In the last post I talked about starting over and some more resources. This is an update since then and I am happy to share with you that I am almost done with the first CD, and the confidence in my pronunciation if not the pronunciation has really grown. I love those moments when my voice corresponds to the tones and I KNOW i’ve hit the target.
It is really important to remember that you should try and maintain your normal tone of voice. Singers or singers in training and vocal coaches will recognise this. You do not have to sound LIKE the chinese person you are listening although for the first 2 days you will have no other choice but imitation. But later on you will start experiencing an unnatural vocal stress, avoid it, consciously use your normal voice just make sure that the tones are right.
Check out http://www.sinosplice.com/ for more help on tones. Also for great iPad app reccomendations.
The second thing is that it can be discouraging to listen to boring content over and over again. Discouraging because its inane and you will feel like there’s no way you can get to more complicated stuff if even this takes a lot of time. Nope. Tonal languages are effing hard for those not born into them so get used to it. So what did I do? I combined it with something else i’m working on right now : losing weight. That one’s a real nightmare. So I just plug in my iPod and keep walking and listening to the Mandarin to focus away from the physical effort and so far its worked. What amazing is how you can finish CD1 (of teach Yourself Mandarin Conversation) in under an hour.
So thats about it for my audio update, I realize I need to play catchup with my Hanzi but I love how its balancing out. The priority this time is to figure out a way to really keep track of my learning and proper goal setting since the last one didn’t work out at all.
Thankfully italki and QQ are really helping out with finding language partners.