Learning to speak Mandarin Chinese log...

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80Percent
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Learning to speak Mandarin Chinese log...

Postby 80Percent » Tue May 29, 2018 8:22 pm

I'm currently at a beginner level, i can speak maybe 200 words, and now i'm going to aim to be more conversational which means I'll need a lot more words and all non-basic grammar. I started learning a while ago while working in cosmetics (8 years ago?) i met many native Chinese people who did not speak any English so i was able to learn quite a bit so i could sell cosmetics and help customers but only worked on any Chinese maybe a couple months here and there since then.

My boyfriend lives in Chinatown and speaks some Chinese so i'm going to practice around the area, which is always fun b/c people are in shock even if you just ask for coffee in Chinese, the response is always very encouraging and motivating.

I even took a 2 week course in China for a few hours a day last year (China was awesome) but almost all that knowledge is gone, i need to be more consistent. I've set my goal at 10 words a week, i know it's less than what others can do, but i'll be lucky if i do 5 a week if i'm gonna be honest with myself. lol. But even if i do 5 words, i'm also going to work on sentences with them and by the end of the year i hope to be a lot better than just saying "i like coffee" "i like to go to the movies". Goodness help me. But i know i can do it, i like learning how to speak Mandarin a lot.

Will be using a mix of paid and free resources:
  • Quizlet Plus as my SRS app (paid $12) Using SmartCards+ for my SRS app.
  • Youtube videos have always helped me so i'm going to continue that (free) Eh, over it
  • Integrated Chinese Part 1, level 2 textbook for my vocab because there is a free class using this book that starts in the fall, so i'm going to be ready. ($25)
  • Making up my own sentences and talking to people in shops (free)
  • iTalki for 30 minute talking and question sessions. ($40/month)
  • Mandarin Class starting Sept/October (Free)

Today:
Added my first 25 new words to Quizlet
Signed up for a meetup group of people learning Mandarin. Plan on going 1-2x a month. Not a lot but i don't know enough to have a conversation so a conversation meetup can get tricky.

That's all for now.
Last edited by 80Percent on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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杰西

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eido
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Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1), dabbling in others
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Re: Learning to speak Mandarin log...

Postby eido » Tue May 29, 2018 10:11 pm

I'm rooting for you! Mandarin is such a musical language. I admire people who are learning it because they will be erm, musical too? Haha.

Did you start learning Chinese just because it would help you in your job, or because you liked it? Or was it a mix of the two?
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80Percent
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Re: Learning to speak Mandarin log...

Postby 80Percent » Wed May 30, 2018 7:17 pm

eido wrote:I'm rooting for you! Mandarin is such a musical language. I admire people who are learning it because they will be erm, musical too? Haha.

Did you start learning Chinese just because it would help you in your job, or because you liked it? Or was it a mix of the two?


Thank you!

I find it so musical as well, which is why i like learning it and speaking it so much. And yes on the mix of the 2. I actually liked Mandarin Chinese for a while b/c i used to watch Gong Li movies in my 20's for some reason, i think cuz she always plays a tough strong woman, but i ended up taking a stab at learning it in my 30's b/c they were starting to let sales people go from my cosmetics counter where i worked, i overheard 2 managers saying "we need to hire someone who speaks Chinese" (b/c our a 1/3 of our clientele was Chinese), and that was that, i immediately learned all the words for our various cosmetics and had such a fun time learning and talking to people that i decided i would continue even though i still got let go. :D. But i dabble for a month then let it go. Now i'm in my 40's and I'm gonna pick it up again, goal is to stay with it not skipping even 1 week, until 2018 at least.

I even met my boyfriend at a Learn Chinese Mandarin meetup group's Lunar New Year party, so learning has been even more beneficial than i imagined. ha! : ) I also just met his parents for the first time a few weeks ago (who are both Native from Southern China) and was able to string a few sentences together in Chinese while talking to them. That was really cool.

-杰西 <- My Chinese name

Today i added 5 more words to Quizlet and learned how to spell my name in Chinese (the only characters i plan on learning for a very long time).
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杰西

80Percent
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Languages: Spanish A2 (Done for now). Mandarin A1.
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Re: Week 1

Postby 80Percent » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:07 pm

Week so far so good. I’ve added 40 flashcards to Quizlet and have learned at least half.

Watched about an hour of stuff on YouTube and did some shadowing which I really don’t like but might keep it up a little cuz I hear it’s helpful.

While in Chinatown Saturday I ordered a coffee and cake, etc in a bakery in Chinese.

Lastly, went to the Mandarin learners meet up on Saturday and was introduced to someone who seems to be at my exact level, I asked if she wanted to study with me and we’re going to try get together this upcoming week after work. Getting a study partner was on my list. ; )

Still not sure how I’m going to tailor a lesson structure but hopefully I figure it out. Maybe that’s what I’ll do today but might just keep looking at options before I narrow down a plan.
Last edited by 80Percent on Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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杰西

80Percent
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Study Plan

Postby 80Percent » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:08 pm

Excellent, figured out a study plan. Will be following the textbook (Integrated Chinese Level 1, part 2) throughout my studies.

-4 hours of self study a week on textbook and related vocabulary (2 hours on Sun, rest divided up)
-2-3 hours at meetup group on Saturdays
-1 hour meeting up with study partner I picked up at the meetup.
-30 mins of Italki lessons/chat a every other week or so based on vocabulary/dialog from textbook.
-SRS flashcards throughout the week.
-uTalk app lesson that matches whatever lesson topic I’m in the textbook. Like now it’s weather.

Found all the audio that goes with the textbook free online, woot! So I’ll be using that a few times a week.
https://mllab.sfsu.edu/content/integrat ... 2-textbook

Goals I’ve thought of are based on 3 months of study. (June - August)

-Finish the book (It’s has 9 chapters)
-Finish 8-10 uTalk lessons
-Know 100-150 new words
-Be able to hear/understand sentences
-Be able to conversate easier.
Last edited by 80Percent on Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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杰西

80Percent
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Languages: Spanish A2 (Done for now). Mandarin A1.
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Day 8...

Postby 80Percent » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:10 pm

Still so far so good. Memorized 50 words this past week. wow, that is an accomplishment for me for sure. I don't expect it to continue on this pace but happy so far.

My first study partner meeting got cancelled but we're slated to get together on Tuesday. Seems like she will follow through, we shall see. And it looks like the Mandarin meetup group i will be going to is every other Saturday, not every, so no meetup for me this weekend either.

Changed from Quizlet+ to SmartCards Plus, ahhh, like it much better. (fyi, it's only on iphone). I have a free month, then i'll pay the $8 or whatever it was.

On target with IC textbook, will be doing 1 chapter every 10 days, which is great b/c i know on the 10th, 20th, 30th, time to start a new chapter. I *might* have to extend it to 2 chapters a month b/c not sure I can keep the 1 chapter every 10 days while still really learning all the grammar points. Especially as they get harder. And really glad there is audio for the dialogs, super freakin' helpful. My boyfriend got me some wireless headphones for it and i've been listening every commute since i started my 3 month language challenge a week ago.

Boyfriend trying to be helpful to me by speaking on occasion in Chinese but he has a southern accent that he picked up from his parents and i can't deal with his sh sounding like s, so for now that's not an option. Besides, his Chinese could really use some work. lol. he does correct my tones though when he hears me speaking out loud, so that is helpful. We'll pick up speaking a little later on.

But, so far so good, I have studied my apps, vocab and audio and textbook grammar points every day since I started.
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杰西

80Percent
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Re: Learning to speak Mandarin log...

Postby 80Percent » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:31 pm

Day 14:

I’m 2 weeks in and shockingly have studied every single day for at least an hour. I’m really psyched about this. When i tried for so long to learn Spanish almost a decade ago i could barely study for a handful of moments a week. It was not good experience for me. I just like Mandarin so much better and studying is 20x more fun. At least in the beginning, i know it's going to get so much harder. But for now i'm really enjoying.

I’ve made a couple of changes to my challenge and also have come up with a schedule. Not only that! But I've connected with someone who is a friend of mine we are getting together every Wednesday to check in with how we are doing our summer goals, mine being my Mandarin 3 month challenge. So i’ll probably check in here on Wednesdays as well as that is when i tally my weekly results to produce to my friend.

The challenge/goal: By August 31st want to have accomplished the following:
Know 150+ new words
Finish or come close to finishing Level 1 Part 2 of IC textbook
Complete six 30-minute iTalki Lessons
Finish 20 ChinesePod elementary lessons

Schedule: = 9 hours/week not including apps (I work full time).
Sunday: 2 hours of textbook and vocab + 30 mins new ChinesePod lesson
Monday: 1 hour meetup with study partner
Tuesday: 1 hour with textbook + vocab + textbook audio
Wednesday: 1 hour iTalki (30 min lesson, followed by 30 min study/repeating what i learned)
Thursday: 1 hour with textbook + 30 mins new ChinesePod lesson
Friday: possible off day. Just apps and speaking a bit
Saturday: 2 hours with textbook + textbook audio
Every day: listen to ChinesePod and/or play with SRS and apps.

I think my new schedule and action plan are great b/c they really address multiple parts of my learning to communicate in Chinese. Learning (textbook), Speaking (iTalki, Meetup group), Listening (ChinesePod). No characters for now but will probably order my first book on characters soon. I can see why it would be helpful to my overall learning (and I want to be able to Wechat text in Chinese characters).

Tmrw I'll report my end of week results as my Mandarin learning week now ends on Wednesdays.
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杰西

80Percent
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End of week 2

Postby 80Percent » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:49 pm

Weekly Goals vs. Result

Week 2 goals:
Finish 1.5 chapters: Check. But am reverting to L1P1 b/c of knowledge gaps.
Meet up with new study partner: Check. And I told her about my plan, she wants to join me! She's getting the IC books so we can follow along. : )! I hope this girl stays tough, it's hard to find people who follow through.
Finish 2 ChinesePod lessons: Did 1 out of 2.
Have 50 digital flashcards: Check (67)
Study Chinese all 7 days 1-2 hours: Check. Easily.
iTalki: Nope.

Things I didn't do: iTalki. I've decided to hold off on both my iTalki and Meet up group for maybe 6 weeks. Talking with a very limited vocabulary is extremely difficult and the returns are not as great as if i use those hours learning/studying at this point.

So far so good. And realized after trying to find my next ChinesePod lesson that I am more suited for their pre-intermediate lessons than elementary! Psyched.

Next weeks goals are:
Continue to study 9 hours a week including-
Add and learn 15 more SRS cards.
Finish 3 L1P1 Chapters.
Finish 2 ChinesePod lessons.
Meet up with partner.
Last edited by 80Percent on Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:57 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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杰西

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Glossy
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Languages: Russian (native), English (almost native), French (reading: fluent, listening: intermediate, speaking: none), Spanish (reading: fluent, listening: intermediate, speaking: none), Mandarin (reading characters: slow, listening: actively learning, speaking: none), German (reading: intermediate, listening: none, speaking: none)
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Re: Learning to speak Mandarin log...

Postby Glossy » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:14 pm

I don't know if you know this, but starting with the Intermediate level of ChinesePod there are user-made transcripts of the non-dialog portions of the lessons:

http://chinesepod.com/community/conversations/post/13480

Those are helping me a lot.
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Mandarin listening comprehension, hours: 737 / 3000 (737/3,000)

80Percent
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Posts: 64
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 4:36 pm
Languages: Spanish A2 (Done for now). Mandarin A1.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8270
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Re: Learning to speak Mandarin log...

Postby 80Percent » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:21 pm

Glossy wrote:I don't know if you know this, but starting with the Intermediate level of ChinesePod there are user-made transcripts of the non-dialog portions of the lessons:

http://chinesepod.com/community/conversations/post/13480

Those are helping me a lot.


Thanks! Something to look forward to when i get there for sure. Bookmarked.
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杰西


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