I started learning Chinese by myself this week. This blog will chronicle my learnings and observations.
Start : 9th of July, 2012 Monday (Yep, a Monday)
I don’t have a lot of time or energy left after a long work day so i’m keeping the schedule and coursework very light. I’ve been reading a lot about learning chinese these past few months and about learning languages for a couple of years now. I have closely read and watched many “languagehackers” who are also usually lifehackers or lifestylehackers as well as reading some standard journal articles on language acquisition.
The biggest realization of course is how much of an impact even half an hour can make daily. With all your reasons, about travelling and work and energy and feeding your cat, half an hour can have a huge impact. The key as always, is sustainability.
So this past week has been a pretty deep look about what I want out of this experience, why and how. And this is what i’ve come to :
1. I’m learning Chinese because I want to learn Chinese, no another reason.
2. Its pretty difficult, challenging and unlike any other language I know. The difficulty is easily summed up by this : http://www.quora.com/Chinese-language/How-long-does-it-take-a-native-English-speaker-to-become-fluent-in-Chinese
3. Because of 1 & 2, I expect my experience to be strenuous, painful, long but also fun.
Also, apart from the Heisig book, I will be using free resources for the most part.
Status as of today
1. Reached 80 Hanzi from Remembering Traditional Hanzi by James W. Heisig and Timothy W. Richardson.
2. Started 2 days ago and reached lesson 5 from Learn to speak Chinese in 500 words (audio and reading) http://edu.ocac.gov.tw/interact/ebook/digitalPublish/MContent.asp?Lang=E
1. Scour the web for the best learning resources possible. Aim is basic conversation and getting my tones right to have a 5-10 min. conversation with a native in a months time.
2. 15 Hanzi per day from RTH leaves me challenged, exhausted and satisfied right now and I am in no hurry. It also takes me from 45 minutes – 1 hour to properly learn 15 brand new Hanzi from the book.
3. Reach 5 lessons per day from Learn Chinese in 500 words. The idea is to get the basics out of the way and more importantly feel confident enough to begin basic native conversations and read stories for children.
Are there easier and faster ways to learn Chinese? I’m sure there are but i’ve decided to go the whole hog and really have fun with this one.
I peek over the shoulders of giants :
1. Tim Ferriss, a lifehacking master
2. Khatzumoto, AJATT should be retitled All Help and Motivation All the Time (AHMATTT, Khatz are you listening?)
3. Benny Lewis, the Irish Polyglot, the most encouraging keep it real videos and how to tips, and the most generous with his information and methods
4. Dave Flynn from Chinese Hacks
5. John Pasden from Sinosplice
6. Maneesh Sethi , the new kid on the block at Hack the Sytem
8. Moses McCormick, insanity personified!
I have written to and received generous, thoughtful and insightful advice from Dave, Benny and Khatz.