How to learn Chinese by reading

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by xxije, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Endlessness

    Endlessness Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for this guide! I studied a bit of Japanese and tried Chinese, but the characters look a lot more daunting. :blobdizzy:
    Anyway, how many hours did you study every day/week?
     
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  2. xxije

    xxije Active Member

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    No problem!
    When I started it was 1-2 hours everyday for the first 6 months, some days I couldn't, but on those days I would try to get at least 15-30 minutes.
    I also did 15-30 minutes of flashcards every morning.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  3. Alenstarl

    Alenstarl Member

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    In the end you have maintain a routine. You can do it with the resources here or a textbook. Honestly a textbook might be more concise instead of going through all the links. Looks a bit intimidating at first lol. I prefer something on paper myself but everyone is different. The problem with all these electronic resources, Pleco, google translate etc. is that people get complacent and use them as a crutch. It makes you wonder how much people actually know. Retention becomes a lot less likely when you can just glance over or click on something for an instant definition and keep reading.

    I learned how to read within two years too but with an intro course and just jumping into a book. That book wasn’t easy either (CN paperback version of Shakugan no Shana). I annotated the crap out of that book. After I finished a volume, which took a whole summer, everything became a lot easier going forward. Very brute force way of learning but I still do what I did back then which is having my own glossary of words/grammar rules I commonly see and miss (which you can turn into flash cards or something to routinely go over). You don’t need every word but stuff you see repeatedly you should try to retain.

    Also 1000 characters is nothing to scoff at. You can read most of these amateur Chinese web novels with 1000 characters, but that’s if you truly know them. Not just “click, oh I remember that” from checking pleco pop ups or what have you. Getting a bit long and all over the place but I appreciate the guide that was created and a lot of it emphasizes retention and routine, which I emphasize as well. Only skimmed through it so I apologize if I’m repeating what’s been stated. Just be careful not to get a sense of security because you can readily look up definitions. Many are rushing to scrap to being able to barely get by with assisted tools and not truly learning beyond that imo, but what people want to put in and want to get out of learning chinese is different for everyone I guess
     
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  4. xxije

    xxije Active Member

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    I agree with you routine is key.
    I stopped using popup dictionaries 1 year and a half ago and it became a lot easier to remember the words without the crutch. Now I just glance the dictionary if I don't know the word or to look up unknown ChengYu
    It's really easy to rely on them too much and then think "oh I knew this word, I just couldn't remember it".

    I think the final goal should be to read without any dictionaries and reference, but that never happens overnight.
    There will always be unknown words, but if you know all the other words in a sentence it gets really easy to guess.

    There are some phone applications that have many sources to different web-novels, the nice thing is that you cannot copy and paste the text, so if you don't know the word you have to look it up manually.
    android
    https://github.com/gedoor/MyBookshelf
    I don't have a ios device, but people gave these two good reviews
    https://itunes.apple.com/cn/app/小书亭-搜书小说阅读器/id1439115200?mt=8
    https://itunes.apple.com/cn/app/爱阅书香/id1137819437?mt=8
     
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  5. Tooth_Fairy

    Tooth_Fairy New Member

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    btw, what about dictionaries?? which one is the best
     
  6. xxije

    xxije Active Member

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    In my opinion for Chinese to English the best dictionary is ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary and for Chinese-Chinese the Xiandai Hanyu Guifan Cidian, if you want almost every single word ever get Hanyu Da Cidian (also Chinese-Chinese).
     
  7. vivi99

    vivi99 Active Member

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    in my opinion, if you're new to chinese, you shouldn't jump straight in to reading XianXia. You can pick a few easier to read novels that do not use too many slangs/cheng yu/substitution (they make a huge difference because you actually understand what is going on instead of spending half the book trying to grasp what is happening). I've learnt chinese for over 12 years and I still get stuck on some of those that I've mentioned, especially if the word is substituting for another word and you have no way of googling/mtl-ing.

    Ask around depending on the genre you're interested in and you'll be able to find novels that are easier to read and follow
     
  8. LillGrodan

    LillGrodan Member

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    I would love to be able to read a Chinese novel without needed to wait for someone to translate it or trying to find a already translated version of is somewhere. So thank you for the guide~~!!!
     
  9. Lonelycity

    Lonelycity Well-Known Member

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    Necroing this thread cuz soooo many ppl want to learn the art of learning Chinese ~~