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Lorinth’s log - 劳伦的博客

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

 
 Message 353 of 408
28 December 2014 at 5:50pm | IP Logged 
Same exercice as in post 352, with another podcast from the same "slow chinese" site about 城管。

Link

Once loaded into WorkAudioBook, the podcast is divided into 48 segments.

- 1st pass: listening "cold"

27 sentences are tagged as hard (56.2%)
10 sentences are tagged as medium (20.8%)
11 sentences are tagged as easy (22.9%)

Very disappointing result. At this stage, I'm still unsure what the podcast is all about, because I did not understand some key words. The result is even lower than in the previous experiment. At that time, the proportion of easy sentences (55%) was a rough estimate, though. In addition, there are many parts of medium or even hard sentences that I do understand.


- 2nd pass: as I was unsure what the main point of the text was, I looked at the title of the transcript. Than listened again without pausing. Results:

19 sentences are tagged as hard (39.5%)
8 sentences are tagged as medium (16.6%)
21 sentences are tagged as easy (43.75%)

- 3rd stage: looping through sentences without looking at the transcript

4 sentences are tagged as hard (8.3%)
5 sentences are tagged as medium (10.4%)
39 sentences are tagged as easy (81.25%)

Now that's more like it. Again, there are bits of medium and even hard sentences that I do understand, so overall I have the feeling that my understanding is acceptable and useful (i.e. I can enjoy the podcast and learn stuff about China in addition to learning the language).

- 4th stage: transcript of the bits I don't understand

= 在路边、火车站或者旅游jing2dian2 bai2tan1 卖东西。

A dictionary lookup shows that jing2dian2 is wrong. Could it be 景点 jing3dian3 (scenic spots)? After checking the transcript, yes it is.

bai2tan1 is almost correct, as a dictionary lookup reveals 摆摊 bai3tan1 (to set up a vendor's stall in the street).

= 完成任务. That's what I was hearing, and I was pretty sure I was understanding the meaning, but I'd never seen that expression, so I had to check.

= 小贩觉得收到 wu1ru4 也会和城管 ping3ming2. Here both words are wrong. The correct sentence is 小贩觉得受到侮辱 (wu3ru3),也会和城管拼命 (pin1ming4)。 Yuck, my transcription was horribly wrong.

= 于是 chong1du1 就一次又一次得爆发了。 The correct sentence was: 于是,冲突 chong1tu1 就一次又一次地爆发了. Again, my transcription was wrong. At least, the tones were correct.

= gui1gen2jie2di4. I didn't know that expression. In context, I understood the meaning but, again, my transcription was completely off, it's 归根结底 gui1gen1jie2di3 (in the final analysis)

= 城管还参与 chai1chu2 wei2zhan4 jian4zhu 等任务. The correct sentence was: 城管还参与拆除 chai1chu2 违章 wei2zhang1 建筑 jian4zhu4 等任务。 My hearing was correct for the first word, wrong for the second (tone + confusion between -an and -ang) and close enough for the third word.

= 在 chai1chu2 的 xian4chang3 同样发生了很多很多的悲剧. I had heard correctly in both cases: 拆除 and 现场. I should have understood the sentence, as I'm pretty sure I've already studied these words, to one extent or another.

= 完全不在乎老百姓的 shen1ci. Whoa, it should have been 生死 sheng1si3 (life or death). Wrong again.

CONCLUSION

The results I had noticed during the first experiment are confirmed. My main problem is not vocabulary (for texts at that level) but:

1. Phonology: I'm mishearing tones, certain initials (ji- vs ti-) and - that's new - I'm not hearing the difference between -an/-ang, -en/-eng, etc. very well.

2. Decoding speed: looping through sentences makes me understand many many sentences that were opaque on first hearing.

Edited by lorinth on 28 December 2014 at 10:46pm

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lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 2383 days ago

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

 
 Message 354 of 408
07 January 2015 at 10:19am | IP Logged 
Dear 2015,

Nice to meet you. I hope we can do some good work together in the coming months. Yet, I
have two things to tell you that may disappoint you, dear 2015.

First, I will not be participating in any challenge named after you. I tried that last year
and I failed miserably: I have prohibitive time constraints and the time I can devote to
language learning is limited. Hence, meeting the challenges I set for myself is hard enough
that I will not add group challenges. I hope you can forgive that.

Second, I am sorry to warn you that the coming months will be boring: my best tool is
routine, the daily repetition of small activities that, I hope, will imperceptibly bring me
to the next level in Chinese. What is more, there will be very few changes in the routine
compared with that of last year, i.e.:

- Getting input: reading (a lot) and listening. However, I will try to go on practicing
even more focussed and intensive listening, with language I can make less and less opaque
because I have a transcript (e.g. for podcasts) or subtitles (e.g. for movies or shows).

- Studying vocabulary: as in the past months (years?), I will go on collecting a small
daily amount of vocab while reading and listening, that I will look up in Pleco and add to
lists that I will review every day. I will go on using Skritter to study isolated
characters. I may add an Anki deck produced with sub2srs to study a show for which I have a
transcript (奋斗).

- As for output I may try to add routine italki sessions, to make things more lively and
not forget that a language is basically a tool for socializing with real life forms who
"slap or flap meat to make noise".

Link

Now, I am aware that there is nothing glorious or revolutionary in there, and that you may
be disappointed, dear 2015, but together we will try to preserve a mindset in which every
little step is consciously turned into an enjoyable experience while it's taken - and a
small victory when it has been taken.

That's it, dear 2015. Today, the weather you offer is cold, yet sunny, and I take that as a
form of approval from you. So here we go.

Best regards,
1 person has voted this message useful



yuhakko
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FranceRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 355 of 408
07 January 2015 at 7:33pm | IP Logged 
I guess 2015 will be rather happy to receive such a card as you're telling him (her?)
that you're going to continue working hard and stay consistent.

Anyway, good luck for this new year.

And just so you know, even your so-called "boring" posts are full of small interesting
insights ;)
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lorinth
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Belgium
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 Message 356 of 408
08 January 2015 at 10:39am | IP Logged 
Thanks for your comment, yuhakko. Sometimes, it does feel kind of lonely around here, so
it's reassuring to know that someone is finding something useful in my log.

So, for what it's worth, here's a note about the process I've followed to wean myself from
textbooks. Maybe that happened too soon, perhaps I shouldn't have done it at all, but at
the start of 2012, I made a conscious decision to stop using Chinese material designed for
learners (textbooks, readers...) and to start reading "native material". In practice, I
made an exception for abridged versions of longer novels and for translations of books I'd
already read in another language.

Leaving out comics (of which I've read only a handful), news items (I've read countless of
them), isolated random texts and aborted books (i.e. in many many cases, I've read anywhere
between 1 to 25 pages of a book before admitting it was too hard for me), here's a
chronological list of the books/novels/novellas I've read in Chinese since 2012:

2012
- 《许三观卖血记》(novel) by 余华
- 《小王子》 (translated novella) , by de Saint-Exupéry
- 《圈子圈套 I》(novel), by 王强
- 《哈利•波特 I》 (translated novel), by J. K. Rowling
- 《活着》 (novel), by 余华

2013
-《黄金时代》 ( novella), by王小波
-《家》(abridged to the size of a novella), by 巴金
- 《围城》(abridged to the size of a novella), by 钱锺书
-《春》(abridged to the size of a novella), by 巴金
-《秋》(abridged to the size of a novella), by 巴金
- 《猫城记》(sci-fi novel), by老舍
- Lots of short stories, amounting to one book, I'd say.

2014
- 《鬼吹灯》(fantasy novel), by 张牧野.
- People Education Press readers for 3rd graders, ok not literature, but at least it's a
book, sort of, and designed for natives, and I've read it entirely
- 《万灵节之死》 (detective novel), by 璇儿
- 《流星•蝴蝶•剑》(wuxia novel, and the first novel I read entirely on paper, no e-reader,
no popup), by古龙
- 《撒哈拉的故事》(collection of stories. On paper as well), by 三毛
-《哈利•波特与密室》(translated novel. On paper), by J. K. Rowling

In fact, I've almost finished 《哈利•波特与密室》(only about 10 pages left). And the usual
question is: what will I read next? I know from experience that it's always hard to start a
new book, because my level is not good enough that I can just open a book and start
reading: most books are still too hard for me, and there's always an adaptation period at
the start. After that, other parameters come into play: the book might be easy, but it may
also be boring, or just bad.


Edited by lorinth on 08 January 2015 at 2:51pm

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Expugnator
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Brazil
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Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 357 of 408
08 January 2015 at 6:15pm | IP Logged 
Glad to see you will continue working on your Chinese and sharing what you do here, even if not 'annihilating anything'. yuhakko and I were just discussing about the other Mandarin members.

I've seen good progress in reading translated novels by the end of the year, though i'm still dependent on Pera-pera. I am using textbooks that are sort of readers, but I'm going to 'finish off' with those that focus on grammar, especially for production, like Modern Chinese Grammar: a practical guide. I don't feel like I'm learning that much from textbooks anymore, but what I'm certain of is that I will continue to use different sources for Chinese, and not just 10 min audio + a few pages read extensively as I do for my other languages. I believe I still need a place to get systematic vocabulary from, because there are a lot of gaps in my vocabulary.
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yuhakko
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 Message 358 of 408
09 January 2015 at 12:08am | IP Logged 
Thanks for that list of books you read! It'll be put to good use next time I buy some
books! ;)
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lorinth
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Senior Member
Belgium
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443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 359 of 408
09 January 2015 at 11:55am | IP Logged 
Thanks Expug and Yuhakko. I gave the list because it might be useful to other intermediate
learners who want to delve in Chinese literature. I think that, overal, I got it right: the
books I read really were the easiest native material a learner can find. In particular Yu Hua
really has a straightforward language (full of interesting profanities). On the other hand,
his books are harsh and depressing, so they may not be every one's cup of tea. Wang Qiang was
more complicated, but it's a gripping story so I kept on reading to know what would happen
next. Harry Potter and Le petit prince are always good options if you've enjoyed them before
in another language. The abridged versions of Ba jin and Qian Zhongshu are very well done. Gu
Long was a wonderful surprise, in that I'd never imagine I could enjoy a wuxia novel at my
level. In fact, it was one of the easiest book among those I've read (or my level may have
improved in the meanwhile...).
3 persons have voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 2383 days ago

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

 
 Message 360 of 408
13 January 2015 at 10:56am | IP Logged 
I've finished reading 《哈利•波特与密室》. I thought I might get bored after reading so many
novels and watching so many movies about Potter. In fact, I enjoyed the book and had even
forgotten some details of the plot.

Now, after reading a few pages here and there in different books, I think I'll be reading
中国民间故事 in the next few weeks, a collection of folk tales. They are supposed to be
adapted for kids, but last time I tried that book, it was too hard. It's been sitting on a
shelf ever since. Maybe now's the time. In addition, there are so many allusions scattered
all over the place about those ancient myths and stories that reading them feels like a
sort of duty when you're interested in China. This morning, while commuting, I read almost
all of the first story, about 牛郎 and 织女. I found it fairly easy, but I'd read it once
already a few months ago.

I read an article about supernovas and black holes in a science fiction magazine (科幻世界).
The experience was slow, strange, and interesting. Who would have thought?

I'm still working with Slow Chinese podcasts, with the additional task of transcribing the
parts I don't understand before I look at the transcript. The objective is to strengthen my
phonological recognition (tones, initials and finals) since I have detected many problems
in this area that hamper my listening comprehension (confusing tones, confusing initials
ji-, qi-, ti-, confusing finals in -ng and their non-nasalised counterparts, etc.). I've
also practiced dictation with tone pair drills offered by SinoSplice. I may report about
that in more details later. Let it be said that the dictation exercise only confirmed the
problems I had noticed and reported about in posts #352 and #353.


Sinosplice tone drills


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