Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

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Thomas
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Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby Thomas » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:32 am

Hi,

I’ve been meaning to start studying Chinese on my own, would like to use the ‘listening-reading’ method and have got some questions related to this endeavour. I know I need to gather materials first (audio-books, text corresponding to the audio, translation, a pop-up dictionary, etc.), but I’ve been wondering how I should actually start. Should I do some preparation reading on /exercises in some aspects of the language before I actually start to listen-read Chinese texts?
How should I go about listening-reading my first novel in Chinese?

Some background information:
I’m a Polish native speaker. I speak some English and two Romance languages. I’m interested in simplified Mandarin Chinese. I’ve never studied the language seriously, although I deal with Chinese native speakers on a daily basis. I only know bits and pieces about the language (it’s got tones*, the characters are composed of radicals and can be transcribed in pinyin to facilitate pronunciation for Chinese students) -- basically I’d say I’m a true beginner in Chinese. So is it at all feasible for a tyro like my to learn Chinese using the listening-reading method? I’m a little worried about the fact that this language is so much different from all the other languages I’ve ever studied or dabbled with. For instance, at this point the characters seem like they may be a great obstacle to me.

Also, any advice from people who've already done a similar thing will be greatly appreciated.

*here I think I should do some exercises to learn to recognise the tones.
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Re: Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby rdearman » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:39 am

Hummm... I think the main problem you'll have with LR is that in a typical sentence there isn't any "word boundary" between characters. For example in English there is a space between words. This isn't true in Mandarin and is complicated by the fact that a "word" might be a single character or combinations of more than one character. But I've never done LR with Mandarin, so I really couldn't say for sure, I'm just speculating.
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Kamlari
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Re: Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby Kamlari » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:45 am

You might have a look:
1. by Volte
http://users.bestweb.net/~siom/martian_ ... ppers.html
On 'stage 3' LR as an absolute beginner in a distant language: it's hard, but it works
2.
http://users.bestweb.net/~siom/martian_ ... n/Chinese/

3.
JAPANESE L-R for BEGINNERS
http://users.bestweb.net/~siom/martian_ ... c346179174
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Re: Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby Dragon27 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:36 am

Just my 2 cents. In another thread drp9341 is trying to learn an Italian dialect (Napoletano) having already learned Italian (and some other Romance languages) to a good level by watching TV series and mentioned one interesting thing:
drp9341 wrote:The thing that helped the most is learning one word, "e" means "di" (of) I swear, learning this one word made such a huge difference it's unreal.

And I tend to agree with that. Even though your situation is quite different, one still can't underestimate the importance of knowing explicitly those small but very frequent words in advance.

edit: is it "can't underestimate" (as in "you can't (shouldn't) do that!") or "can't overestimate" (it's impossible to do that)? Reminds me of another idiom: "I could/couldn't care less".
Last edited by Dragon27 on Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby drp9341 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:36 am

Thomas wrote:Hi,

I’ve been meaning to start studying Chinese on my own, would like to use the ‘listening-reading’ method and have got some questions related to this endeavour. I know I need to gather materials first (audio-books, text corresponding to the audio, translation, a pop-up dictionary, etc.), but I’ve been wondering how I should actually start. Should I do some preparation reading on /exercises in some aspects of the language before I actually start to listen-read Chinese texts?
How should I go about listening-reading my first novel in Chinese?

Some background information:
I’m a Polish native speaker. I speak some English and two Romance languages. I’m interested in simplified Mandarin Chinese. I’ve never studied the language seriously, although I deal with Chinese native speakers on a daily basis. I only know bits and pieces about the language (it’s got tones*, the characters are composed of radicals and can be transcribed in pinyin to facilitate pronunciation for Chinese students) -- basically I’d say I’m a true beginner in Chinese. So is it at all feasible for a tyro like my to learn Chinese using the listening-reading method? I’m a little worried about the fact that this language is so much different from all the other languages I’ve ever studied or dabbled with. For instance, at this point the characters seem like they may be a great obstacle to me.

Also, any advice from people who've already done a similar thing will be greatly appreciated.

*here I think I should do some exercises to learn to recognise the tones.




Cześć Thomas, (Tomasz?) haha

I studied Chinese quite diligently for about 8 months in 2011. I stopped studying it for non-linguistic reasons, but I think I made pretty good progress with it in that short of a time.

I would focus, first and foremost, on LISTENING. Mandarin is crazy. If you think English is hard because the words blend together, imagine that PLUS the same word can mean different things based on tones / the tones change depending on the tones before and after it.

I started with Assimil and learned vocabulary and participles.

My best progress came when after 6 months one of my good friends, an exchange student from Beijing, came to stay at my house for 3 weeks.

I just asked him questions all day long, and he was cool with it. I learned a LOT from this. One of my other good friends is a native speaker, and he also helped a lot.

Check out this thread I made here, it's about listening comprehension. I would suggest a steady diet of learning words/grammar/etc. and training your ears
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2457&p=29718#p29718
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Re: Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby Expugnator » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:44 pm

I've been using listening-reading for Mandarin for over 4 years, and only now I start to see some progress. I'm doing it in an unorthodox way, though. I play the audiobook in Mandarin, then I read the Mandarin text with the Pera-pera app (hovering over the Chinese text so I can get pinyin and meaning) and quickly looking at the Portuguese translation as well. Nowadays I think just listening to Mandarin and reading Portuguese would be productive, but when I started it definitely wasn't (meaning: I'm more comfortable with both written and spoken Chinese now and I can learn new words just by using one form of the language).

I recommend you to start with any method/textbook that is similar to listening-reading, like Assimil, already mentioned. Yet Assimil feels a bit dry for diving straight into listening-reading with native materials (even considering translated novels). Therefore, I'd recommend this:

Langues pour tous (40 leçons)/Méthode 90/ Assimil/Linguaphone ==> Listening-Reading

Meanwhile I'd abuse apps ands sentence-based methods: Clozemaster, Hello Chinese, ChineseSkill, Duolingo, Mond.ly and so on.
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Re: Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby Dandelion » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:40 pm

Hello, Expugnator. Here, people's advice are all very good, you can have a try. And I think maybe you can start from words, structure or read some short stories, when you have confusion, you need to deal with it. And when you learnt a new sentence or word, you need to practice it. Of course, you need to keep practicing listening, reading, writing and speaking.

:oops: Though I'm a native speaker, i think the people's experiences here are better than me. Maybe I'm not good at expressing, but I think i can give you some helps. If you don't mind, I'd like to help you with Mandarin. :D
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jaeger
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Re: Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby jaeger » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:23 am

There's a series of books called "Remembering Simplified Hanzi" by Heisig. I found them very useful in learning characters - could be worth a look.
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Thomas
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Re: Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:02 pm

Thank you all very much for your input. :)

The Pera-pera app looks really interesting. I see it works on web browsers only. Is there anything similar that works on text editors?
***
I’ve started looking for sources using the content from the website of Phi-Staszek aYa (thanks for the links Kamlari). I’ve found a nice page with classical novels translated into Chinese:
http://www.jukuu.com/portal/novels/home.htm
Trouble is… there’s no corresponding audiobooks to the Chinese text. So far, I’ve found a few pages with A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens:
Chinese text: 双城记
http://www.jukuu.com/portal/novels/city/cindex.htm

Websites with Chinese audiobooks of 双城记:



The text has to be exactly the same as the one read out loud on an audiobook. However, the task of checking whether the recordings correspond exactly to the Chinese translation I gave above overwhelms me… Could someone please pick a chapter at random from the text linked to above check if it matches its corresponding part on either of the recordings?
If either of the recordings fully matches the Chinese text, does it contain any textual content that is excessive as pert the written text (e.g. introduction at the beginning of the book, intro at the beginning of each chapter, etc.)?
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Re: Studying Mandarin Chinese using listening-reading

Postby Kamlari » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:53 pm

Audiobooks
YouTube
有声读物
有声小说
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