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

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smallwhite
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 3617 days ago

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

 
 Message 105 of 118
25 May 2015 at 1:24pm | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
I'm been working hard on the 6 week challenge and I've racked up a lot of hours. I managed to get up to a ranking of 5 at one point, but that was quickly overtaken.


I was one of those ____s who overtook you. I got some new ideas from our SRS debate, and couldn't wait to put them into practice. I mined some new words and revived some old flashcards, stuffed everything into Memrise, and one day I learned over 200 (Italian) words over a 24-hour period.

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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 106 of 118
25 May 2015 at 4:38pm | IP Logged 
smallwhite wrote:
rdearman wrote:
I'm been working hard on the 6 week challenge and I've racked up a lot of hours. I managed to get up to a ranking of 5 at one point, but that was quickly overtaken.


I was one of those ____s who overtook you. I got some new ideas from our SRS debate, and couldn't wait to put them into practice. I mined some new words and revived some old flashcards, stuffed everything into Memrise, and one day I learned over 200 (Italian) words over a 24-hour period.


I saw that you had rocketed past me! I'm only counting Chinese not any other language, but I'm still using your spreadsheet method for cramming more Italian words. I think it is helping with the reading. I never use memrise, since I have anki within reach at all times, on my phone, tablet, computer. I imagine that my 3 hour commute each day will let me improve my statistics. Although I'll be so sick of Pimsleur I might drive into the oncoming traffic.
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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 107 of 118
01 June 2015 at 8:55pm | IP Logged 
OK! Back to commuting, and while that has been a terrible blow to my Super Challenge statistics, it has boosted my Mandarin in the 6WC a lot. I have a 3 hour round-trip commute and 2 hours and 10 minutes of that was spent listening to Pimsleur. I'm trying to get up earlier so that I can get some stuff done before I head out for work. So I managed 30 minutes in my copybook, writing out the characters and another 10-20 minutes of Anki while walking the doggy.

I'm going to continue with the Pimsleur and I've got some other "tapes" / CD's to listen to while driving.

So I'm rocking the Mandarin, but I really need to get some conversation in at some point in the future.
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 108 of 118
08 June 2015 at 7:13am | IP Logged 
Still doing well with Mandarin because of the commuting. I continue to listen to Pimsleur in the car and I've added some DLI tapes into the mixture as well. I stay about #6 in the 6 week challenge, mostly because of Pimsleur and Anki. I have a lot of cloze deletion cards in Anki along with some others I've made from Pimsleur transcripts.

I had an opportunity to use Mandarin the other day while behind some Chinese speakers in a fast food restaurant. So I took a leaf from Moses McCormicks book and tried to speak with them in Mandarin. Obviously I didn't do very well, although they were very nice, and very encouraging to me. It boosted my confidence a little, and also showed me that Moses is right about the questions people ask. They do tend to be the same, so I need to memorise and become faster with answers to questions like; Where/How/Why are you learning Chinese? I also need to know basic stuff like; My name is ...; I live in ...

I have watched a couple of movies in Mandarin and a lot of YouTube videos. I don't understand much without sub-titles, but I use it as an exercise to pick out word boundaries and to grab the occasional word I'm familiar with.
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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 109 of 118
15 June 2015 at 8:43pm | IP Logged 
This week I've continued the Pimsleur although slowing down a little since I've stopped logging it for the 6 week challenge (which I finished around #7) and I've just cut back to 30 minutes per day while driving.

I have boosted my use of Anki by inputting a lot of phrases I've taken from the Chinese101.com website. Basically this site lets me download the phrase spoken by a native, and copy & paste the characters, the pinyin and the English translation. So I've spent the week grabbing ~250 phrases and putting them into Anki.

The thing I've done differently with this deck is that the front of the card in only the audio with the characters as a hint. The idea is this will help to improve my listening comprehension by forcing me to hear the words in Chinese without any help. The characters might give some clue when I know them (which is rare) so I'm really depending on listening comprehension for these exercises. The character hint isn't much help to be honest, but it makes me look at them and try to rack my brain to see if I can remember one or two of them in hopes of puzzling out the sentence. If nothing else it has really made me take notice of the sounds and the characters.

Audio tapes in the car and the snatched moments with anki are all I've managed to accomplish with languages for the last month and I'm begining to think the rest of the super challenge will be a write off for me. Ah well, time and tide wait for no man!


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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 110 of 118
29 June 2015 at 11:22am | IP Logged 
I've been making some slow yet steady process on Mandarin, although ANKI seems to have taken over as my prefered learning method. I've continued with Pimsleur last week, and I've continued to build up my list of sentences from the Word-a-day at Chinese101.com website. These cards just prompt me with the sentence said by a native, and the chainese characters. If I listen a couple of times and still don't know, I take a hint which shows me the PinYin. If I get it without the pinyin I mark it OK, if I get it with the hint I mark it hard, otherwise a fail.


I had an interesting experiance. I took a leaf out of Moses McCormick's book and tried to speak to someone in Mandarin. There are two ladies from Taiwan who own a small food stall in a market near me. After a conversation in English with one of the ladies I came back the next day determined to try to speak in Chinese. The lady I'd spoken to before wasn't there, but I decided to carry on with my plan since I knew this woman spoke Mandarin.

She was serving another woman and they were speaking to each other in Mandarin. When it was my turn I said: 我将有一个吧。 (I'll have that one please) and pointed at the board with the menu. She quickly began to prepare this without any ackowledgement, and I was feeling a bit saddened because she didn't respond, but she was obviously in a hurry. She completed the order for the Chinese lady who was in front of me, then while making my takeaway she turned and asked me in English if I wanted Chilli flakes. I replied: 一点儿 (a little) and she put on the chilli flakes and then handed me the box and began to ring up the price in her cash register. She stopped in the middle of punching in the price and looked confused, then she turned and looked at me with a confused look on her face and said. "Did you speak to me in Chinese?", I knodded and said: 我 会 说 一点儿. 我 说 的 不 好. (I speak a little. But not very well.)

I was very pleased because although my vocabulary is very limited, my pronounciation wasn't bad enough to make her notice anything wrong. She just naturally continued without questioning the fact I'd not spoken in English. Of course had she decided to begin talking to me I would have been quickly swamped, but at least I got a little bit of the "feel good" factor for learning.

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smallwhite
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 3617 days ago

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

 
 Message 111 of 118
29 June 2015 at 12:24pm | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
"Did you speak to me in Chinese?"


LOL. That was indeed a good sign!

I've been wondering: do you want to add me on Skype? My Mandarin isn't that good so I can only text-chat, but better than nothing I guess. Just PM me if you are interested. Other members learning Chinese are welcome to PM me, too.
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 112 of 118
06 July 2015 at 6:00pm | IP Logged 
Well, I've been having a text chat with smallwhite in Mandarin. Mostly she has been speaking to Google Translate. But I have tried to write each sentence only looking up characters when I don't know them, rather than just plugging in the English and letting Google do the heavy lifting. This has actually been a great exercise for me, since this conversation (although stilted and poor from my end) is forcing me to look up characters I wouldn't have used, and to try to find ways of expressing myself in Mandarin. So I definatly recommend taking up her offer of a text chat with smallwhite!

I'm continuing with my listening comprehension using the word-of-the-day phrases I've mentioned previously. This is helping me to distinquish word boundaries and reenforce characters. As noted before I only have the Pinyin as a hint, so I'm really going by what I can read in Characters or understand by listening. I think after I complete the cards which I've loaded at the moment, that I will change the characters field on these cards into a hint, and force myself to determine the phrase only from listening.

I haven't had an opprotunity to speak to anyone in Mandarin lately, but I'm planning on visiting my favorite pair of Taiwanise stall owners for lunch tomorrow.

I have started watching a new TV Series from Singapore on YouTube called Hey Chef / 大厨你在家吗? Which is basically where the camera crew visit a Chef at home and he cooks the things in their house into a meal for the presenters. Ingredients at their house may/maynot be ligit, but the food is interesting and probably doable by just about anyone. I like the stuff from Singapore because they always have the sub-titles in both Mandarin and English. I have also been watching Food Source / 食在好源头 another program from Singapore which is very interesting. Of course this "foodie focus" means I'm learning a lot of words to do with cooking, vegetables, meat, etc. But given that I like Chinese food this isn't really a problem!



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