What I've been doing lately to learn Chinese

So I haven’t been on LingQ in a while and it looks like a lot of things have changed, it looks good!

So I wanted to share what I’ve been doing in the last few months in case it could help someone else out, or get some interesting dicussion going.

So in October I got a brand new Kindle, and promptly broke it. I replaced it in November and promptly made myself a cover from a dead tree book so that I would not break it again. I then set about trying to figure out how to get a Chinese to English dictionary on the Kindle while enjoying reading english books. Long story short there’s no way to get a Chinese-English dictionary on standard Kindle software(English-Chinese is possible though).

I’ve posted about my Kindle obsession before so some of you may have already read this :stuck_out_tongue:

So I was dissapointed because I had wanted to use the Kindle to work on getting better at reading Characters and that seemed impossible.Fortunately shortly after I figured this out I found an alternate OS for the Kindle called Duokan, which is developed for Chinese readers by Chinese readers. This system software is really feature packed and pretty cool, and of course doesn’t have the problems that the Kindle software does with displaying Chinese characters.

I was also able to load up a dictionary that totally works. Unfortunately the Dictionary requires a lot of clicking around that is fiddly with the Kindle controls so I don’t really use the dictionary much. However it does have text to speech built in with some reasonably good chinese voices. and since my ambition for the time being is to get better with the characters that is perfect!

So I’ve been reading through the first Harry Potter book and following along in the text. I’ve found that I can understand the story (which Krashen says is the most important thing) and also I’ve found that my ability to read the characters has increased!

I really like being able to take a walk or sit on the exercise cycle and read and listen to these books. I think it is far better than sitting at the computer since I don’t get bored as easily and I need the exercise :slight_smile:

Anyhow, yay for technology! The fact that it’s possible to slip a talking book in your pocket, if you have big pockets, and go for a walk would have been unthinkable 20 years ago.

Also yay for talented Chinese hackers without which the Kindle I bought would be much less useful!

as an interesting aside, I also started reading/listening to a story I downloaded some months ago and realized several pages in that it was a pornographic story. I took the fact that I understood the story to be an indication that I could probably understand other stories, so after deleting it I started trying to read a detective story I had downloaded only to find that I could not follow the story at all. The inevitable conclusion there is that pornographic stories aimed at adults are written at lower levels than detective stories aimed at teenagers.

Perhaps I also need to find more stories like Harry Potter that I’ve allready read, though I would love to read something new… So anyone have any suggestions for Harry Potter or lower level reading in Chinese (and not pornographic!)?

Oh yeah I almost forgot I’ve also recently found a gaming podcast in Chinese. Since I listen to gaming podcasts in English I figure it’s a great use of my time. I’ve been listening to it but often don’t understand… So I’ve been going back to listening to Harry Potter audio books or Radio Free Asia, and lemme tell you it can get confusing reading and listening to two different books from the same series at the same time.

Oh my!

I just noticed that when I go to the import page on LingQ there are all kinds of links to sites to import content from!
I think I can certainly find some interesting reading on some of those sites. :smiley:

Chinese is certainly a fun language, and not as difficult as people make out (although I have only been using the damn simple chinese lessons). I started today. How do you learn the sounds of Chinese characters? I’ve been using google translate.

learn the sounds… well there are ways of doing that. one way I’ve tried is following along with the text as it is being spoken. That way you can learn to associate the characters and sounds. Another way is to read with the pinyin (a guide to pronunciation using the alphabet) and characters together and another popular way is to use flashcards with the pronunciation on them.

These are the main methods I’ve used. My favorite method is to read along with the spoken version because that is the most interesting (assuming you understand what is being said).

Good luck on your learning!

Well, it turns out I’ve been doing all of that! I read along with the audio and can get a rough idea of how each character sounds. I also put the pinyin onto the hint when I LingQ words.

Good luck with your learning to!