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Lorinth’s log - 劳伦的博客

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Snowflake
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4824 days ago

1032 posts - 1233 votes 
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 153 of 408
20 September 2013 at 2:36am | IP Logged 
Maybe trying a larger assortment would help since there are many different types of mooncakes. Also, the recipe for the same type of mooncake can vary by brand. For instance, there's one brand I'm not fond of due to the honey taste.

Edited by Snowflake on 20 September 2013 at 2:40am

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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 154 of 408
20 September 2013 at 9:52am | IP Logged 
Let me reassure you: my first 莲蓉月饼 experience was pleasant. Although my wife decided
that they were "caloric weapons of mass destruction" and the two 蛋黄 inside were a bit
weird for us European wusses, I found the 月饼 were actually quite yummy. Forget about
the romantic experience of the rising moon, though: it was pouring rain.
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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 155 of 408
20 September 2013 at 10:25am | IP Logged 
ZH

While at the Chinese supermarket, I picked up a periodical intended for Chinese people
living in this part of Europe. So afterwards, I could read about Belgian politics in
Chinese while eating a cheeseburger and drinking a glass of a famous Danish beer, which
was slightly surrealistic but definitely interesting.

I read 巴金的《秋》(abridged version) up to chapter 18 and a half/29.

I watched/listened a short movie about 中国画 (see below).

Usual vocab stuff.

= Listening comprehension =

I've been complaining for months, maybe years, that my listening comprehension is
abysmal. I wish I could just turn on the TV or the radio and enjoy. But I can't. Most
of the time I can only catch half a sentence here and two words there. On the radio,
without the visual clues, I don't even know what they are talking about.

So I'm painfully becoming aware of two things that are probably obvious for many
people. One: listening should be one of the first building blocks when you learn a
language, maybe the first, before speaking, certainly before writing and maybe even
before reading. Two: up to now, I've acted more or less as if listening comprehension
could come "for free", as a result of performing many language-learning related
activities that are not specifically focused on listening comprehension. It doesn't
work.

Therefore, I hereby solemnly decide to devote more time to a more systematic, orderly
approach to listening comprehension. Due to lack of time I can't just "add" this to my
learning routine, I have to replace something else with listening comprehension
exercises.

My first approach will be this:

1. On week days, I have two periods of study time (commuting) which I usually devote to
reading. One of those periods will be switched to listening. I have many short Flash
films focusing on Chinese culture, with subtitles in 汉字. I could first watch them
while paying attention to the subtitles and look up unknown words, then listen as many
times as necessary to understand the voice without looking at the subtitles.

2. ChinesePod: I will use it more, but scrap the written part of my routine (see the
procedure I had put in place, in a post on page 16).

As I don't believe in epiphanies, you know, the moment when you suddenly realize that,
hey, you're watching the news in Chinese and you understand everything, I'll try to
stick to this even if no improvement is noticeable for a long time. It would be nice,
though, to have some sort of test I could take to check whether I'm progressing or not.

Edited by lorinth on 20 September 2013 at 10:26am

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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 156 of 408
22 September 2013 at 10:07am | IP Logged 
ZH

On Friday, I watched/listened a short movie about 中国茶.

I finished the ChinesePod lesson about 中秋节.

I read an article about President Putin contemplating a fourth mandate, and part of
another, very long article, about the situation in Syria. As I've already read several
articles on the same subject, I was able to read that fast, with few dictionary
lookups.

Yesterday, I had to drive quite a lot, so I had the time to work on two ChinesePod
lessons, one about a 耍猴表演 and the other about a poor girl who 把自己关在门外了 (locked
herself out).

Read 巴金 up to chapter 22/29.

Usual vocab drills with Pleco and Anki, but not time for Skritter yesterday (as is
often the case during weekends).

FI

These last few weeks I've had very little time to devote to my other languages (and it
should be worse in the foreseeable future). I've concluded a contract with myself,
according to which Mandarin has the absolute priority when time is scarce. This week,
however, I found an interesting 5 page text in Finnish about psychology. I read it very
analytically/intensively, asking questions about each word, each case, why it was used,
etc. I was reminded that's it's not only the vocabulary or, obviously, the morphology
that are difficult for us poor Indoeuropeans, but also the syntax, with all those
substitutes for subordinate clauses. A very useful, if difficult, exercice, as I was
able to review a very thorough sample of the features of that language.


Edited by lorinth on 22 September 2013 at 11:12am

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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 157 of 408
24 September 2013 at 9:23am | IP Logged 
ZH

Started work on a short movie about 中国象棋 (Chinese chess): first watch with the
subtitles, then look up unknown words (there are many in this particular case), then
watch without subtitles or listen and listen again until I understand (almost) every
detail.

Finished work on the ChinesePod podcasts about the 锁匠 and the 耍猴表演. Started
another one about 看牙。

I read 巴金的《秋》(abridged version) up to chapter 25/29.

Usual vocab drills. No more Anki though.
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cacue23
Triglot
Groupie
Canada
Joined 3164 days ago

89 posts - 122 votes 
Speaks: Shanghainese, Mandarin*, English
Studies: Cantonese

 
 Message 158 of 408
24 September 2013 at 1:32pm | IP Logged 
lorinth wrote:
Let me reassure you: my first 莲蓉月饼 experience was pleasant. Although my wife decided
that they were "caloric weapons of mass destruction" and the two 蛋黄 inside were a bit
weird for us European wusses, I found the 月饼 were actually quite yummy. Forget about
the romantic experience of the rising moon, though: it was pouring rain.


LOL, I admit I don't really like mooncakes. Most of them are just too sweet for my taste. But if it's only once a year and for celebration purposes, then I'll eat them.
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 159 of 408
26 September 2013 at 11:10am | IP Logged 
ZH

Continued working on the ChinesePod podcast about 看牙 and started another one about 出差.

I've read an article about Gibraltar and the row it's been causing between the UK and Spain. I've translated that article, to check whether the impression I had (Yippee, I can understand!) was just an illusion. I think it was not.

The article


Finished reading 巴金的《秋》(abridged version). As I said a few posts ago, I was totally engrossed in this saga. The next natural step should be to move on to the real version. The task, however, seems a bit daunting, so I'm hesitating. I may try something else first.

This morning, as I was painfully trying to decipher the first paragraph of 王强's novel 圈子圈套2, a kind woman sitting next to me in the metro gave me a folder in Chinese presenting Belgium to Chinese people, in which I learned some crucial information about the so-called French fries (it turns out they were invented in my hometown 那慕尔, of all places, in the 17th century) and the production of potatoes in Belgium.



Edited by lorinth on 26 September 2013 at 11:13am

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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 160 of 408
30 September 2013 at 3:00pm | IP Logged 
ZH

One of those phases again. A lot of work, both at home and at the office, so I've had to slow down my language learning activities drastically in the past week. In addition, although I've reduced my daily vocabulary-related chores by scrapping Anki, I've noticed a sort of vocabulary fatigue: while I usually tend to retain about 70 % of the vocab I've studied with relative ease, this week, the percentage went markedly down. In addition, I had no time for Skritter, so my vocabulary queue will be overwhelming.

Also, having finished reading the abridged versions of 巴金's trilogy, I tried several books and have not been able yet to read more than 2 pages. Tonight, I'll try to start a novella by 王小波. I've already read《黄金时代》by the same author and liked it very much.

At least, I've read several articles about current affairs, including one about Russia's discontent about Ukraine's attempt to get closer to the EU (俄罗斯不满乌克兰与欧盟建自贸区) and, entirely by chance, another very short one saying much the same about Moldova: 普京将竭力阻止摩尔多瓦与欧盟结盟 (Putin intends to prevent an alliance between Moldova and the EU).

Oh, yes, I've also worked on a silly ChinesePod podcast about a shaven dog.

I'm writing this post in the hope it will restart my language learning engine.



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