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Lorinth’s log - 劳伦的博客

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 4043 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 225 of 408
04 February 2014 at 7:28pm | IP Logged 
How did you get it as an e-book? Is it really easy to look up words in the epub format?
(I have iBooks). How do you look up words with more than 1 character?
2 persons have voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

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

 
 Message 226 of 408
04 February 2014 at 9:51pm | IP Logged 
Hello Expugnator, I created my own e-book from an online version. At first, I saved it
in HTML and then, with a programme called Calibre, I converted the book into a *.mobi
file. Then I noticed that my e-book reader of choice (Moon+ Reader on Android) manages
*.txt files equally well, with notes, bookmarks, lookup and all, so I no longer bother
with conversions. Note that Moon+ Reader also reads *.epub, so I suppose you could use
that format too.

For lookups, Moon+ Reader is designed to work with an external programme: I use
GoldenDict, which can read lots of different dictionary formats, among which the freely
available Stardict dictionaries. For each lookup, results from 4 different
dictionaries are displayed (ZH-ZH; ZH-EN; ZH-FR; and a custom made dictionary that
consists in a simple list of all HSK words - if the word I'm looking up *is* included
in the HSK list, I know I really should try to learn it in priority).

Moon+ Reader does not manage Chinese characters very well, so when you select some text
(by tapping on the screen), a portion of a sentence is selected by default. You have to
adjust the selection with the tip of the finger, which sometimes requires some
precision. But you can select one or more characters, no problem. I often select entire
sentences to copy and paste them into Pleco as flashcards, so I can review them later.

To find an online version of the book, there's a dedicated thread on chinese-forums:

Link

Search for a thread named "Reading 鬼吹灯 - pulpy supernatural fiction"

However, lately, the link to the online version has been down more often than not.

There are other online versions, though. And, as the text is freely available on the
net, I suppose it would not be illegal for me to send a txt or a mobi version if you so
wish.

Edited by lorinth on 04 February 2014 at 9:56pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

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

 
 Message 227 of 408
06 February 2014 at 3:22pm | IP Logged 
Thanks to my time tracking app (Gleeo), I now know that I'm *not* reaching my objective of listening to 10 hours of Chinese per week: only 7 hours and 8 minutes in the past seven days - most of which was just background listening anyway and hence, arguably, more or less worthless. Note though that during "background" listening sessions, there are many intermittent moments when I do listen more carefully, when there's a sentence or a word that draws my attention during anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Anyway, I certainly have to devise new strategies to listen more, and more carefully.

My main problem, of course, is the limited time available for studying languages. But I should be able to find new ways to fill my "time bottle". Next week will be atypical, as I will have more free time in the evening, so I intend to spend more time practicing active listening.
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

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

 
 Message 228 of 408
08 February 2014 at 8:33pm | IP Logged 
I watched the second part of 王兵's 铁西区. It becomes nastier: all workers are laid off.
Those who were working in the lead foundry all suffer from lead poisoning and are sent
to an hospital where sanitary conditions are, to put it mildly, substandard. One of
the workers drowns while fishing in a dirty pond. However, I'm not describing with
enough subtlety the courage and the apetite for life of these people. Just watch the
movie for yourself and make your own opinion.

The spoken mandarin in the movie is almost totally opaque, unfortunately.

I also worked on two Chinesepod intermediate lessons about the infamous 红包 and a 家庭聚
会。The latter could also be referred to as "infamous", but that's a matter for debate.

I"ve contibued reading 鬼吹灯.
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

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

 
 Message 229 of 408
09 February 2014 at 2:11pm | IP Logged 
And now for a little controversy. I've always wanted to know how to say "F*** the EU"
in Chinese. Answer: “去你妈的欧盟。”. When you have friends like that, you don't need
ennemies :-)   After that they can complain all they want that “这是俄罗斯间谍活动的又一次下
作之举。”, when you know what the NSA has been doing these last few years, it's a funny
case of the US getting a taste of their own medicine: "因为 窃听 外国 领导人一连数月饱受 抨击
的 奥巴马 政府 如今 发现 自己 竟然成了被 窃听的一方". Score: Russia: 1 /EU-USA (and Ukraine): O.

Article

Yesterday, I've watched 陈木胜's 新少林寺。 Overall a good movie, with plenty of action
and some humour. It's yet another Shaolin story, set in the warlord era of republican
China. Evil Chinese warlords, manipulated by even more greedy Europeans and helped by
fighters who (as far as I can guess) definitely look like Manchus, gut each other to
amass wealth and power, until one of them (刘德华) becomes a monk and starts helping
those who he'd been oppressing up to then.

One of the best moment is the scene where the cook monk (excellent 成龙) of Shaolin,
who refuses to admit he knows any kungfu, resists an invasion with a bunch of kid monks
and treats the invaders just like he would prepare some dough or fry vegetables in a
pan.

I've watched with subtitles, but there were many moments when I thought that the
language was relatively understandable. I should rip the sound track to mp3 and try to
listen to it.
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

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

 
 Message 230 of 408
10 February 2014 at 9:03am | IP Logged 
I spent one hour working intensively on a talk show called 锵锵三人行.

There's a great presentation of the show on chinese-forums, with everything you will need to understand it:

link

With the wonderful Swiss army knife called Audacity, I could cut bite-size extracts, fade in, fade out, slow down difficult bits without changing the pitch of the voices, insert silence where all guests were speaking at the same time, cut off short extracts to make sentence-sized mp3, listen in loops, etc.

It took me about one hour to work through the first two *minutes* of the show, making sure I understood all the words in the transcript and in the conversation, and then watching again the show on Youtube.

--

At night I've watched 活着, the movie by 张艺谋, based on the novel by 余华, which I've read before.

SPOILER ALERT!

I found the movie was less brutal than the book (except for the gory scene where 徐凤霞 dies in the hospital). For instance, in the book, everybody but the narrator dies. As simple as that. The movie, however, ends on some sort of optimistic note with 徐福贵, 家珍, their step-son and grand-son, all alive in the movie, having survived their personal grief and the hardships of the wars, the Great Leap forward and the Cultural revolution, seemingly ready for a more optimistic (and more politically correct) future. Another example is that food (an abundance thereof) has a prominent place in the movie, while the book has the most horrendous famine scenes I've ever read.

The puppet theatre forms a nice thread, more so than in the book. The devotion to Mao is painted very vividly, as is 徐福贵's fear of committing a political blunder (superb acting by 葛优).

As far as I can tell, the language is realistic, especially that of 徐福贵, which means: impenetrable to me. Gong Li and the other actors speak a language that seems slightly more accessible. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles in 汉字 in my version, only FR, so it's hard to connect what I hear in Chinese to the meaning given in FR.

--

And of course, I went on reading 鬼吹灯 and studying words colelcted while reading with Pleco and characters with Skritter.

Edited by lorinth on 10 February 2014 at 9:05am

1 person has voted this message useful



Ninibo
Diglot
Groupie
Germany
Joined 2893 days ago

88 posts - 116 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 231 of 408
10 February 2014 at 9:49pm | IP Logged 
I love 锵锵三人行! I think it's great, that they have so many different topics and guests so that you can listen to people from many different parts of china. It also showed me how much non-standard speech still stumps me.
How far along are you with 鬼吹灯?
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

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

 
 Message 232 of 408
11 February 2014 at 9:51am | IP Logged 
Hello Ninibo. I also like 锵锵三人行, but I have to admit it's still way above my level. So for the moment, it's a wonderful tool to try and improve my listening comprehension, in the hope that, one day, I can just sit down, relax and watch it just for the fun... But I'm not there yet.

As for 鬼吹灯, I wasn't certain I could read it and, even if I could, I wasn't certain I would like it, but it turns out that it's an extremely enjoyable novel that teaches a ton of interesting stuff about the Chinese history, culture - and language of course. I'm not a fast reader, so I've read about 70% of the book in almost two months. If you know the book, I'm at the point where the archaeologists led by the Uyghur guide An Liman reach the magnetic 扎格拉玛山谷, deep in the Taklimakan desert.

I posted several translations of interesting extracts in chinese-forums.com. For example, I posted a new extract yesterday:

Link

Thanks for passing by!


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