学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

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davidchoward
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学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby davidchoward » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:48 am

Hello!

My name is David, and this is my seventh year studying Mandarin! I started as a teenager, around 16 or so, and my twenty-fourth birthday is this December, which means closer to eight years. In the mean time, I've entered university, tried studying half a dozen other languages, graduated from university, moved cities and got a full-time job in between, so progress has been, um, erratic (that would probably be a nice of the putting it). However, recently I've gotten back into serious study and I am starting to notice a real improvement in my Mandarin abilities. I'd like to start recording my progress in a language log, partly to share with fellow learners some great resources I've found along the way, but also partly as a way for me to concretely track my advances (and perhaps setbacks ;) ).

A bit on my current state: As a teenager, I originally started trying to follow the AJATT method, which means I built up a pretty solid knowledge of the Chinese characters before becoming discouraged. This means I can currently read most written Chinese texts with aid of the dictionary. I still have trouble with very informal texts, like on 微博 or "light novels". Otherwise, my speaking, writing and listening abilities were practically non-existent before a few months ago. I can now understand the very general gist of spoken Mandarin on the radio - I find that my understanding ability varies a lot given on the content of the show and the speed at which it is being spoken. I still have very little experience with written Chinese, but I have made a few Chinese friends that I do English-Mandarin exhanges with, so I can speak very basic Mandarin.

In sum, I would rate my skills as follows:
Reading - B1
Listening - A2
Writing - A1/A2
Speaking - A1/A2

I am planning to make this log a mixture between the mundane type of posts (setting goals for the amount of sentences I study in a month day - more on that in another post), more general and perhaps interesting observations on language learning, and also fun information on things I've learned and resources for other Mandarin students.

Thanks for reading!
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Re: 学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby davidchoward » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:57 pm

Studying Methods

The past few weeks, I've been taking inventory of my usual way of studying. It's been a good way to look at how I'm working right now and where I can look for opportunities to study some more.

The Bread and Butter

My basic studying method is to find sentences that I have a bit of trouble understanding. It could be a new vocabulary word, or a grammar point I don't understand well. I then remove the word and make a cloze deletion card for Anki, removing the troublesome word. I programmed a little application that lets me automatically select the word I want to replace, look up the word in a monolingual Chinese dictionary (moedict), and saves the result in a format I can easily download to Anki. It's kind of hacky, but it serves me well for the moment. It's kind of similar to the AJATT method I think.

For now, my goal is 20 cards a day. I am not always achieving that goal. In my eyes, this is fine. I am not concerned really on learning at an extremely rapid rate - I know learning Mandarin is a long term goal, and I'd rather focus on having fun and staying motivated than with making super-fast progress. The sentence method works pretty well, as it combines doing fun stuff (reading, watching TV shows, listening to music) with a semi-formalized study method.

The Icing
(Although that is a somewhat strange combination with bread and butter ;))

I thought it would be a fun idea, now that I have a language log, to try and set specific learning goals every week. This would keep me from falling into a rut - it's easy to grow complacent with what you are already doing!

For example, I've been really enjoying listening to music lately. I thought a fun project for this week would be to try and find 7 new artists, one for each day of the week, and share some of my favourite songs at the end of the week.

Have a good week everyone! (Ps - an early 中秋节快乐 to all of my fellow Mandarin students! I actually spend the greater part of today making 月饼 - mooncakes. It was fun - the really time consuming part was making the lotus seed paste (莲蓉馅) from lotus seeds (莲子).)
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Re: 学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby davidchoward » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:04 am

davidchoward wrote:I thought it would be a fun idea, now that I have a language log, to try and set specific learning goals every week. This would keep me from falling into a rut - it's easy to grow complacent with what you are already doing!

For example, I've been really enjoying listening to music lately. I thought a fun project for this week would be to try and find 7 new artists, one for each day of the week, and share some of my favourite songs at the end of the week.


I actually did a really bad job at this :D . Here are a few of the songs I found:





The last song I learned from listening a folk music - 民谣 - podcast. I have listened to the podcast for a while, but I recently realized that the name for folk music was really similar to a similar genre I had found ages ago. I don't think there is a name for it in English but it can basically be described in the following sentence: beautiful women in traditional costume performing traditional songs. So really "folk" music - but what was the difference? I searched 民谣 on Youtube and all I got was folk music based on American folk music with guitars and all, and then I remembered that the word for the genre I was looking for is 民歌. Fun to learn about the different genres of music in different languages!

I didn't have a chance to spend a lot of time looking for music because I ended up making most of the dinners this week as my boyfriend was quite busy. I do most of my studying after work nowadays, and am also a terribly slow cook, so it didn't leave me with much time to active studying. This is fine, as when I'm cooking I listen to podcasts, and I ended up finding a bunch of fun history podcasts that I understand enough of to keep myself entertained.

This week I am going to set myself an easy goal: make some 豆沙包 (buns filled with red bean paste). Except some of the red bean paste might be replaced by lotus seed paste (I have so much left over ;) ).

Have a good week everyone!
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Re: 学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby davidchoward » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:43 pm

我要在一次试一试!

时间长久,我还没进步得很多。可是没问题,我最近为了准备去墨西哥旅游上了一门西班牙语课程,学会了一点西语,让我玩在墨西哥更方便。现在疫情到了加拿大,我居家工作,工作后什么东西做都没有,我想用这个机会提高我的汉语。

因为我交流的时候还有问题,缺乏表达能力自信,我现在想更多注意“输出”联系。当然常常不很容易,但是如果我能够耐心一下,我觉得我的汉语现在会进步很多!

我今天想跟大家分享的资料是中国大学MOOC。有很多免费的网上公共课,如果你想用汉语学习一些专门的学科,或者更深地理解中国文化的一些部门,我会给你推荐这个网站。我最近选择的是“中国传统文化趣谈”。教授用简单的语言来表演有趣的,活泼的话题,都跟有中国文化有关。我只是完了3门课,但是我觉得我已经获得了非常多的新知识。

下次再见!

Hello again! I have decided to use both Chinese and English to write these posts to give myself a bit more practice. Of course, if you would be so kind as to correct my posts, I would be extremely grateful!

Lately I have not made greate progress with Mandarin, as I learned a bit of Spanish before going to Mexico. Now with the Corona virus, I am working from home and all of the activities I do after work have been canceled. I'm hoping to use some of this time to improve my Mandarin.

For my first post in like two years, I would like to share the website 中国大学MOOC with everyone. It has a lot of very interesting online courses, all of them with subtitles in Chinese. I recently have signed up for a course 中国传统文化趣谈 that discusses Chinese traditional culture in a fun and accessible way. I feel like I have already learned a lot after only having studied a few lessons!
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Re: 学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby davidchoward » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:11 pm

复活节快乐!奇怪的一个复活节,我连一点的巧克力也吃不到。

最近,我学习汉语有几个方法:

1) HSK标准教程:让我惊喜,这本教科书真的不错,内容丰富,练习简约但是很有用。我想每周要看完3个单元的课文。后来,我想继续做练习,背单词,等等。12月之前,我希望我准备好参加考试了。
2)语法练习:用『现代汉语实用语法』练习我不理解的语法点。
3)阅读:我在看『盗墓笔记』一本小说,看到了第9章。
4)听力:我用“喜马拉雅”的APP听好多不同的声频。『盗墓笔记』有一个有声书版本,我也听它。
5)说话:我平常跟我的中国朋友每周一次用微信说话。我们谈话一个小时左右,一半用英语,一半用汉语。

这周的目的就是看三个HSK标准教程的单元和看『盗墓笔记』的另外的一章。

Happy Easter!

Lately I have a few methods for studying Chinese, here are some of them:

1) Standard HSK textbook: Surprisingly, the book is very good, I really enjoy the course texts. I'm aiming to read 3 units every week, then going back and doing the exercises and memorizing vocabulary. I want to be ready to take the exam by December.

2) Grammar: I'm using "Mondern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide" to clear up unfamiliar grammar points.

3) Reading: Lately I have been readin "A Grave Robber's Notes". I'm on chapter 9.

4) Listening: I use the App "XimalayaFM" to listen to a lot of podcasts.

5) Speaking: I usually speak once a week with a Chinese friend for around an hour. We speak half in Mandarin, half in English.

This weeks goal is to read 3 more units of the HSK textbook (up to chapter 12) and one more chapter of "A Grave Robber's Notes".
Last edited by davidchoward on Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby BalancingAct » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:50 pm

后来 ————> 然后

这周的目的 ————> 本周的目标

奇怪的一个复活节,我连一点的巧克力也吃不到。 ————>
一个奇怪的复活节,我连一点巧克力都吃不到。
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Re: 学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby ロータス » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:21 pm

BalancingAct wrote:后来 ————> 然后

这周的目的 ————> 本周的目标

奇怪的一个复活节,我连一点的巧克力也吃不到。 ————>
一个奇怪的复活节,我连一点巧克力都吃不到。


我连一点巧克力都吃不到。
I not(can't?) eat even a single piece of chocolate? Does Verb+不到 mean "can't do Verb"? I have seen 不到 before but can't find a meaning for when it is behind a verb...

连...都 First time seeing this grammar in the wild
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Re: 学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby BalancingAct » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:02 pm

ロータス wrote:
BalancingAct wrote:后来 ————> 然后

这周的目的 ————> 本周的目标

奇怪的一个复活节,我连一点的巧克力也吃不到。 ————>
一个奇怪的复活节,我连一点巧克力都吃不到。


我连一点巧克力都吃不到。
I not(can't?) eat even a single piece of chocolate? Does Verb+不到 mean "can't do Verb"? I have seen 不到 before but can't find a meaning for when it is behind a verb...

连...都 First time seeing this grammar in the wild


To break it down:

到 corresponds to "get to" in English
so 不到 would be "can't get to"
I can't get to eat ....
连...都, as you found out, is a set phrase for "even"
一点 means "one bit"
I can't get to eat even one bit of ...
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Re: 学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby davidchoward » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:31 pm

BalancingAct师傅,谢谢你的修正! I did not read this until now, really thank you alot! It was very helpful for me :).

上周的学习比较成功了,我远远超过了我两个学习目标。我把《盗墓笔记》看到了第22章,《HSK标准教程》看到了16章。我越学越发现学好中文是一个长远的路程,没有明显的终点,不过我觉得我现在的节奏很舒服,能够支持这样的学习习惯,我一定要进步一些。下周我要简单地保持同样的目标。

我碰到的一些有意思的东西:

1) 一目了然初阶
这本书籍是一位优秀的中国清末学者,卢戆章,写的。内容提到的是中国本土最早创造的拼音方法之一。卢戆章是福建泉州人,他用的语言是闽南语,所以我看得不太清楚字和拼音的联系。但是总体来说,非常酷!
Image
Image

2)早期学习汉语会话的一本教科书:《语言自迩集》。它是有名的汉学家威妥玛撰写的。威妥玛是威妥玛式拼音法创造者,汉语拼音发明以前,威妥玛式拼音法是在西方主流的拼音方法。书的内容很有趣,我却是没有能力判断,但是我觉得它连今天还很地道。
https://archive.org/details/yyentzurhchi02wadeuoft
https://archive.org/details/yyentzurhchi01wadeuoft

3)学习老挝语的朋友,我碰到了一部称赞"一带一路"的歌曲,希望你们喜欢: https://v.qq.com/x/page/s03986s5cmv.html

4)我研究了一点“一带一路”,遇到了另外的很有意思的中国学者,叫做谭云山。谭云山先生是湖南人,曾经参加过了毛泽东创办的“新民学会”和“新文化书社”。后来他收到了印度诗人泰戈尔的影响,去到印度在大学工作了,在印度帮助了本地人了解中国的文化。(来源:https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E8%B0%AD%E4%BA%91%E5%B1%B1)

本周的单词: “萝卜快了,不洗泥”, 是一个俗语,"意思是说生意人在买卖好的时候,往往就不考虑商品的外观和服务质量了"(https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/127557831.html)

祝大家一周幸福!

I was pretty successful with last weeks studying, I really overshot my goals. I've read to chapter 22 in "A Grave Robber's Notes", and up to chapter 16 in my textbook. The more I study, the more I realize that studying Chinese is a huge journey without a clear end, but I feel like my rhythm is now quite comfortable. If I can keep up my habits, I will definitely progress a bit. For next week, I am just going to keep the same simple goals.

A few interesting things I found:

1) "Yi mu liaoran chujie" (I have no idea how to translate this :)) - this is a book by an outstanding scholar of the late Qing dynasty, Lu Zhuangzhang. It exposes one of the earliest methods of romanizing or spelling Chinese characters invented by a Chinese person. As Lu was Fujianese, he uses the local dialect to romanize the characters so I can't really see how the spelling works. However I think it is super cool!

Image
Image

2) An early textbook for studying Mandarin: "Yu yen tzu erh chi". This books was written by the famous Thomas Francis Wade, who invented the Wade-Giles romanization system. This system was the most prevalent in the West before the invention of Pinyin. The contents are very interesting, and although I lack the authority to discern, they seem still quite colloquial to me.
https://archive.org/details/yyentzurhchi02wadeuoft
https://archive.org/details/yyentzurhchi01wadeuoft

3) If you are studying Lao, I found a fun song about the "One Road, One Belt" policy: https://v.qq.com/x/page/s03986s5cmv.html.

4) I was reading a bit about the "One Belt, One Road" policy and I discovered an interesting Chinese scholar. His name is Tan Yunshan and he from Hunan (he even participated in the "New Citizen Study Group" and "New Culture Literary Society" founded by Mao Zedong in his youth). Afterwards he become interested in the poetry of the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore and moved to India at Tagore's invitation to teach at a university and help Indians understand Chinese culture. (Source: https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E8%B0%AD% ... 1%E5%B1%B1)

My vocabulary for this week is the phrase "If the radishes are selling fast, they're not washed". It means that when business is going well, the seller doesn't pay too much attention to the appearance of their product.

Whew. Hope everyone has a good week!

PS: I have signed up for an online grammar course "汉语精读" that starts Monday (now today) to do a bit of review. I will post a bit about how it goes!
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Re: 学而时习之,不亦悦乎?——Learning Mandarin!

Postby davidchoward » Sat May 02, 2020 8:43 pm

上个星期我没发布文章,现在我需要加一点班,没有以前那么多的空:(。

其实,我看完我的教科书了,已经在想怎么来更系统地学习它的内容。我想用几个类种把内容分类:发音,单词,文法,单词用法,朗读,写短文等等。需要更仔细地考虑这个问题!

除此以外,我报名参加超级挑战2020年!以前,我一直以为我不要参加这个挑战,但是它发生几个小时以后我就报名了。我觉得看电影对我说来可能是最艰难的,我平时不看很多电影!

本周我要看《瓦尔特保卫萨拉热窝》这部电影,和开始看《明朝那些事儿》。

单词:
坐山观虎斗——比喻不介入别人争斗,袖手旁观,以便从中得利。《红楼梦.第六九回》:「凤姐虽恨秋桐,且喜借他先可发脱二姐,自己且抽头。用借剑杀人之法,坐山观虎斗,等秋桐杀了尤二姐,自己再杀秋桐。」也作「坐山看虎斗」。(https://www.zdic.net/hans/%E5%9D%90%E5%B1%B1%E8%A7%82%E8%99%8E%E6%96%97)
迅雷不及掩耳——雷声突然响起,令人来不及掩住耳朵。比喻行动迅速,令人防备不及。《封神演义.第九十三回》:「然后以得胜之兵,掩诸侯之后,出其不意,彼前后受敌,一战乃成擒耳。正所谓『迅雷不及掩耳』,此诚不出世之功也。」也作「疾雷不及塞耳」、「疾雷不及掩耳」。(https://www.zdic.net/hans/%E8%BF%85%E9% ... 9%E8%80%B3)

Last week I didn't make a log entry, I've been having to work overtime a bit, I don't have as much free time as a few weeks ago :(

I did finish reading my textbook, now I am thinking about how to study the content a bit more methodically. I want to split up the content into different categories: pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, vocabulary usage, reading aloud, writing short texts, etc. I need to think a bit more carefully about these questions!

Otherwise, I have signed up to take place in the Super Challenge for 2020! Previously I thought I wouldn't join, but when it came out I immediately signed up. I feel like watching movies will be the hardest part, I really don't watch a lot of movies.

This week I plan to watch "Walter Defends Sarajevo", and start reading the book "Things About The Ming Dynasty".

Some fun vocabulary:

坐山观虎斗: Literally "to sit on the mountain and watch the tigers fight". The idea is to sit back and let other people fight for ones own gain.
迅雷不及掩耳: "As swift as a sudden clap of thunder which leaves no time for covering one's ears" (http://www.ichacha.net/%E8%BF%85%E9%9B% ... 80%B3.html).
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