. It has the following features:
Each character entry includes a brief etymology explaining the character's composition according to traditional Chinese research.
Genealogical charts highlight the connections between characters, showing the creation of more than 4,000 characters from less than 200 simple pictographs and ideographs. Based on computerized referencing of the classic dictionary written nearly 2,000 years ago, these charts generalize and systematize the radical system by allowing a character to be found by any component, whether phonetic or semantic."
Essentially, it is an etymological treatment of Chinese characters. Still considering how to best study and use this book, but for now, I think I might start by memorizing the ~160 core characters (e.g. 一,人,月, etc,) most of which I've already been exposed to through the HelloChinese app.
Looking forward to providing a one month update next week!