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Lorinth’s log - 劳伦的博客

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lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3139 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 81 of 408
06 June 2013 at 10:21pm | IP Logged 
ZH

Read more of 像我这样的一个女子。

Listened to/read the 听力 part of yet another mock HSK4 test.

Vocabulary: HSK5 and frequent characters with Anki, random words with Pleco, and HSK4
with Skritter.

Listened again to the podcast 关于坏的洗衣机。

ES

Miré algunas emisiones cortas (y de interés variable) de Arte Historia sobre la
historia española, particularmente la expansión del reino de Aragón y el reino de
Carlos I (o V).

LA

Listened to, and read, the current nuntii latini. I was interested to learn that
Summus Pontifex dixit etiam atheos, si bonum facerent, salvari... Qui quidem
ecclesiam catholicam novissent sed ab illa separati manerent, salvari non posse.


FI

While I was in the http://yle.fi/ area, I also listened to and read the news in simple
Finnish. There's a story about a gigantic, Guiness book sized yli kaksi metriä pitkä
piirakka
. I have fond memories of a knob of butter melting on a hot
piirakka. But what's the weight of the knob for a 236 cm long piirakka?

1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3139 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 82 of 408
08 June 2013 at 9:28pm | IP Logged 
ZH

While sitting in the train to Paris, I wanted to connect my phone to transfer some
files to my laptop in order to make one last HSK4 mock test before the real
examination. Somehow, I managed to screw the USB connexion and to wipe all files on my
phone, including mp3s, podcasts, photos, texts, the data files for Pleco, AnkiDroid,
etc.

Uh-oh.

--

The Wifi connexion at the hotel was a little lousy, but I managed to reinstall some
Pleco data files. It was too late for a mock test, but not to read the end of 西西's 像
我这样的一个女子。 It was a very good read. There is no plot at all: it consists in the
narrator's thoughts about her life, her relationship with her boyfriend and, above all,
her very peculiar job. The subject is morbid and the author does not always avoid some
complacency. However, on the whole, it is a poignant and sensitive story about
loneliness and the Big Scary Mistery of Life and Death. I liked the way the author
writes longish sentences that flow in accordance with the narrator's thoughts. Or maybe
it's just me who's not used to contemporary prose yet.

--

Ah, and I finally sat the HSK4 test. What can I say?

The structure is much the same as that of HSK3.

When the 听力 part started, I thought that the speech was noticeably slower than in the
mock tests (the voices were the same. These two or three actors must be repeating silly
sentences all year long). I should have remembered that you should write the answers
directly on the answer card, and not on the question sheet first: you are given 5
minutes to transcribe the answers after the 听力 part, but there's always a risk of
error when copying, and those 5 minutes would be put to better use if you start reading
the 阅读 part.

The 阅读 part itself was, as far as I can tell, not terribly complicated but you have
to go *fast*. As the clock in the room was not working, I didn't know the time and I
briefly felt like a swimmer who's in the middle of a vast quantity of salty water,
unable to see the point from which he departed, nor the point towards which he is
supposed to be swimming. When the end of the alloted period was announced, I was
writing my answer to the penultimate question.

The 写字 part: I had not prepared at all and, again, you have to answer fast. So I did
the first part (which consists, in fact, in reordering bits of sentences and
transcribing them afterwards) and did what I could for the second part (you are given
images and asked to write some witty comment), i.e. not much.

Though I hate tests and exams, I'm happy I finally sat this one. The results will be
communicated in 30 days.

At least, working on the HSK4 these last few days gave me a useful idea: as I'm always
complaining about how my 听力 does not seem to improve, I should do a few HSK5 mock
tests right now, see what marks I have, and do the same tests again in, say, 6 months
and 1 year.

--

In the train back, I read a short story called 减去十岁. Though I was able to make sense
of the words, I wasn't sure I had understood all the innuendoes. So I read it again
(it's very short). Now I'm not sure I understand the basic meaning of the story.

--

Read an article about 土耳其的抗议者 (the demonstrators in Turkey) and some
countries' 双重标准 (double standards) about the events in
that country.

The article

Edited by lorinth on 09 June 2013 at 8:37am

1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3139 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 83 of 408
11 June 2013 at 8:35am | IP Logged 
ZH

Started reading a short story called "手" by 萧红 . I've been reading quite a lot of
short stories recently. At this stage, it's the perfect format for me: as reading
modern prose requires a sustained effort, it's a good thing to concentrate on, and
enjoy, relatively short texts.

Wikipedia article about Xiao Hong

Total coincidence - the internet will never cease to amaze me: today, I stumbled across
a site called chinese-shortstories, a French portal (despite its name) devoted to
Chinese short-story writers, including a treasure trove of names, ideas for reading,
comments, critics, biographies and even texts. The cherry on the cake: explanations on
the vocabulary and some translations.

The site

--

Started reading a long article about the commercial war between EU and China.

因为欧盟要对产自中国的太阳能电池板征收一 个反倾销税,所以商务部宣布要对原产于欧盟 的进口葡萄酒进行反倾销和反补贴
调查。

As the EU wants to impose an antidumping duty on solar panels produced in China, the
Chinese trade department has announced that it would launch antidumping and
countervailing investigations concerning red wines imported from the EU
.

I may finish reading the article tomorrow. The strange thing is that I never read such
articles in my mother tongue. In Chinese, I'm fascinated. Go figure!

The article

--

Vocabulary. Unless it turns out that I failed the HSK4, I don't intend to continue
reviewing HSK4 level vocabulary in Skritter. As I now have made a habit of reading
fairly extensively, this activity should provide enough "repetition" that I can do
without a spaced-repetition software for such frequent words. HSK4 words are in my Anki
deck anyway, along with HSK5 words (all studied by now). In a not too distant future, I
also intend to start introducing HSK6 words.

On the other hand, I may delete my Anki 汉字 deck and use Skritter for characters
instead: I feel that Skritter allows me to acquire a deeper knowledge of characters, if
only because it forces me to write them and to produce them in the L1 -> L2 direction.
Of course, I could configure Anki to this effect, but hey.

I will go on using Pleco for reading, creating cards for the words collected while
reading, and studying them.

Although I would love to use more paper, it turns out that it's really not practical,
since most of my studying happens on the go.

FI, LA, ES

Two weeks ago, I finally created Anki decks for all three languages. I try to be very
careful not to put too many words in there. Mandarin has the priority and free time is
an endangered species.
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3139 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 84 of 408
12 June 2013 at 9:02am | IP Logged 
ZH

So, as part of my progress assessment project, I want to do a few HSK5 tests right now:
I believe that HSK5 is way above my current level, but the plan is to do a series of
tests at 6-month intervals and see if there's any improvement.

So, today, I did my first mock 听力 HSK5 test. Got 31/45, which is not so bad, in fact
much more than I thought and only 1 point below my lowest mark with mock HSK4 tests in
the last few weeks. However, I relied on a lot of guesswork and plain blind luck.

--

Did some parroting with a Chinesepod lesson and discovered a fantastic speech
recognition tool I hadn't noticed (or maybe it's new?) in the Android app: you speak a
sentence and your phone displays what you have said, in Chinese characters, which
allows you to test the accuracy of your speech. Simply incredible. Ah, but then, the
tool started crashing so there're probably a few bugs to iron out.

--

Created a new Skritter vocab list for characters and stopped studying the HSK4 list. So
my daily vocabulary routine should henceforth consist in:

- HSK words, with Anki (levels 4, 5 and soon 6)
- Characters, with Skritter: they are taken from the list of 2,700 most frequent
characters available on Patrick Zein's site. I've started from the end.
Patrick Zein's site.
- Random words collected while reading, with Pleco.
- ? Character deck with Anki: I might as well delete it. Or stop adding characters and
add them to Skritter instead. But I'll think about that a little more before I take any
step.

--

Continued reading 萧红's 手. I'm progressing slowly because the style tends to be very
allusive and there are many new words.

FI

In LWT, read and listened to a short article about Edward Snowden, mies, joka vuoti
Yhdysvaltain viranomaisten salaisen toiminnan internetissä.


Reviewed the vocab queue.

LA

In LWT, started reading a text from the "Gesta Romanorum" titled "De sancti Alexii
filii Euphemiani imperatoris".

Reviewed the vocab queue.
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3139 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 85 of 408
13 June 2013 at 10:03am | IP Logged 
ZH

ChinesePod: finished the lesson about fixing washing machines, and started another one
about street food, which may entail fixing digestive tracts.

Continued reading 萧红's 手.

Reviewed vocab: Anki decks (HSK4 and 5 deck; character deck), Skritter queue
(characters), Pleco (random vocabulary).


FI

In LWT, imported and read two short articles, one about the Finnish economy, the other
about the events in Turkey.

Reviewed the vocab queue.

--

Actualicé mi versión de Learning With Text. No es que necesite las nuevas
funcionalidades o que haya encontrado cualquier bug pero era una buena oportunidad para
hacer una copia de respaldo de mi base de datos y buscar la contraseña del servidor FTP
de mi proveedor de servicios web, que hace tiempo que la había perdido.

(I've upgraded LWT)
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3139 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 86 of 408
14 June 2013 at 9:42am | IP Logged 
ZH

Finished reading 萧红's 手. It's the story of a poor girl attending a boarding school
(in the 1930s?). As she comes from a family of dyers, her hands are perpetually black
(or 青 or 紫 or 蓝色的), which "marks" her as a social outsider within the group. Of
course, this being modern Chinese literature, the ending is *not* happy. A very
good read, though it's been (linguistically) tough.

Worked on the ChinesePod lesson about 路边摊 的小吃。

Did two HSK5 mock tests, 听力 part only: got a paltry 24/45, and then a humiliating
16/45, which probably corresponds to my real current level. Ah well. The mean of my
three mock tests is 23,66/45. Now I have a point of comparison to check whether there's
any improvement in 6 months or 1 year. By the way, if I want to improve my listening
comprehension, I'd imagine that doing reading/listening exercises with the HSK5 audio
files and transcripts is the way to go. So I may not hide my two HSK5 mock test books
in a dark cupboard just yet.

Reviewed vocab: Anki decks (HSK4 and 5 deck; character deck), Skritter queue
(characters), Pleco (random vocabulary).

FI


In LWT, I reviewed my vocab queue and read a short article from Selkouutiset about
ehkäisypillereistä, jotka ovat ehkä vaarallisia naisten terveydelle.

LA

In LWT reviewed the vocab and read a bit more of "De sancti Alexii filii Euphemiani
imperatoris", from the "Gesta Romanorum".

Gesta Romanorum (Wikipedia).

And I also read nuntios de ultimo Turcarum gubernatoris monitu in Ephemeris.

Edited by lorinth on 14 June 2013 at 4:39pm

1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3139 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 87 of 408
15 June 2013 at 9:36am | IP Logged 
ZH

Started rereading 萧红's 手.

Reason #1: I can now read it almost exclusively for pleasure. It's a great short story.

Reason #2: reading it again after 3/4 days makes for perfect spaced repetition. I can
review my vocab and understand many things that were not clear.

Reason #3: being able to read smoothly, without being interrupted by vocabulary
searches and head scratching, is a great feeling. A glimpse of what I'd like to
achieve.

Did the usual vocabulary drills: Anki decks (HSK4 and 5 deck; character deck), Skritter
queue (characters), Pleco (random vocabulary).

FI

In LWT, I imported and read an article about the renewed interest for bicycles in
Italia. For once I tapped into selkosanomat.fi, where articles tend to be longer and
more difficult then in selko uutiset.

--

Reinstalled flash on my Android phone and, bingo, Skritter now seems to work. So I have
one more reason to switch from Anki to Skritter for studying characters.

Edited by lorinth on 15 June 2013 at 9:37am

1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3139 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 88 of 408
18 June 2013 at 9:25am | IP Logged 
Finished rereading 萧红's 手.

--

Read (twice) a very short story called 《炊烟》, written by 阿城.

Very short, but amazing. The first half is idyllic. The second part is abruptly
horrific, as it plunges the reader in the times of the famine caused by the 大跃进
(Great Leap Forward).

--

Listened a bit more to the podcast about 路边摊.

Lost my time browsing the net to find audio versions of Chinese novels I like, in order
to practice L-R. Only found dead links.

Tried to read the transcript of a podcast about 生活不如意者报复社会 (unsatisfied people
who take revenge on society
). But I could not concentrate and dropped in the
middle. I may try again.

Daily vocabulary chores with Anki (HSK4 and 5 deck; character deck), Skritter
(characters) and Pleco (random vocabulary).


1 person has voted this message useful



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