Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

OneEye’s TAC 2013 - Chinese, Japanese, 台語

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
41 messages over 6 pages: 1 2 35 6  Next >>
OneEye
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4257 days ago

520 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, Taiwanese, German, French

 
 Message 25 of 41
26 April 2013 at 8:40pm | IP Logged 
This has been one of the most productive weeks I've had in a long time, as far as Chinese goes. I caught up on 尚
書, I reviewed a ton of material for the test, and covered a few chapters in PAVC 5. Not quite as much as I was
hoping, but that's OK.

I did a lot of translation work this week. It looks like I'll pretty much be getting as much as I can handle, which is
great. I think it will be great for my Chinese, and the pay is pretty good, so I'm really happy about it. Basically, I
work under a translator who has more work than he can do, so he sends the extra to me to do. For now, I'm
getting paid a "training rate," which is already good, but after I prove myself it will go up. Other than that, I have
a client of my own who I think will be sending me work on a weekly basis, if not more often. He doesn't pay
nearly as well, but the work is much easier and he seems relaxed about deadlines, so it's good for filling in on
days when I don't have other work.

I did through lesson 24 in Assimil Japanese, and lesson 4 in Shadowing. I might try to stick with this pace for a
while, 3 or 4 lessons per week. It's more realistic, with everything else I have going on. I will be picking
Taiwanese back up again once I'm done with all this test stuff.

I'll also be moving on to bigger and better things in my Chinese studying. The textbooks I'm using right now are
good as far as preparing for the TOCFL, but they're not challenging at all. After next week, I'll be doing more with
The Independent Reader (從精讀到泛讀), which is one of the best books for advanced learners out there. And
I do mean advanced. It's a collection of 52 glossed essays written by various Chinese intellectuals on a variety of
topics, mostly social, political, and economic, all originally published in various periodicals for consumption by
native speakers. My language exchange partner/friend/former writing tutor, whose Chinese is excellent even for
a native speaker, and who is doing an MA in translation, is thinking about buying the book to go through herself
even though it's meant for foreigners, because she says the quality of writing is so good.

Anyway, my main focus next week will be to continue preparing for the test, which is next Saturday. I'd also like
to finish Assimil through lesson 28, review Shadowing 4 and move on to 5, and finish the section of 尚書 I'm
currently working on.



OneEye
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4257 days ago

520 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, Taiwanese, German, French

 
 Message 26 of 41
17 May 2013 at 6:50pm | IP Logged 
Wow, I guess I've been pretty bad about updating.

Some news:

So I took the TOCFL. I failed again, just barely. Pretty much the same as last time, even though the scoring system is different now. I'm not worried about it though, because I know my Chinese has improved a lot since last time. It does mean that I can't go to 台大 this fall, but that's a moot point because they didn't accept me anyway (the deal was that even if they accepted me I'd still have to pass or I couldn't start).

It doesn't matter, because I got accepted at 師大, which was either my first or second choice depending on the day. So I'm just as happy to go to 師大. That is, if I go at all. Like I said before, I may defer admission so that I have a year to figure out if I want to start or if I'll be moving to Japan instead. I think it's going to boil down to the scholarship. If I get it, I'll start this fall, and if not, I won't. On top of a tuition waiver, it also pays a pretty significant stipend each month, so it makes sense from multiple perspectives to take it if they offer it. I can still move to Japan after a year if that's what we decide to do. They'll even let me take a two=year hiatus, so if after two years in Japan I decide I want to finish the MA before returning to the US to start a PhD, then I can. If I get into a PhD program without finishing the MA then I'll do that instead.

I guess the point of that paragraph is that at this point there are multiple paths I could possibly take to get to a PhD, and I'd be pretty happy about any of them. But really, a year of MA coursework here, 2 years in Japan, and then going back to start a PhD sounds best to me.

OK so that's news. Language stuff in the next post.



OneEye
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4257 days ago

520 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, Taiwanese, German, French

 
 Message 27 of 41
17 May 2013 at 7:27pm | IP Logged 
As I said before, I'm working as a translator now. It's actually taking up a lot of my time. That's fine of course, because it helps my Chinese and I get paid for it, but it really puts a squeeze on my schedule for other studying. I'm still feeling out what kind of daily schedule allows me to be most productive.

I've essentially just been maintaining Japanese. I had a big translation job (which I shouldn't have taken because the Chinese was written so poorly in the first place) that took up most of my time and brainpower the last two weeks.

The 尚書 group has been cancelled the past two weeks. We should get back to it next week. Instead, I've done a few lessons from the high school 文言文 reader I have.

As far as Chinese, there are some big developments. I've started putting on a movie in Chinese while I translate. This seems simple, but that one little thing has made a huge impact because it triggers what Krashen calls the "din in the head." My fluency has improved, as well as my confidence, and I have an easier time keeping my brain in "Chinese mode." All this just by passively listening for a few hours while I do other things.

Turns out that the "immersion environment" is a powerful thing, and is even important when you live in-country. The kind of language you're exposed to and use on a daily basis is pretty limited, and listening to a movie will expose you to a much wider, more interesting slice of the language than eavesdropping will. Not that I do that...? But really, this simple thing has been tremendously helpful.

I've also resumed collecting sentences, AJATT style. I've always been off and on about this, but this time I'm doing it the right way (picking sentences I come across "in the wild," so to speak instead of culling them from a list of some sort), and I find it much more effective and much more interesting. I've pulled a bunch from movies I've watched while translating, and a bunch from things I've been reading. Right now that includes Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut (馮尼果,《貓的搖籃》), Deathnote (《死亡筆記本》), and various articles I've read online.

So, chalk me up as a believer in AJATT. At least what AJATT used to be about, I don't keep up with the site anymore. One thing I don't think I agree with is jumping right into native materials though. I needed to get to the point that it wasn't like ramming my head into a wall just to read something or understand a movie. Anyway, right now I'm just focusing on doing lots of things I find entertaining and/or interesting, and cherry picking sentences from them to review in SRS. I've really enjoyed it, and it seems very effective so far.

Next week my main goal is to get back on track with Japanese and 尚書, and to continue what I'm doing with Chinese. I might try to do some reading in my field if I have time. Depends on what I hear about the scholarship. I'm supposed to find out by May 31, but it could be any time between now and then.



OneEye
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4257 days ago

520 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, Taiwanese, German, French

 
 Message 28 of 41
24 May 2013 at 6:19pm | IP Logged 
Another week down. This was a pretty good week all in all, but could have been better. My main problem right
now is that my daily schedule is so irregular. I need to start getting up at the same time every day and following a
more regular routine. I think I'll be much more productive that way.

OK, so as usual I didn't do as much Japanese as I wanted. I did change the way I do it though. I'm now listening
to/shadowing the most recent 10 lessons every single day. Since I got them re-recorded at a normal pace, this
only takes about 10-12 minutes. Then I'll work on the most recent 2 or 3 more intensively. Obviously this helps
with retention, but not just because I'm listening to each lesson every day. I notice the same words in different
lessons, and that helps me remember them better. I've finally (finally!) finished through lesson 28 in Assimil. I
really need to keep pushing with this, as I'd be pretty much done with both waves by now if I had gone at a
lesson per day. This is the first thing to get cut when I sleep in and my schedule gets tight, so if I can get on a
regular schedule this will get better.

I got some work done in 尚書 this week. Nothing much to report here otherwise, except that I've found I'm able to
work a bit faster on this than I was before.

Since my last post, I've finished one big (for me anyway...10,000 Chinese characters) translation job and one
slightly less substantial one. I should have another big one lined up for next week. All three are in completely
different fields (design, technology, and sociology), so it's been fun.

Lots of movie watching and listening. I bought a portable hard drive that I'm filling up with movies in Chinese,
whether originally that way or dubbed. 讓子彈飛/Let the Bullets Fly has been getting significant play time, and I've
also watched 神隱少女/Spirited Away and 十面埋伏/House of Flying Daggers. I'm planning on watching The Hobbit
some next week. I've also been ripping the soundtracks and putting them on my phone, so I can listen to them
while I'm on the bus or walking between places. I'm getting a LOT more immersion and input than before.

In other news, I'm reading a book on pre-Qin history called 《先秦史》 (pre-Qin history) and mining sentences
from it. Two birds with one stone there, because it not only helps my Chinese, it also helps me learn things in my
field. I also picked up a copy of 《四書章句集註》, containing the Four Books of Confucianism with annotations by
朱熹 (the famous Song Dynasty neo-Confucianist). It's much easier reading than 尚書, so I'm able to go through it
more quickly. This is just a side project, something I do when I have time and feel inclined.

I'm participating in 多読コンテスト/Tadoku/Read More or Die next month. The idea is to read as much as possible
in your target language. I've set a goal of 500 pages, and hopefully I'll smash it.

I said last week that I got accepted into an MA program and was waiting on scholarship results. Well, I didn't get
the Taiwan Scholarship I was hoping for (full tuition waiver plus a 20,000NT stipend each month). I did get a
partial tuition waiver from the university, which will essentially cut tuition in half. I'm still trying to figure out
what I'm going to do.

Goals for next week:

Regularize schedule
Study at least 5 Assimil Japanese lessons
Keep working on 尚書
Keep watching and listening to movies
Read a lot



OneEye
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4257 days ago

520 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, Taiwanese, German, French

 
 Message 29 of 41
01 June 2013 at 11:21am | IP Logged 
Hmm...this schedule regularizing thing is going to be a process. I did OK at the beginning of the week, and then worse and worse toward the end.

I had a ton of work this week. I said "yes" to too many people, so the other stuff really got pushed aside. I did some Japanese, but mainly just reviewed. I read some, and I listened to movies a lot while on public transportation or walking to and from places. That's about all really, because most of my other time was spent working.

Anyway, this week should be better.

As far as MA stuff, I got back in touch with the professor in the US that I'm hoping to do my PhD under. He recommended going to Japan for a year or two instead of doing an MA, so I'm going to do that if at all possible. I'll be in Taiwan another year and some change, and during that time I'll be working on Japanese and helping my wife look for jobs in Japan. As long as she finds a job there, which shouldn't be too hard because she's talented and very well-qualified, we'll move there next fall (2014). I can continue doing translation work from there (it's all done via email anyway) so I have some income and maintain or improve my Chinese while I work on Japanese. I have to say, I'm really, really excited about moving there.

OK, so goals for this week:

Read 125 pages (I'm doing Tadoku and my goal for the month is 500 pages)
Study Japanese every day
Work on 尚書
Try to keep a regular schedule



OneEye
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4257 days ago

520 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, Taiwanese, German, French

 
 Message 30 of 41
07 June 2013 at 8:10pm | IP Logged 
Coming to you from what's apparently earthquake central right now. I guess it's just getting me ready for Japan?

I'm still coming down off of last week's work glut. Almost caught up now. Last due date is Monday, and things should return to normal after that.

Did I read 125 pages? I've logged 98 pages on Tadoku, so not quite. Considering how much work I did this week, I'm OK with it. Next week I'll do more so I can catch up.

Did I study Japanese every day? Yes. Did I study new Japanese every day? No. I stayed in the same spot, but ironed out a few sentences I wasn't especially clear on and did a bunch of reviewing. I also got some new books to study post-Assimil. Now the trick is to finish Assimil so I can get to them. I got one called ゼロからスタートにほんご会話 (Start From Zero: Japanese Conversation), one called にほんご会話トレーニング (Japanese Conversation Training), one called にほんご発音アクティビティ (Japanese Pronunciation Activities), and one called 初級日本語表現文型ドリル (Elementary Japanese Expressive Sentence Pattern Drills). Those, in combination with Assimil and the Shadowing books, should be enough to last me a while I think. I tend to amass resources, but that's OK with me. These all seem like really good books, with good audio and lots of useful stuff, so they won't go to waste.

Did I work on 尚書? No. Failed there. The study group is suspended until the end of the summer, but we're supposed to work on it ourselves until then so we'll have plenty to go over when we start back up. I'll get back on this next week.

A regular schedule was nowhere to be found this week.



Going forward, I'm going to be focusing mainly on two things:

The first is maintaining an "immersion environment" for Chinese through audio, video, and books. I've been doing this for several weeks now and it's been tremendously helpful. I got some new headphones* recently, and it's even better.

The second is Japanese. My goal for when I move to Japan is for my Japanese to be better than my Chinese was when I moved here. That shouldn't be difficult at all (really...at all), and if I reach that goal then I know that after two years in Japan, I'll have pretty good Japanese. And the better I am when I get to Japan, the further I'll get while I'm there. I'd be thrilled if my Japanese was better after two years in Japan than my Chinese is now, which would mean I could work as a translator of both Chinese and Japanese if I don't make it in academia. Always good to have backup plans. :)

Classical Chinese and books in my field are secondary right now. They're still on the burner, as it were, but they'll be the first to get cut from my day when necessary going forward. That spot has been occupied by Japanese, but not anymore. If I'm moving to Japan, I have at least 3 more years before I'll finally start my PhD, so I have plenty of time to read all this stuff.

Unfortunately, Taiwanese is an afterthought at this point. I'd like to think I'll learn it, but I'm just not sure. Maybe later, once I've made some progress in Japanese, I'll use the 台湾語会話フレーズブック on my shelf (a Japanese-Taiwanese-Mandarin phrasebook).


Next week's goals:

Read 150 pages
Study new Japanese every day
Work on 尚書
Read some 先秦史
Keep a regular schedule


______________________________
*I was using a pair of Grado SR80's. I'm a former professional musician who's pretty picky about sound, and these sound really, really great. But they're cumbersome to wear around the city all day. They're made for home use, and they're just barely portable enough to carry around, but they have a long, thick cord that makes them a pain. Enter the Audio-Technica ATH-EM7. It's half the price and at least 10 times more convenient for wearing around the city, and they sound pretty awesome for clip-on headphones (耳掛式的耳機). They're not quite like the Grados sound-wise, but they come close, and they're certainly several orders of magnitude better-sounding than the cheap headphones you find most places (these were 1800NT, or about 60USD). They're so comfortable that I forget I'm wearing them (of course, this will depend on how your ears are shaped). I'm thrilled about these. I've been using them for 2 days now, and I probably already have 20 hours of use on them, because I can just clip them on in the morning and keep them running throughout most of the day.

If you're in Taipei and you're looking for good headphones or other audio equipment, go to Pin Cha Audio (品嘉音響) on 開封街. They're the real deal, serious hi-fi nerds, and they're super nice. And in my experience, their prices in the store are always a bit cheaper than what their website says.

Edited by OneEye on 07 June 2013 at 8:12pm



OneEye
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4257 days ago

520 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, Taiwanese, German, French

 
 Message 31 of 41
15 June 2013 at 7:00pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
Read 150 pages
Study new Japanese every day
Work on 尚書
Read some 先秦史
Keep a regular schedule


I read about 75 pages. I have some serious catching up to do.

I did study a lot of Japanese though. Didn't really do anything in Assimil, but I did 2 lessons in Shadowing. I also went through the first few minutes of Totoro, looking up words I didn't know and shadowing the actors, which was fun. I picked up a few textbooks from Kinokuniya too, which look really good. I'll get going on them after Assimil. Maybe even sooner, because one of them is not much above my current level. They're called ゼロからにほんご会話初級マスター, にほんご会話トレーニング, にほんご発音アクティビティ and 日本語表現文型ドリル.

Didn't really work on 尚書. Read some 先秦史, but not much. Did not keep a regular schedule. Worked a lot.

As I said before, one of my main focuses right now is Japanese. As far as the other stuff, I've made a reading plan for the next year. There are 7 books in my field I'd like to read as a sort of broad base between now and next fall, about 14 months. During the same time I'm doing 尚書 (of course) and 四書. After that I'll either start my MA (if I have to stay in Taiwan) or continue reading further anyway (if I'm in Japan). Assuming I'm in Japan, there are more specialized books I'll be reading while there, and I'll also work on reading the other classics (左傳、詩經、禮記、易經 in that order), as well as selections from 史記 and 戰國策.

Since it's a nice, easy reading pace (about 10 pages per day in modern Chinese and 2 in Classical Chinese), I'll have plenty of time to study Japanese and read for pleasure in Chinese, which I really need to do to increase my reading fluency and speed.

So, next week's goals:

Japanese every day
Regular-ish schedule
Some 尚書
Read 175 pages to get back on track

That last one will be tough. Lots of comic books and maybe some Vonnegut. 先秦史 is slow going because it's in simplified, which I'm still not especially comfortable with.



OneEye
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4257 days ago

520 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, Taiwanese, German, French

 
 Message 32 of 41
21 June 2013 at 9:11am | IP Logged 
At this point I've resigned myself to the fact that I won't meet my goal for Tadoku. Oh well. Work has been busy,
so I'm not going to complain.

Adhering to a regular schedule is going to have to be a work in progress. It looks like this fall it will be a
necessity though. I'll be in two different reading groups, auditing one graduate class in the Chinese department
and one in the translation department, in addition to working and studying Japanese. Both reading groups will
require several hours of preparation per week, and so will both classes. Should be good for me.

I'll be doing some 尚書 this afternoon. Finally.

I did study some Japanese, but not enough. I did a bit in Assimil, but I'm not sure if I want to stick with that book
anymore. I've noticed my grasp of grammar isn't very good, so I'm thinking about switching over to Genki, which
seems to explain it better. I've looked through the first book, and it looks like I could finish it pretty quickly,
because I already know a lot of what it covers. I have second-hand copies of both books as well as An
Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
(which is supposedly "Genki 3"), along with the audio for both
Genki books. I'll try this for a while and see how it goes.

I'm going back to the US soon, for the first time since I moved here two years ago, to visit family. I may or may
not update this while I'm there, but I will be bringing a book or two in Chinese to read, as well as a Japanese
textbook or two. I don't expect to get a lot done, but at least something.



This discussion contains 41 messages over 6 pages: << Prev 1 2 35 6  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3281 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2017 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.