Steve, Friedemann is challenging me

You should have asked him if he wanted a medal or something… who gives a shizen what other people think.

I could challenge Friedmann to an English competition and I’m 100% sure I would win… so what? does it matter? what’s the goal, to look cool to fellow lingq members?

I could also challenge him to a Chinese speaking competition on skype and I’m pretty sure I would win… so what? big deal, does it matter?

I could also challenge him to a German speaking competition, and yes, he would win… so what? big deal.

Get the point? always going to be haters, just ignore and move on.

I just watched your video on youtube: Keith's first Chinese conversation - YouTube

I think you have a decent accent and pronunciation. Actually for me, I understand 100% what the Chinese guy was saying and I can’t even speak Mandarin at all, but I have only listened to less than 10 hours of it in my entire life.

You wrote “unbearable to listen” or similar is a little extreme.

I guess my French conversations with the LingQ tutors are probably similar to your Mandarin conversation. However, it just makes me more motivated to learn more.

I’m assuming you are listening passively to content, and not actively learning vocabulary?

Sorry to keep posting here:

I just watched another video of yours: TV method for Chinese - Progress Report - YouTube

I just noticed you speak super slow in English which sounds kinda odd if done in Chinese. I don’t think I have ever heard anyone in Chinese speak at that speed which you do in English.

  1. How do you know what you’ve understood is correct or not? Like many learners of English claim to understand what’s happening, nod their heads in agreement, and frankly have no idea what was said.
  2. Is this your only source of input? Do you use Lingq to learn Mandarin?

My thoughts on your method:

Remember, it doesn’t really matter what I think or others. The TV watching method IMO doesn’t work for those that already know languages that are far from the target language, I’m glad I read once upon a time Steve mentioned the reasons why the TV method doesn’t work, and I followed his advice to great success. I’ve lived in Hong Kong for many many years now, but I don’t want much Cantonese TV, simply because it’s not entertaining and I don’t like to watch garbage. Probably only 1.5 hour per day (TV dramas) if lucky. However, I watched with basically complete understanding and not blindly hoping to learn from guessing.

How? I basically spent the initial learning period (10+ hours per day) in actively studying new vocabulary, going through huge numbers of dialogues/monologues and repeating them 100-300 times until they were automatic in my brain. I used a word document to count my known words and the PAGES started to pile up. At the initial 3 month stage I didn’t do much TV watching at all, because I hate watching stuff that I can’t understand. Then what a surprise, I turned on TVB (local HK TV channel) and I could understand basically everything.

On the other hand, my wife learnt mandarin from ONLY watching Taiwanese dramas. THOUGH the big difference is… she can read the Chinese sub-titles effortlessly, she knows Written Chinese 書面語. After a few months of watching a few hours per day of Mandarin speaking drama series, she could speak fluently in Mandarin! This is because she is watching by associating pronunciation with characters that she is reading.

Anyway, enough from me… Good luck.



Chris lives in Las Vegas, it is a cultural thing.

so was slavery

in Las Vegas? I think slavery was universal until quite recently but Las Vegas is a recent phenomenon, a mirage in the desert so to speak.

Ha, not specifically in Vegas no : )
My point being, just because something is a cultural trait, doesn’t make it good to go.

“Hey you’re setting fire to my kittens!”
“Yea, it’s like a cultural thing.”
“Oh, that’s great then, my bad.”

Sorry maths, I do not understand. What specifically in Chris’ post do you find similar to setting fire to kittens or slavery?

Oops, sorry for the lack of clarity, and I’m not usually one for debates on the internet, but I was a little taken a-back by the use of “be here or be queer”.

I was looking to see what Blindside70 means by this, or thinks this means. It may be written innocently, but in general “queer” is a derogatory remark against gay people. And seeing it in block capitals here piqued my interest.

Again, I’m not trying to make something out of nothing, hence only a “huh?” and not leaping straight into a tirade about it.

And the kittens or slavery bits probably aren’t the best examples I’ve ever given : /

a) The word queer is used by gay people. b) Chris was just being Chris. The less people take offense at things the better off we will all be in my view.

I wasn’t going to comment on this, but since it’s been brought up:

Gay people don’t generally use the word queer in a derogatory way. Chris did, however jokingly he meant it. I’m not going to rant about the reasons this is problematic because this isn’t the place but yeah, offense (or at least concern) is a legitimate reaction here.

I don’t want to police anyone’s humor but I do think the world would be a better place if people thought more about the implications of the language they use.


I appreciate your point of view, klc, one with which I choose to differ, but a point of view that one often hears, and the subject of one’s right to take offense or give offense or to be protected from being offended is certainly very topical.

Well, I just wrote was said at the end of the video I posted the link to. Those guys may have been being Southerners or slipping in a veiled insult.

I live in Las Vegas, I work and have worked with a disproportionate amount of gay people in practically every job I’ve had out here, and count many as my friend. Here in Vegas there is an area (on Paradise Rd. if you’re interested) called the Fruit Loop filled with gay bars, we’re all loads less serious about it.

I probably could have been more sensitive about it, but I probably won’t be.

I think you guys should be more sensitive to the fact that I live in a city where the Eiffel Tower is a hop skip and a jump from the Sphinx. We don’t take things too seriously here.

This is what Homer Simpson thinks:

Homer: They turned the Navy into a floating joke. They ruined all our best names like Bruce, and Lance, and Julian. Those were the toughest names we had! Now they’re just, uh…”
John: “Queer?”
Homer: “Yeah, and that’s another thing! I resent you people using that word. That’s our word for making fun of you! We need it!! Well I’m taking back our word, and I’m taking back my son!”

"offense (or at least concern) is a legitimate reaction here. "

Who/what legitimizes it? Can “queer” now no longer mean “weird”? If Chris had said, “be here or be weird” would it have offended the wiccan community, or do they not have enough political clout?

Well you all know what I think, burn the witches hug the gays. While I do believe any civil rights movement bears some importance, let’s get back to the bloodbath that will be Friedmann vs the guy who’s name slips my mind at the moment.

"let’s get back to the bloodbath that will be Friedmann vs the guy who’s name slips my mind at the moment. "

Hey! I like to take the odd bath in blood! You take that back!

@ dooo: For me, at least, queer is a loaded word because of its history and so almost always carries some sort of political valence, whether positive or negative. I also can’t remember a time I’ve encountered it used to mean odd and nothing more (outside of older literature, that is). Maybe I’m just sensitive because I am queer, gay, whatever you want to call it. Anyway, I’m not saying it should never be joked about because really, where’s the fun in that, but maybe audience should be a consideration - I definitely say things to my friends I wouldn’t post on an open forum online.

@blindside: I didn’t mean to imply you were a bad person or hate gay people or whatever. I’m sorry if I did, and I certainly don’t think that. I’m not even particularly offended by “be here or be queer” but I don’t know, it was a bit jarring to see that on here and since maths raised the topic I thought I’d chime in. By all means, though, on with the bloodbath. I’m looking forward to it.

Some people still use “queer” to mean “odd” or “strange” in the South-it’s not just in older literature.

I don’t use it, but I certainly understand it when older people say this.

I really can’t believe this thread has turned from language learning to debating homosexuality. Get some moderation in here … please!