The 4th Week ✔

This is day 1, week 5. I’ve been memorizing Chinese nouns for the last 4 weeks. The chants from the audio files really help me remember the tones and it’s fun to sing along with the chants.

The order of the chants is: Chinese – Japanese – Chinese
For example:
首都 [shǒudū], 首都 [shuto], 首都 [shǒudū] (=capital city)
公园 [gōngyuán], 公園 [kouen], 公园 [gōngyuán] (=the park)

I think I remember the Chinese pronunciation better by singing along. Just reading them is definitely not enough.

I learned sentences with those nouns, too, but I’m not sure I remember the sentences. If only the publisher would provide audio files for the sentences, too, maybe I could remember the sentences. But, on the second thought, no, actually, I’m not sure whether my brain is ready for sentences. I mean, I can hardly hear words…

It occurred to me that if I were studying Chinese at school, I would be the worst student in class. I would feel stupid and quit as soon as the semester was over. Actually, I did exactly that, a long time ago.

I don’t know whether I can remember more than 8 Chinese words a day, maybe I can’t, but today I started reading another Chinese textbook in Korean ‘233 Core Patterns for Chinese Conversations’ (중국어회화 핵심패턴233) written by Uhm Sang-cheon (엄상천),  and found this Chinese expression from the prolog:

Chinese saying

不怕慢,只怕站。
[búpà màn,zhīpà zhàn]
(Don’t worry about being slow, worry about quitting in the middle of the way.)

How did the author know that I was worried that I was learning Chinese slowly? I guess it’s a common problem among Chinese language learners, even in Korea.

I’m glad that I’m not very good at learning Chinese because it made me realize that it’s totally fine to learn at my own pace, even though my pace is very very slow. ###

Meaning of 首尔生活加油站

首尔生活加油站 is the name of a radio program in Chinese that plays automatically on Audio Clip app after ‘Real Life Korean’. I wonder what it means.

首尔 [ Shǒu’ěr ] = Seoul
生活 [ shēnghuó ] = life (新HSK4)
加油 [ jiāyóu ] = Cheer up!
站 [ zhàn ] = station (新HSK3)
火车站 [ huǒchēzhàn ] = train station (新HSK2)
加油站 [jiāyóuzhàn] = gas station (新HSK4)

Station to support living in Seoul?

I only know 180 Chinese words and all I could catch from the show was… 现在 [xiànzài] = now, 对 [duì] = yes/right, and 再见 [zàijiàn] = good bye.

Using the same amount of time (30 minutes), I think it’s more efficient to learn new Chinese words from a textbook or revising Chinese vocabulary so I don’t forget rather than listening to a radio program for native Chinese. ###

The 3rd Week ✓

It’s week 4 day 1. I’ve learned 176 Chinese words.

I searched on Instagram and found many Japanese people were using the same Chinese wordbooks (in Japanese) that I’m using. Kikutan series is popular in Japan, I guess. Even though I don’t know these people, I feel like I’m not alone.

ㅤ ㅤ 0228 ㅤ 今日で2月も終わり〜😂 1ヶ月があっという間に終わりますね ㅤ 今日も1日バイトなので、 移動時間にせっせと キクタン。💿 ㅤ これがまた眠くなるんだよなぁ ㅤ でもがんばります! ㅤ 今日は本当は早起きして 勉強してからバイトって 思ってたのに、、、 ㅤ 忘れ物を発覚。 ㅤ 戻ってたら時間なくなっちゃいました😭 ㅤ 明日はお休みだから ちゃんと勉強します〜😂💪 #大学生の勉強垢 #大学生の勉強垢さんと繋がりたい #大学生 #勉強垢 #勉強垢さんと繋がりたい #勉強垢さんと仲良くなりたい #勉強垢サント仲良クナリタイ #トーイック #トイック #toeic #勉強垢はじめました #中国語 #中国語検定 #ロルバーン #中検 #ヨルグラ #studyaccount #studygram #キクタン #キクタン中国語

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Even though, I am actually alone… learning Chinese in my bedroom… just for the sake of it. I’m not going to China, not using Chinese for work, no goals whatsoever. I read that it is wrong to learn a difficult language without any real goals. But here I am doing it. It’s a hobby, I will keep learning Chinese as long as I find it fun to do.

I own the e-book edition of Kikutan Chinese – introductory level, maybe I should get the paper copy for the next levels.

Roy Nishizawa, who wrote English textbooks for adults in Japan (because adults don’t learn a language the same way as children), actually said ‘don’t study’ because the key to language learning is to have fun and studying is not fun. But I like studying. But he is absolutely right that making studying an obligation actually makes you hate studying. I stop saying ‘I must study’ to myself and because of it, every day, I  feel like I want to sit down and study Mandarin from the Kikutan wordbook. And so every day, I memorize 8 words a day -and also 8 phrases/sentences given in the book-.

The Chinese words in the Kikutan word book are the ones tested on Chuuken/中国語検定 準4級 (Chinese Proficiency Test, Level pre-4) so when my husband went to Japan for work, I asked him to get me a textbook for the test. He went to Book Off (used book store) and bought me a ‘training book’, not ‘compilation of past tests’ as I requested. The book looked like new.

Title:中国語検定準4級トレーニングブック- with 2 CDs included

20170305_102148

中国語検定準4級トレーニングブック

I didn’t know the book existed. I’m glad he chose it because it seems really good. I can recommend this book, I think, even though I haven’t used it yet.

google-books

I bought a book. = 我买了一本书。

On Book Depository, I ordered a children’s novel about a Chinese girl and her family who were living under the oppressive rule of Chairman Mao in 1972: ‘Revolution is not a Dinner Party’ by Ying Chang Compestine. I expect it to arrive in April. Excerpt: https://books.google.co.id/books?id=P1nG8Ji35CQC&lpg=PP1&pg=PT3#v=onepage&q&f=false

chinese-grammar

Chinese grammar comparison with English and Japanese

And I watched a 20-minute lecture video about introduction to Chinese language in Japanese here: 似ているようで違う、でもどこかつながっている中国語と日本語http://yumenavi.info/lecture.aspx?GNKCD=g003831&OraSeq=62&ProId=WNA002&SerKbn=Z&SearchMod=2&Page=3&KeyWord=%E6%96%87%E6%B3%95

From the lecture video, for the time being, I assume that, other than the Verb+Object pattern, the word order in Chinese is actually more similar to Japanese and Korean than English (?). ###

jukuu.com for Example Sentences

Jukuu – online Chinese Dictionary: http://jukuu.com

jukuu

I looked up ‘一本词典’ (a dictionary).

Today I learned ‘词典’ (dictionary), but the wordbook only gave ‘一本词典’ (a dictionary) as an example and so I thought I wanted at least a sentence, not just a phrase. I tried looking it up on an online Chinese-English/Japanese dictionary ‘Jukuu’ (http://jukuu.com/index.php) for sentences  but those Chinese sentences were just too long. I can’t remember them. I think I am good with ‘一本词典’ for now. Jukuu seems useful for when I know more words and want to write my own sentences.

Maybe this works: I bought a dictionary. 我买了一本词典。?###

I Don’t Have To Study, I Want To

I am memorizing 8 words a day from a Chinese wordbook for the lowest level of Chuuken 中検 (a Chinese proficiency test in Japan) and today is week 2 day 6. I’ve learned 104 words. Maybe I should follow Chuuken curriculum for beginner level instead and set aside HSK for later. I can only take HSK in Indonesia, not Chuuken, but HSK can wait.

The English Doctor from Japan, Roy Nishizawa said on his podcast that even just thinking ‘I must study’ made you feel like English was not fun anymore. So every morning, whenever I think ‘I really should study’, I quickly reply to myself: ‘no, that’s not true’.  It works for me! Maybe because it takes the mental burden away and prevents studying to become an obligation. I wish I could apply it to ironing clothes. The problem is ironing clothes is neither interesting nor fun.

He also wrote:

「勉強」が終わったあとは、しばらく「勉強」はしたくないので、脳のスイッチをオフにしてしまいます。
(After you have finished ‘studying’, for some period of time, you feel like you don’t want to ‘study’ anymore, and it makes you switch-off your brain.)

Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like studying for TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) for a very long time now. I got tired the last time I did and the more I think that I should study for TOPIK, the more I feel reluctant to study Korean. I still don’t know how I can go back to studying for TOPIK.

Back to Chinese  for today, I learned how to say: color, red, black, white, yellow, blue, the sun, and the moon in Chinese. With sample sentences, but some sentences are too difficult for me.

I noticed that 颜色 ‘color’, 红色 ‘red’, 白色 ‘white’, 黄色 ‘yellow’, and 蓝色 ‘blue’, all share the same tones: no. 2 and no. 4. ‘Black’ 黑色 is no. 1 and no. 4, and I remember I learned 黑 from the song Cloudy Day (天黑黑).

I wondered whether Taeyang (a member of BIGBANG) is called ‘太阳’ (the sun) in Chinese and I googled and I found that I was right.

This sentence for ‘red’ 红色 hóngsè is hard for me:

那辆红色的汽车是谁的?
Nà liàng hóngsè de qìchē shì shuí de?
Whose red car is that?

lingoes

Chinese word book and Lingoes offline dictionary

It’s too long and I haven’t learned about measure words and I wonder why there is a measure word after 那 nà ‘that’.

Nishizawa-sensei writes in one of his books that it’s natural to forget things that you don’t really understand, and that too much confusion will kill your motivation.
I’m not going to let this confusion kills mine. Of course I don’t understand, I haven’t learned grammar yet. I will just forget this one for now.

Then I noticed that there is 蓝 ‘blue’ in this word 蓝牙 beside the Bluetooth mark on my tablet. So Bluetooth is 蓝牙 lányá in Chinese. I will never forget 蓝 ‘blue’ again because I use my tablet all the time. Chinese is useful if you set the language of your mobile device to Chinese. 😀

mindmap

Mindmap

I tried making a mindmap for 8 words I learned today using a free software called FreeMind (http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page). It took a long time for me to make this simple mindmap and I’m not really sure if it helps. Maybe I should read a book about mindmapping first to find out how to do it the right way. ###