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Lorinth’s log - 劳伦的博客

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

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

 
 Message 281 of 408
14 March 2014 at 2:47pm | IP Logged 
Happy birthday to my log and thanks to all of you for reading, commenting and supporting.

I hope I can take some time, in the coming days, to reflect on the evolution of my language learning by using my posts of 1 year ago as a baseline.
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 282 of 408
17 March 2014 at 2:35pm | IP Logged 
I took the Chinesepod intermediate level test again. Score: 72%, i.e. only slightly
better than 7 months ago (67%). However, 3 dictation exercises were correct except for
the punctuation and at least 2 other sentences just contained a typo - I had
understood correctly. Than again, there were probably such typos in the previous
exercise. Anyway, not excellent, not bad either.

I worked on a few intermediate Chinesepod lessons, about buying furniture online,
receiving furniture at home and upgradings apps on a smartphone.

I went on reading my textbook for 3rd graders. Many of the texts are actually quite
interesting : those about history or science for instance. It gives the (false)
impression that I'm following the same path as Chinese kid and, hence, that I may end
up just as literate as they are. Except that they have 24/24 7/7 immersion for years.
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 283 of 408
20 March 2014 at 10:18am | IP Logged 
On Jandan, I read an article about the observation of 引力波 (gravition waves) and the contribution of this to the 大爆炸理论 (Big Bang theory)

Link

I continued reading my textbook for 3rd graders. Here comes the part where the education authorities instill the love of some peripheral areas that have been or still are disputed, or were recovered by the 祖国 relatively recently.

I listened to/reread 一张旧花儿 (ChineseBreeze series). From a “literary” point of view, this must be one of the worst in the series, with plenty of unlikely events following each other with no attempt to find any semblance of plausibility.

I worked on the 慢速中文 podcast about 雾霾 and on two ChinesePod podcasts, one about a kid going to school for the first time and another one about the different sorts of paperware you can purchase.
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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 284 of 408
20 March 2014 at 4:48pm | IP Logged 
How do you work with Chinese Breeze? Only listening? I'm planning on starting 'I really
need to find her' but I'm afraid it may be over my head.
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 285 of 408
21 March 2014 at 9:31am | IP Logged 
ZH

I did an interesting experiment. I listened (again) to an upper intermediate ChinesePod podcast (about foreigners looking for a 寄宿家庭 in China) and found out (again) that I understood almost nothing. Than I loaded the podcast into Audacity and started listening very attentively, looping through most sentences and occasionnally slowing down some parts. Finally, I was able to understand and even transcribe most of the podcast. Which shows (again) that my main problem is a lack of decoding speed in my listening comprehension.

I watched 贾樟柯's first movie, called 小武 (“Pickpocket”), the sad story of a petty thief who's out of step both with his rapidly changing provincial town and with its traditionalist/patriarcal family. While old comrades sense the winds of change and switch to making shady business, he is left behind and ends up a scapegoat during a clampdown on crime. The colors and the sound of the movie are powerful, the non-professional actors are superb. There are many similarities with 三峡好人, including the (literal) demolition of communist era China in order to build something new, with many people feeling disoriented and ending up left behind. No 汉字 subtitles, so I could only make guesses about the supposed parallelism between the spoken Chinese and the English subs.

LA

One of the kids had a homework about the love story between Jupiter and Io, and what happened to poor Argus afterwards. I was glad to help her by rereading that story in Latin in Miraglia's wonderful Fabulae Syrae, and by translating orally while she was taking notes.
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lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

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

 
 Message 286 of 408
21 March 2014 at 10:06am | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
How do you work with Chinese Breeze? Only listening? I'm planning on starting 'I really
need to find her' but I'm afraid it may be over my head.


I started reading the level 1 books after I had learnt Mandarin for a few months and had maybe 300-500 characters under my belt. At the beginning, it was very slow but the hard work was compensated by the joy of actually reading a story in Chinese and I still remember the pride and happiness I felt, one winter night, when I actually finished my first Chinese 'book' - can't remember which one it was in the Chinese Breeze series.

After that, I read all of the level 1 books and all of the level 2 books. There was no level 3 at the time. Some of the stories were really lousy but, in my book, even a cheesy Chinese Breeze story is more interesting than any textbook. My reading speed gradually improved and, by the time I opened the last level 2 books, I could read them pretty fast and use the method I still use today: I read intensively/analytically until I have added 15-25 unknown words to my daily lists of vocab. Then, I read extensively, I only look up words when it's necessary and I don't actively try to remember them.

I don't remember what method I used at the time, but I suppose that, for the first few books, it involved quite a lot of dictionary lookups. It's unavoidable at the beginning. However, if you read all books in the series, the need to look up words will decrease (except for that vocab which belongs specifically to each story) and you will see the same characters/words many times, which will cement your knowledge. So I believe such readers have the perfect format: short enough to be manageable for newbies, long enough to give a relatively interesting story and reinforce your basic vocabulary. But I believe you really should read lots of those readers to benefit fully from the extensive reading experience and see your reading ability improve.

One last thing. Back then, I didn't use the audio CDs. At the time, I naively thought that listening comprehension would somehow magically follow the progress of my reading abilities. Big mistake. I should have worked more and sooner on my listening comprehension. It's OK, maybe even normal, if there's some gap between what you can read and what you can listen to: you can understand a spoken message only if you know all or almost all of the words and can decode them instantly. As I use mostly reading material to learn words, I have to expose myself to a lot of reading at level X before I can hope to understand a spoken message at the same level. However, in my case, I let the gap grow so much that I feel forced to listen now to those readers I read 3-4 years ago.
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Crush
Tetraglot
Senior Member
ChinaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4742 days ago

1622 posts - 2299 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Mandarin, Esperanto
Studies: Basque

 
 Message 287 of 408
22 March 2014 at 6:09pm | IP Logged 
It's funny because it seems my listening ability far outpowers my reading ability. I have no trouble listening to/understanding the Upper-Intermediate levels at ChinesePod, whereas reading books is painfully slow for me (i've been reading 撒哈拉的故事 every day for almost a month now). I guess we took different approaches and kinda ended up on opposite ends of the spectrum. Though your vocabulary is definitely much larger than mine, i imagine with a little bit of practice your listening will quickly improve.
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 288 of 408
22 March 2014 at 8:52pm | IP Logged 
Hello Crush, yes, I know that, for some people, it is easier to develop their listening
comprehension than their reading comprehension. To me, it seems almost miraculous: when
you read something, you get to choose the speed, you can reread, lookup vocab, etc.
When you listen, you don't get to choose the speed, you seldom have the luxury of
repetition (with people you can, but not with the radio) and you have no time to look
up words. But to each one his own.

Now that I think of it, I don't remember having had this "gap" problem while learning
Spanish, English or Dutch. On the other hand, I had this problem while learning
Finnish: at a time when I could read fairly complicated articles about a specific
subject, I was unable to understand a human voice talking about the same subject. In
Chinese, it's even worse. Maybe it has something to do with the linguistic distance
between my mother tongue and the other languages I know, on the one hand, and Finnish
and Chinese on the other hand (zero cognates, a radically different phonology as far as
Chinese is concerned, a radically different morphology as far as Finnish is concerned,
etc).

By the way, I haven't read 撒哈拉的故事 (yet) but, as far as I know, it's not exactly
newbie level literature either. So reading that book will probably be as slow for me as
it is for you. However, as you have no problem understanding upper intermediate
podcasts, it shows that there is no such gap between what you can understand in writing
and while listening. My personal objective is to make that gap narrower.



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