I wonder if we could all inspire each other to find good content.
For the last year or so, my main content has been texts from TheChairMansBao, which I import into Lingq. I have read thousands of articles (from HSK1-HSK5 levels of TCB). I also import Youtube videos (e.g. 小高姐的 Magic Ingredients - YouTube) and occasionally subtitles from TV shows I watch on Youtube (e.g. 中剧独播 - YouTube).
Excellent idea! I am indeed curious as to that what other people might be studying on LingQ. I’ll keep my entry brief, but I can elaborate if need be.
On most days I import an episode from 大康有话说. I don’t use the LingQ import extension anymore, so I just download the subtitles, either via yt-dlp (Login - LingQ), or a website like https://downsub.com/, in this particular case a further step is helpful, converting stray 繁体字 to 简体字 using this site: Simplified-Traditional Chinese Characters Conversion Online LEXILOGOS
To study, I create a split screen scenario, on the left side the video, on the right hand side LingQ with the text, I speed the video up by 25%. So 1h 30m become 68 minutes, and 13k words. I understand that some people might find this type of content controversial, offensive or just plain boring, but I respect him and find that he uses the language well. Occasionally I also import similar content (繁体字) from 江峰时刻, 天亮時分, 陳破空, etc there are so many in the political commentary / news genre. If there is interest I can easily point out 10+ more such channels. I have also shared hundreds of episodes: (Login - LingQ). Also check out the content shared by the user @dylanblack for an overview over the genre on YouTube.
Occasionally I also import book summaries. There are already many in the lingQ library mostly uploaded by @Damjan94, e.g. 听世界, 思維咖啡(繁体字). Here are other examples:
Again Damjan’s content is great, it’s mostly 繁体字, for example:
There is also 袁腾飞, a history teacher who is really popular in China:
Everyone probably knows him, and there are many courses on LingQ already 李永乐老师: 李永乐老师 - YouTube
Every now and again I import transcripts of a podcast. I use AWS transcribe to create those. Looking through my library I have episodes from: 忽左忽右, 文化有限, 得意忘形播客, 大内密谈， 故事FM.
I also used to import episodes from 于谦’s podcast Beijing Talk Show - YouTube
Originally I planned to share those, but the transcripts are rather bad. But it’s good content, mainly focussed on food.
Here is another podcast I like, complete with dodgy transcripts: Login - LingQ
I assume everyone already knows that anything by user @iaing is incredibly valuable, especially for improving one’s listening comprehension.
Currently my priority is to improve my listening comprehension, so books are on the back burner. But every now and again I read a couple of pages of Harry Potter (in 繁体字), I don’t have the audiobook so I have to use TTS. (I make an effort to always read and listen). There are many audiobooks on YouTube, I used: mimiFish FM - YouTube for example. The ebooks themselves can easily be found online. But beware, text and audio don’t always match; also publications in 繁体字 are often translated differently, e.g. Harry Potter.
I’ve made a list of books that I’ve “read” here: Login - LingQ
Some of those are really vacuous (eg Ray Dalio), and others are way above my head (王小波). Franky my level is not sufficient to properly enjoy a book in Chinese. But I will come back to this, at one point.
I have also shared the Gospels: Login - LingQ
Absolutely, there really should be more collaboration, sharing of ideas etc.
Without subtitles it depends on the topic, but I definitely miss quite a bit. With subtitles my comprehension is around 97% (60 words per LingQ lesson), I would call this level almost comfortable. I don’t really need to import this into LingQ, but I think it helps with the concentration.
Oh, I thought my way was easier. The importer sometimes gave me trouble with long lessons, I don’t even know if it supports more than 1h 30m, there is also a delay: when I just import text, the lesson becomes available either immediately or within a few minutes. I can also get rid of the stray 繁体字 that 大康’s 字幕组 produce. Also, it uploads the audio, this is superfluous, I don’t need that currently, the same goes for podcasts audiobooks etc.
大康先生 speaks clearly with a certain melody, I really like that. In contrast to the ridiculous way they speak on 新闻联播, 央视 etc.
And as Beijinger he particularly emphasizes the tones, which is very helpful.
A couple of reasons come to mind:
I find reading below 97% comprehension or so, rather painful, not fun and exhausting (cognitive load).
I always read and listen at the same time, so I don’t have much time to figure things out, in between reading listening and checking the dictionary.
Shorter lessons can be harder, because it’s easier to remain concentrated and I can re-do the lesson, with a book this is not so easy.
Just reading is a bit annoying, when reading online, I often get bogged down by subvocalizing, second-guessing etc. But I’m not really worried about that. Listening comprehension might be the most important and (controversial opinion) most difficult part in learning Chinese. I struggle quite a bit with fast paced colloquial language, e.g. in podcasts (like 谐星聊天会). Addressing this is really my priority at the moment, when I’m somewhat comfortable with this aspect, I hope to get the speaking part figured out…
I used to review religiously, many lessons in the 大康 course more than 10 times. Mainly L+R but also some shadowing using the iPad in lyrics mode with the screen loupe. Recently, I haven’t been reviewing much, though.
My method has been importing webnovels way above my level and giving myself headaches getting through them. Not sure if this is the most effective strategy, but it’s working for me (my primary goal is to read books).
I’ve been picking webnovels to read based on cdramas that I’ve either watched or am looking forward to watching, but currently I’m also trying to mix in shorter stories.
Last month I moved to notion to track my reading. If anyone is interested here is my link (mostly romance, kids and danmei so far - but if you scroll all the way down, it’s got a list of a lot of graded readers as well for beginner / intermediate learners)
I also highly suggest taking a look at the heavenly path site if you are interested in chinese media (Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.) . They have a nice section on books / webnovels ranked by difficulty, so it’s easier to pick a more appropriate material (and they have a very nice active discord community). Even if you don’t like their recommendations, I’ve learned a lot on how to better pick and where to find suitable material.
I read Taiwanese news sites, like 中央社, and will listen to/read some podcasts at an easier level, like the LingQ chinese podcast. My next goalpost is that once reading the news becomes easy enough I want to start watching and listening to it, and then focus for a while on improving my conversation ability.
Here is a list of random YouTube channels I have collected over the last couple of years:
Every now and again I run this query: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=的+-eng&sp=EgYIAxABKAE%253D (的 or another term)
Credits to the user @iaing who originally shared this. Whenever I found something I saved it, by now my bookmarks are a mess, so I have tried to put some in a Google sheet. Maybe this helps. The entries should really be ordered, categorized, low quality ones should be culled and so on; but I simply don’t have much time. So it is what it is.
Do you mind sharing your routine when you say “you always listen and read at the same time”? Are you reading a passage and then listen to it, or do you literally play the audio from the start and read along (and stop, replay, etc if necessary)? I noticed if I try to do the latter, then I “read” much slower, but I guess it can help with retention (?)
It means I start the audio and read along, that is I try to look at the word that is currently being spoken. Somewhat like having subtitles on a video. I don’t stop the audio, but try to look at the dictionary as I go, this works better on the iPad where things are closer together.
Why do it this way? I thought it was smart and efficient - training both listening and reading at the same time; not wasting any time. But recently I’ve been having second thoughts…
The problem with this approach is really the comprehension. So in the beginning I needed to go sentence by sentence and for about 6 months I repeated every lesson many times to get somewhat comfortable with those.
So currently I’m trying to read a bit every day - without audio. This is painfully slow but I certainly notice more, pick up more words etc. 长话短说: In my opinion the deciding factor in language learning is really time, there are many different approaches, in the end most things work if the necessary hours are invested.
Many years ago I encountered this technique (1,2) and have been using it for various Romance languages in the past. Here on LingQ, the user PeterBormann is an ardent supporter of reading while listening, if interested maybe look at some of his posts, he has a whole framework (3). Also feel free to contact me on my profile page, we don’t want to bore everyone with long-winded descriptions of my idiosyncratic methods
I second bamboozled and the importance of reading while listening (and why it’ll probably be some years before I move off completely from LingQ - though I wish they had Pleco’s ability to adjust speed).
Reading while listening is how I made the (horrible, painful) transition from “learners” content to native books. It makes it easier to keep going even when it gets exhausting (for example, I am yet again sick and have a nasty sinus headache, but I can keep reading because I’m using text to speech and it decreases the mental load!) It also kinda makes you repeat the sentence a couple of times if you don’t understand, and I think that really increases learning.
I stopped using text to speech back in the spring when the update broke sentence mode for me (only recently figured out a month ago that I need to shift + right arrow every time I page to avoid it freezing b/c of the punctuation issues.). And because of that I think my listening skills have even more so lagged behind my reading comprehension.
I’m back to using text to speech more and more as I’ve discovered a vast world of audio dramas and I want to get my listening skills up ASAP, and L/R works for me.