I believe him that he will succeed! Not an fluent but at a very high level of conversation
Marlord, you are very optimistic!
My comments after watching the video:
- The video was scripted, and the script was written by his teacher.
- He learned the script by heart, and sometimes he looked at it.
- He spoke so slowly that I sometimes could not remember the first part of his sentence.
- Already 3 weeks are over, only 10 weeks left, and he is still not even A1.
- He will never reach C1 end of March.
As I said at first, with a lot of work, and I mean a lot of work, he may reach B1. A2 is more likely, and even that will take a lot of work. The key will not be his ability to produce some well rehearsed phrases, but rather his ability to understand what people say. I wish him well. Here are the levels again.
A1 Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
A2 Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
B1 Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
C1 Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
I think he’s done pretty well considering. I’m fairly certainly I’d have trouble even doing such a scripted monologue!
I agree with hape, he will certainly not reach C1 by then. But, good on him for trying.
Strictly speaking, I can’t really comment on the quality of Benny’s Chinese. But if I were asked to speculate, I would assume that most native speakers of Chinese would find this video very funny!
Ju-us-t im-a-gi-ne wh-ah-t En-gli-i-sh wu-oo-d suh-ou-nd li-ike i-f Ben-n-y sp-oh-k-e it li-ike thi-i-s…!
Benny is an experienced language learner. I think that most experienced language learners could achieve what Benny has done in two weeks of full time study. My question is whether he spent his time wandering around talking to people and using all of his “language hacking” techniques, or whether he buckled down and spent a lot of time reading, listening and learning characters like most learners.
What interests me is not whether Benny is a competent language learner, which I think he is, but rather whether he has any “language hacking” insights to offer which enable people to become fluent in 3 months.
I hope not all native speakers of all languages are as heartless as you Rank!
Somebody trying their best to learn your language and not being perfect at it is… funny? Something to be ridiculed?
There are some choice Aussie words I could use with you right now… haha
Well, I don’t like Benny for a number of reasons - not least his intellectual dishonesty. So I tend not to give him the benefit of the doubt, I guess…
Two weeks or so is not very long, so you have to be realistic in your expectations of how much he could achieve. To memorise a script, and speak it slowly seems like a reasonable achievement in that time. So far, it looks like Benny has been working with the Michel Thomas Mandarin course, since he is focusing a lot on getting the tones right (which is a major focus of that course). I also noticed he is focused on mimicking the Bejing accent rather than the Taipei accent. Again, this could be an influence from the Michel Thomas course. It will be very interesting watching him over the coming weeks, when he shifts his focus to speaking rather than studying, and then will need to adjust to the local dialect spoken in Taipei rather than the one taught on the courses he is using.
Overall, making this video was a brave move, and I congratulate Benny for that. It has opened him up to lots of criticism. It helps us understand his current level. With 10 weeks remaining he has a tremendous amount of work ahead to reach C1. Good luck to him
Thanks for sharing this video. It encourages me to prepare for the next oral test of Chinese (C1-C2 level). I don’t know what native speakers think, but benny’s tone-emphasized talk is clear for me to understand unless he hesitates a little in order to look for a word or a phrase.
Acutually, HSK oral test (C1-C2 level) requires to explain three short histories in our own words just after listening to them, to read aloud a text (only written in characters) after two minutes of preparation and to answer two questions separately for two minutes 30 seconds. For example, “please tell us briefly what is your ideal life”, “what can you manage to control different opinions during a meeting?” etc.
In my view, HSK C1-C2 is not really high compared with Mr. Steve’s explanation, but unique skill such as reading aloud a relatively long text effectively without help of pyinyins is required.
The (new) six HSK levels do not correspond to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels (see Steve’s posting above).
See the last page of this document from the Association of Chinese Teachers in German Speaking Countries: http://bit.ly/xQEqHj
HSK 1 & 2 = below CEFR A1
HSK 3 = CEFR A1
HSK 4 = CEFR A2
HSK 5 = CEFR B1
HSK 6 = CEFR B2
Yes, it is true because average Japanese students can pass HSK5 after over two years of study or someone can pass it after one year, however only HSK6 is a little bit difficult to pass.
Maybe 中国語検定1級 (Chugokugo kentei first grade) which a few Japanese can pass annually or the previous HSK 11级 is C2 for us Japanese.
However, I imagine that the one who has got over 80 % of score on HSK6 will have the possibility to reach C2 level which allows to use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes once he or she works in a real life in Chinese speaking countries.
“HSK oral test (C1-C2 level) requires to explain three short histories in our own words just after listening to them, to read aloud a text (only written in characters) after two minutes of preparation and to answer two questions separately for two minutes 30 seconds. For example, “please tell us briefly what is your ideal life”, “what can you manage to control different opinions during a meeting?” etc.”
To me this is a low B2 level.
He is like splitting up compounds, its confusing.
But he’s doing well, but it sounds awkward as hell.
But it’s not like I’m in the business of making videos of me trying to speak. So I shouldn’t criticize.
I expect a B2 level at best.
I don’t want him to fail though, and I send my best of wishes.
"The key will not be his ability to produce some well rehearsed phrases, but rather his ability to understand what people say. "
A return plane trip. Three months of accommodation and expenses. A production of a rehearsal. Not much listening comprehension. This may be a “language hack”, but it is not the best or most efficient way to learn a language for the vast majority of people.
Also agree with comments that suggest that Benny is not exactly out all day chatting to people at the local coffee shop and gym. He produced this video after a lot of specific study and practice. Which is fine, but he just shouldn’t try to make money from a product that emphasises that it is possible to be fluent in 3 months through his “hacking” techniques.
I couldn’t agree more, iaing.
It’s strange that he reckons that he’s pretty good at ordering food but takes forever to remember the word for ‘rice’ in the video.
Mandarin isn’t supposed to be any more difficult than any other language he’s done before but I can’t imagine he’d allow himself to make such a halting video in any European language, with words split up in the middle etc.
On the other hand the video contains so many difficult words that it really should be ignored as it’s no indication of current level and he’s no doubt more fluent when using words that he actually knows.
B2 Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
@budz I only listened to the beginning so I don’t know how many difficult words he used. However, learning a language to even the B1 level requires a lot of reading and listening, in order to accumulate the necessary vocabulary. If he stays in his room and studies hard he has a chance of reaching that level. A little bit of going out and meeting and chatting with the locals is probably both stimulating and helpful. However, continued hard studying, in his room, is absolutely necessary. There are no free lunches in language learning. I think he can achieve quite a bit if he sticks with it, and B1 would be a great achievement.