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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 3545 days ago

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

 
 Message 65 of 118
11 November 2014 at 5:39pm | IP Logged 
Two updates in one day!

After a little over 10 hours of tedious and time-consuming subtitle editing I managed to produce one episode / anki deck for Ti Amo (a Taiwanese drama). I've counted 4 hours of this toward the 6 Week Challenge, because I did some really, really, really difficult intensive listening to get everything lined up correctly. Along with a lot of searching for characters. Luckily most of the dialogue starts with characters I already know (he, it, you, 1-100, etc) probably would have only taken a couple of hours if any of the subtitles or durations lined up, but they didn't because I've got the video and the sub-titles form different sources.

But it is DONE! I can start doing some subs2srs reps now in Mandarin, and next time I'll be using something easier like a DVD from Amazon. I would however like to get all of the SayIt show into anki but they have subtitles on screen ... Guess I'm a glutton for punishment.

:)

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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 66 of 118
16 November 2014 at 12:50pm | IP Logged 
My Mandarin seems to be going well? It is difficult for me to judge but I seem to be retaining things, and I recognise more words when watching films in Mandarin.

Update on the 6 week challenge. At this point @RRDearman now has rank 16(21.32h) on target-language hours and rank 28 on total hours spent language-learning.

During the challenge I've been fairly consistent doing 1.5 hours of Pimsleur per weekday and I've completed the first course (30 lessons, I repeated lessons frequently). My plan now is to try to do 2 hours per day; 1 hour during commute to work, one hour on return. I'm thinking I will re-do the first course in the morning, and do the second course during the evening. So basically 2 lessons from course 1 in the morning as a refresher, then 2 lessons from course 2.

As described earlier I've repeated all of the lessons on the first course at least twice by doing lesson patterns like: day one (lesson 1,2,3) day two (lesson 2,3,4), etc. I'm not smart enough to understand everything on the first pass so this has taken me a long time.

I did a long, 2.5 hour, torture session with Anki yesterday to try and get my "basic hanzi" deck backlog down to a reasonable amount. I created this deck from a collection of books (methods described earlier) and it has 3141 cards and I've not even made a dent in it, but I still have another 2 years so hopefully it will get easier. I believe learning the writing system is a difficult but nessesary step, so if it turns anki into a torture machine until I can move on to basic reading then so be it.

I'm fairly happy with the Ti Amo cards which I made with the subs2srs software. I've made some French video cards as well and these seem to be better than the ones I have for Ti Amo. The problem is not having good Mandarin subtitles. However I have now got a DVD of "Xi you xiang mo pian" (Journey to the West) which has English & Mandarin subtitles. This should be much easier for me to change into an Anki deck. There is the additional benefit of being able to use the link EMK gave to convert characters to pinyin in subtitles. Hopefully I can make cards with English/hanzi/pinyin on them using subs3srs. Otherwise I'll just have to make a mixture of English/hanzi and English/pinyin.

I've recently discovered how to put 4-5 subtitles on the screen at the same time after a little email exchange with Nikolaj Lynge Olsson, the author of Sub Edit. I posted instructions on EMK's Spanish Experiment thread but I'll repeat them here (mostly for my sake so I don't have to find them again!)

Open "Sub Edit"

1) Open L1 file.
2) Click Tools->Append Subtitle...
3) Select L2 file
4) If the second file is already in synch with the video just click OK. This will append the second language to the bottom of the file, but keep the timings so it runs concurrently.
4.a) Repeat if you want more than 2 languages
5) Change the format to Sub Station Alpha
6) Right Click on the subtitles and select "Sub Station Alpha Styles"
7) Setup two different styles, colours etc for L1 & L2. You can position them at in 9 different places, with 4 different colours, fonts, etc. You can export the styles to a file so that you've always got them.
8) Return to main screen and set the L1 style to the L1 half of the subtitles, and set L2 style to the L2 part.
9) Save as a .ssa file and play in VLC or other media player.

This will let me watch the movie with all three on the screen in different colours.

EDIT: I've noticed that it is easier if you change to substation alpha format in step 2 rather than step 5. :)

Edited by rdearman on 16 November 2014 at 2:15pm

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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 67 of 118
11 December 2014 at 12:35pm | IP Logged 
Other than continuing with ANKI I have done zero work with Mandarin this month. The disruption in my schedule has made it difficult if not impossible to work. I hope to get back into gear in January.
1 person has voted this message useful



liam.pike1
Groupie
Australia
Joined 2063 days ago

84 posts - 122 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Esperanto, French

 
 Message 68 of 118
11 December 2014 at 2:27pm | IP Logged 
Good luck man, keep up the good work. I have huge respect for people who attempt to learn such languages as
Mandarin, as an incredible amount of effort, discipline, and dedication would be needed in order to learn the
language properly.
The only language that I ever learnt at school was Mandarin, and I never learnt a word of it. I do however wish that
we had good teachers, as this language would be the most useful for me to know a bit of (there's more Chinese
people where I am than there are in China!).

Best wishes

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 69 of 118
11 December 2014 at 4:34pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the encouragement. :)

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 70 of 118
29 December 2014 at 7:22pm | IP Logged 
Well, I haven’t been updating this as well as I should. I have managed to complete the first course of Pimsleur and I've now loaded the transcript for the second course into ANKI and I'm cutting up the audio into flashcards. I plan to listen to the disks while I'm working or walking the dog so hopefully I'll be back on track soon.

After the holidays I'm hoping to get into more of a habitual study rather than the hit-and-miss anki work I've been doing so far.

All of my language studies have suffered heavily because I'm no longer commuting. That time was forced on me, so I made best use of it, now however I've not cut up a slot for study. My plan is to carve out set blocks of time for language study in the new year.


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shk00design
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2753 days ago

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

 
 Message 71 of 118
30 December 2014 at 9:12pm | IP Logged 
liam.pike1 wrote:
The only language that I ever learnt at school was Mandarin, and I never learnt a word of it. I do
however wish that we had good teachers, as this language would be the most useful for me to know a bit of (there's
more Chinese people where I am than there are in China!).


Don't forget we actually spend more time outside the classroom. I know 2 people who took Latin, French & German
in school. I don't remember they were fluent in any of these languages until later when they ended up living and
working in Europe. As far as I am concerned, just spending time in class with students who are no more native than
you are when it comes to conversation is not going to be helpful. Once class is over, we all revert back to English or
the language we are comfortable with.

Personally, I learned to rework my schedule that every week I would spend certain amount of time browsing over
Chinese news articles online from Hong Kong for articles of interest. And I would spend certain amounts of time
watching TV programs and listen to radio broadcasts. I don't usually pick up all the words & phrases but enough that
I can get the context of the conversation.

The other day while listening to the local Chinese radio station, there was a discussion (a listeners phone-in show).
The topic wasn't obvious because the discussion started 5 minutes earlier. You pick up certain keywords like 圣诞
(Shèngdàn) so the topic has something to do with Christmas. And the next keyword is 法定 (fǎdìng) or something
established by law as in 法定假期 (fǎdìng jiàqī) or a holiday set by law. You come to the conclusion that fǎdìng jiàqī
must be referring to "statutory holiday". And more keywords started showing up in the discussion: 耶稣 Yēsū (Jesus),
毛泽东 Máo Zédōng (Chairman Mao), 韶山 Sháoshān (the hometown of Mao) & 孔子 Kǒngzǐ (Confucius). We know
Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ so Jesus ties in with Christmas. But what about Chairman Mao and
Confucius?

Apparently someone in China started an online discussion why the Chinese should celebrate Christmas because it is
a religious holiday for Christians. As Chinese, they should rally for holidays to commemorate their historical figures
such as Confucius, Chairman Mao and even Dr. Sun Yat-sen. You start listening to people phoning in to contribute
their ideas and you start to connect the dots.

The other day I was at a Christmas party. There were at least 4 people in the group who took piano lessons and
passed their Gr. 6 conservatory exam. In the room was a 76-keyboard for the kids who are taking piano lessons. Not
a single person volunteer to "embarrass" himself / herself playing even 1 simple song. As a member of a local band,
I am the only person in the party who can play "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" from memory. People tend to think
of themselves as students. They go to class and pick up knowledge from of a teacher. Once they are out of class,
learning stop. Speaking a foreign language like playing music is not only what you do in front of a teacher but what
you are able to do with others. In the case of music, you get 1 person on a piano and another on violin and you have
a duet. With 2 people speaking the same language, you have a conversation.

Edited by shk00design on 30 December 2014 at 9:16pm

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 72 of 118
31 December 2014 at 4:09pm | IP Logged 
After having spent almost the entire month of December doing nothing but my Anki Decks, I decided to watch an episode of SayIt Say It! 2 好好说慢慢讲2 《夜生活 Night Life》Last Episode and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of words and characters I knew. I guess my mind really has been taking in all that stuff.

I'm on the lookout for a DVD in Mandarin now with good English & Mandarin subtitles here in the UK, something I'd be willing to watch and subs2srs the whole thing. I'm loading the second course of Pimsleur Mandarin into my anki decks, so hope to make some more progress with that. I've also decided to load all the "measure" words into ANKI for review, since they are a more limited subset.

I've also taken up running and I've decided to listen to audiobooks in French & Italian, and Pimsleur Mandarin while jogging. (If I can hear anything over the sound of my own wheezing and coughing.


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