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

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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3542 days ago

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

 
 Message 25 of 118
12 September 2014 at 2:31pm | IP Logged 
I have a little update which might be useful to anyone wanting to generate a hanzi anki deck from electronic resources. I have a bunch of ebooks in Mandarin which I've been given as "mobi" files, but this would work for most other types of ebooks. You can get most of these utilities for Microsoft, and they are on the terminal of most Macs.

WARNING: Linux Stuff Ahead

Bunch of MOBI files in Mandarin, so I create a directory to store files and converted mobi's to text:
Quote:
mkdir TXT

for a in *
do
ebook-convert $a $a.txt
rm $a
cat $a >> big.txt
mv $a.txt TXT
done


Make a backup of the concatenated file.
Quote:
cp big.txt big_org.txt      


Move every character on to a line by itself.
Quote:
sed 's/\(.\)/\1\n/g' -i big.txt


Sort the file into the frequency of occurance with most frequent at top of file.
Quote:
sort big.txt | uniq -c | sort -nr > frequency.csv


This creates a file which shows the freqency of the character in the first column and the character itself in the second. I replaced the spaces with semi-colons.

Quote:
sed 's/ /;/g' -i frequency.csv


Then I had some lines with extra ; at the front of the line, so.

Quote:
sed 's/^;//g' -i frequency.csv


I had to run this a couple of times to get a clean csv file. But then I had this:

6546076 、
2005754
1871719 的
1041429 一
938119 了
841778 不
826585 是
544584 人
541245 “

Which required a bit of manual clean up. I went straight to row 3000 and deleted anything below that. This meant I didn't keep any character which had not shown up at least 717 times (in my set of files) in the file. but left me with the top 3000 most frequent characters out of 7619. I deleted the number column and saved the file as head.csv.

I then removed any punctuation or latin characters.
Quote:
sed 's/[a-zA-Z0-9]//g' -i head.csv
sed 's/[[:punct:]]//g' -i head.csv
grep -v ^$ head.csv > final.csv


Now I have "final.csv" which has 2945 unique chinese characters which showed up at least 717 times in my sample.

Now this is the list I'm going to make my flashcards from. So I use http://www.purpleculture.net/chinese-pinyin-converter/ to generate a vocabulary worksheet in excel format. But you can only have 500 characters at a time. So I removed all the newlines and split the file into 500 byte chunks
Quote:
cp final.csv > final2.csv
tr -d '\n' < final2.csv > topaste.txt
split -b 500 topaste.txt


This generated 18 files of 500 bytes. Which I opened and pasted into the vocabulary list generator on the website. This gives me 18 csv files which I put together and tidy up manually until I have this:

    泉 quán  spring (small stream); mouth of a spring; coin (archaic)
    豪 háo    grand;     ;  heroic
    魄 pò  soul; mortal soul, i.e. attached to the body
暖    㬉,煖,煗  nuǎn old variant of 暖 ; warm; to heat; genial; variant of 暖 ; variant of 暖 , warm
    佳 jiā    beautiful;   f ine; good

Now I have a lovely 2413 character spreadsheet with simplified and traditional characters, along with the pinyin and the translations. Ready for import into anki. I save the file one last time as a tab-separated csv and I'm done.

End of scary command line stuff

I hope that helps someone. If you wanted to do another language you can do it, but you have to look for "words" not "characters" like I was when splitting up your file with the sed command. Drop me a line if you want advice.

EDIT: Fixed formatting and spelling issues.


Edited by rdearman on 30 September 2014 at 11:37pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3542 days ago

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

 
 Message 26 of 118
16 September 2014 at 11:56am | IP Logged 
I'm now fully caught up with "Say It! 2 好好说 慢慢讲2" because I've watched season 1 & 2 and I'm now waiting for ep 9 to become available. I've generated a ton of anki cards and I review them daily. I found an alternative to the PinYin pronunciation tables online with a ChinesePod app for my android phone which means I can listen to them on the go.

Now that the 6 week challenge is over I'm scaling back on the Mandarin in order to concentrate on getting further ahead on the Super Challenge. The plan going forward with Mandarin is 1 hour per day with Pimsleur and ANKI deck reviews to learn Hanzi. Sprinkled with a liberal dose of native material, movies, TV, etc.

I need to find people to talk too. I need a 6 month work visa in Singapore! ANyone know how I can get a job? :)
1 person has voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3542 days ago

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

 
 Message 27 of 118
16 September 2014 at 3:51pm | IP Logged 
Forgot to say: started an online course in Mandarin today. Coursera Online Chinese Course
1 person has voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3542 days ago

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

 
 Message 28 of 118
24 September 2014 at 11:59am | IP Logged 
I had really forgotten how much I hate being a beginner language learner! You don't know anything, you can't say anything, you can't remember anything. It is a hard slog up to the point where you can speak with someone. I'm feeling very demotivated by Mandarin at the moment, haven't listened to Pimsleur in 4-5 days and Flashcards are getting to be a drag. I'm at the point of kicking myself for starting yet another language especially one which I will have even less opportunity to use. The 6 week challenge drove me to work hard, but it also burned up a lot of motivation.

I need to get some motivation back, so I'm going to ratchet back the workload, and try to increase the fun. I'm going to change the ANKI deck to 1 and only 1 new card per day for the next month or so. I'm going to listen to only 1/2 hour lesson of Pimsleur each weekday, I've just short of 20 lessons, so I'll start again at 1 and work my way back for the next month.

I'm going to pump up the fun by watching TV & movies in Mandarin. Don't care if I understand them, just let it flow over me. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and me too.

I'm going to try to find a real live person in the actual flesh to speak with. Even if I can only say a couple of fairly silly phrases.

Anyone have any recommendations for getting back the motivation?
1 person has voted this message useful



Ezy Ryder
Diglot
Senior Member
Poland
youtube.com/user/Kat
Joined 2655 days ago

284 posts - 387 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, English
Studies: Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 29 of 118
24 September 2014 at 2:11pm | IP Logged 
Well, for me progress and milestones are motivating. Although having a like-minded friend with
whom you'd like to be able to converse comfortably certainly can help, too. I always find it the
easiest to force myself to study, when I'm close to a new milestone, e.g., when I'm at, say x1xx-
x3xx words, I sometimes end up doing only the reviews, without adding any new words. And
sometimes not even that. But the last few days, 10k being within reach, I was slogging through up
to 2AM.
TL;DR Paradoxically, increasing the amount of work done daily (and by extension, progress rate)
can end up being more motivating, than working at a more comfortable pace, albeit slower.
Though of course, taking a day off as you need one might be a necessity every now and then.
2 persons have voted this message useful



smallwhite
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 3614 days ago

537 posts - 1045 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin, French, Spanish

 
 Message 30 of 118
24 September 2014 at 2:41pm | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
I had really forgotten how much I hate being a beginner language learner! You don't know anything, you can't say anything, you can't remember anything.


If you hate being a beginner, why would you want to stay a beginner for even longer, by dragging out the learning phase? Don't you shorten it instead? By, say, going for quantity over quality, or spending time on passive skills more than active skills.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 2450 days ago

949 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 31 of 118
24 September 2014 at 2:44pm | IP Logged 
Motivation can be tricky!

rdearman wrote:
I'm going to change the ANKI deck to 1 and only 1 new card per day for the next
month or so.


This is huge for me! When I get overwhelmed by language learning, it's usually because my SRS is dragging me
down. I've had Tagalog set at five new words per day for months now. I started with 20 per day, and I can
guarantee that - at that pace - I would have quite Tagalog altogether by this point. Anki is an important part of
my language learning. I do feel that I need it to retain vocabulary. But if it takes me anymore than 15 minutes per
day, I burn out.

We're all different, but personally, to stay motivated, I need to have at least some contact with a native speaker. If
I never talk to anyone, then my motivation plummets. It's really hard at the beginner level to have conversations,
so I create *really* simple questions that I practice asking and answering over and over again with a partner or a
tutor: "What's your name?" "Where do you live?" "Do you have any pets?" Setting at least one weekly Skype
meeting in advance helps keep me on track.

Good luck! Don't give up!
2 persons have voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3542 days ago

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

 
 Message 32 of 118
24 September 2014 at 2:45pm | IP Logged 
Ezy Ryder wrote:
Well, for me progress and milestones are motivating. Although having a like-minded friend with whom you'd like to be able to converse comfortably certainly can help, too. I always find it the easiest to force myself to study, when I'm close to a new milestone, e.g., when I'm at, say x1xx-x3xx words, I sometimes end up doing only the reviews, without adding any new words. And sometimes not even that. But the last few days, 10k being within reach, I was slogging through up to 2AM.TL;DR


That is food for thought. I haven't really set-up any tangible milestones, other than X amount of time per day, or Y repetitions of Pimsleur. I know what you mean, because I have done similar things in the past with goal setting and chunking things up. My old boss used to go one about the "two types of milestones" one which is countable and the other thing which can only be measured via a "cookie cutter".

The cookie cutter method is just chopping up the uncountable thing into the same size piece every time and counting those. This is what I have been doing, X number of minutes of Pimsleur, etc. Basically counting time. I do have the anki review count, so perhaps making those a target would be a useful exercise. With a little more thought I suppose I could work up some other targets, something countable like sentences, or pages of a book maybe. That is a nice bit of advice.

Ezy Ryder wrote:
Paradoxically, increasing the amount of work done daily (and by extension, progress rate) can end up being more motivating, than working at a more comfortable pace, albeit slower. Though of course, taking a day off as you need one might be a necessity every now and then.


Part of the problem I am having is anki is becoming a terrible task master. The ramp up in cards with 10 new cards per day (actually 20 because I have two decks) is becoming a huge annoying time suck. So the idea is to level off the amount of cards I'm currently looking at and try to catch up. I'm really learning/remembering only 1-2 cards each day in a deck, but anki dumps another 10 on my plate each day so it has become overwhelming.

I've some graded readers for very young children so I think I'll start reading those. Perhaps encountering the characters outside of ANKI would help lodge them in my brain.

I appreciate the advice!




1 person has voted this message useful



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