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Mandarin: 2days,2weeks,2months,2years

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Radioclare
Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
timeofftakeoff.com
Joined 2892 days ago

689 posts - 1119 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Esperanto
Studies: Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian

 
 Message 81 of 118
09 February 2015 at 11:37pm | IP Logged 
Sorry to hear that 2015 hasn't been a good year for you so far - will keep my fingers
crossed that things start to improve!
2 persons have voted this message useful



shk00design
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2753 days ago

747 posts - 1122 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin
Studies: French

 
 Message 82 of 118
10 February 2015 at 10:27pm | IP Logged 
The problem with learning any language is getting enough exposure. What I'm finding is that I don't live in the
countries where these languages are spoken. I basically reworked my daily routine for 8 months and try
limited my TV & radio programs in English to the news. All the TV dramas I'd be watching would come from
China, Taiwan or Singapore. Once I got my listening & comprehension skills to a reasonable level, I can
slowly introduce more English programs to the mix. Watching a lot of TV isn't necessarily a bad thing as long
as you limit yourself to the programs which your target language is spoken. Like playing a difficult song on a
piano I'd work on the song a little bid each day until I get it. I would rework my schedule to allow for extra
practice time.

The other problem is a language having cognates. Languages like German or French tend to have a larger
number of similar words & phrases with English while Chinese, Japanese & Korean have far fewer. Even
after a 6 months break my French wouldn't be down to 0. I can easily say: "aujourd'hui c'est mardi" in place of
"today is Tuesday" but I'm not sure about "今天是星期二" a few months later. I'd have to keep reminding
myself everyday until I get to the point of being able to think in a language naturally & automatically without
effort. Otherwise starting from 你好 & 谢谢 the basic greetings after a break is a waste of time. I need to get
myself over the "Bonjour, comment ça va" hurdle...
3 persons have voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3545 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 83 of 118
16 February 2015 at 4:53pm | IP Logged 
--- Weekly update ---

I was going to do a breakdown per day of what I've done in Mandarin this week, but that would have just consisted of Anki cards each day and a couple of other things. So writing it out is slightly more interesting (for me anyway).

I've be doing my anki card decks, of which I have three to choose from. The first is just sentences from the book 1984 by Orwell which are less than 10 characters. This is 158 sentences, and they are all mature. The second is 3000+ characters I took from various ebooks, and various frequency lists, it has 7254 cards of which I've still got 6587 unseen! And the final deck is cards I've created from the first Pimsleur course with some transcripts I found. So this has sound, characters and sentences together and is 457 cards in total and I've got 266 mature cards.

I select one of these (or more) each day and try to do a few minutes. This is becoming more ritualised because I do it before bed each night. So I have managed to do this much more consistently.

In addition this week I've managed to watch a couple of my 'foodie' programs, like this one 舌尖上的中国(1)自然的馈赠 1/4 (a bite of china) which is a lttle harder than the Singaporean ones I've been watching because there is ZERO English, where as the Singaporean ones has some English and sometimes English sub-titles.

I love these types of programs even if I understand very little except for numbers occasionally. :)
1 person has voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3545 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 84 of 118
23 February 2015 at 5:29pm | IP Logged 
OK! Not doing to badly with making Mandarin a habit, although I failed a couple of days this week because I had to attend a funeral. But the ANKI Decks are still on the go, and I've managed a couple of Pimsleur lessons and two "foody" programs in Mandarin. I still don't feel I've made much progress, so I need to get cracking.

If anyone has any suggestions for TV shows, films, or other media I can watch online I would greatly appreciate it. I will at some point this week try to go back and all the media suggestions I've had to the first page of this thread so that people can use it as a resource.
1 person has voted this message useful



shk00design
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2753 days ago

747 posts - 1122 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin
Studies: French

 
 Message 85 of 118
23 February 2015 at 6:01pm | IP Logged 
The bottomline to learning languages is to get as much exposure as possible. I spend a lot of time on the road
and I usually take an audio device along to listen to music. When you are driving you can't watch a video but
you can still play a music CD. I listen to recordings by TF-Boys. It's a boys band from 重庆 Chongqing China
like the Spice Girls. Any kind of music with singing would be helpful since you don't always have time to go
through materials for learning words & phrases.

Recently I watched a drama series 边缘父子 "The Fringe" from Singapore about criminal gangs fighting and
innocent people caught in between. What I like about the show is that it comes in 20 episodes of about 45m
each. Within 1 1/2 weeks I am done. You can try to access it through
LeTV
tudou
Youku

I found a version on YouTube On The Fringe《边缘父
子》 Episode 1
but unfortunately this copy does not come with English subtitles or Chinese captions.

Edited by shk00design on 23 February 2015 at 6:02pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3545 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 86 of 118
08 April 2015 at 10:42pm | IP Logged 
I haven't managed to get back into the swing of Pimsleur, however I should be commuting again shortly and plan to pick up the Mandarin tapes again. Meanwhile I have watched a couple of short films in Mandarin and I've been cruising Viki in order to try and find a Mandarin TV series I can get into.

Today on the train back from London I sat with a family who were all speaking Mandarin. Actually I was sitting and they all piled in with me since it was the only vacant seats. Either way, it meant that I spent the 40 minutes of my trip eavesdropping on the conversation. Since my Mandarin is limited to a very low A1 level, I wasn't really taking much on board. I was actually just listening for any words I might recognise. I did manage to pick up the odd word, mostly numbers, question endings, and "don't know", 我不知道, or "I'm not", 我不是. Of course in no way did I actually understand the conversation, but I did enjoy trying to get some practice in. I was doing this while trying to read a book in French, so I gave up the French straight-away.

I find it interesting that if I were reading a book in English, my native language, I could probably have read the book and picked up the odd Mandarin word. But because French isn't my native language, or perhaps just because I still have to work at French comprehension I had to stop reading.

I've picked up the Anki decks again and I've started to plug away at them. I cannot help but feel that I made a mistake jumping into Mandarin while still trying to complete the Super Challenge in two other languages. But in for a penny, in for a pound, as the saying goes. I'm still not confident enough to speak to a native, but just sitting with this family today and feeling that I could say something they would understand felt really good. Even if I wasn't brave enough to actually do it!

1 person has voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3545 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 87 of 118
20 April 2015 at 12:19pm | IP Logged 
Hello,

Well I haven't been as good at working with the Mandarin as I was last year, but I have picked up a steady pace again this week. I've started to listen to the first series of Pimsleur again, and I've done a couple of them so far. I was well into the second series before, but after my long lapse I've had to go back and restart. However it is coming back easily and I'm progressing better. I can just listen to it once and move on, rather than repeating X number of times each lesson.

I've tried to access some of the shows people have suggested but with no luck. Anyone know a good cartoon series I can watch in Mandarin. I'd be interested in something like The Last Airbender (but not that one specifically) just something anime which I can get the sub-titles to in English & Mandarin. I want to make myself some sub2srs cards like I've done for French.
1 person has voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3545 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 88 of 118
27 April 2015 at 1:43pm | IP Logged 
I have managed to do some work with Mandarin this week, although not as much as I would have liked. However the finish of the super challenge is looming and I still have 100 books to read in French & Italian! However in Mandarin I have been working on characters. I've gone back to basics this week and I've been writing 5 characters by hand about 20-30 times each. This is helpful and I've got a list of common words with stroke orders included. This is obviously very helpful for retention.

I've listened to a couple of Pimsleur lessons and managed to watch a couple of cartoons in Mandarin. When I first began learning French I found a great cartoon called Valérian and Laureline, and I got all 40 episodes without sub-titles and watched them all 4-5 times. I'm trying to find a similar cartoon in Mandarin, but only seems to be a lot of Japanese anime dubbed over. I would prefer an original Chinese series, but I really cannot stomach the lovey:dovey soap operas available on Viki.

I have also discovered a very good beginners show on CCTV called Growing Up With Chinese which has a lot of interesting content, mostly targeted at teenagers, but I'm a teenager at heart, so it is ok. (I'm 50 if your curious).

I watched (On The Fringe《边缘父子》 Episode 1) as shk00design suggested and it was ok, there are a couple of other episodes on YouTube so I'll watch them. Obviously at the moment I understand about 0%. I do like the Singapore TV shows. I might have to try and find more.

EDIT:
Just wanted to add that I'm going to go back to watching some "foodie" shows in Mandarin."

Edited by rdearman on 27 April 2015 at 3:17pm



1 person has voted this message useful



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