Friday, December 26, 2008


It is 11:13 PM Friday night. I just finished watching my second Chinese drama for the first time. Being packaged and sold in Japan, it has this name: 西太后の紫禁城. It looks like the original Chinese title is 日落紫禁城. There are 30 episodes. Each one runs for 49 minutes. 3 per disc, 10 discs.

This one was set around the late 1800s I think. There was an early camera and an early car in the drama at one point. While most of it took place in the same location as the first one I watched, the story was quite different.

It was much easier to follow than the first drama I watched. There were personal relationships as the main story, so the dialogue had a bit more that I could catch and understand. Whereas the first drama was more about political power struggle, it was harder to tell what was going on.

Since it was a different story, it is hard for me to make a comparison and to be able to tell whether my understanding of Chinese has improved or whether the improved comprehension was due to the more transparent storyline and simpler dialogue. But of course, with all the repetition of basic words, that part of the language which I had previously encountered while studying is sinking in deeper and deeper into my brain.

The more I hear Chinese, the more I feel it is becoming a part of me. When I've watched 5 or more hours (perhaps less) in one day, and then I lie down to sleep at night, anytime that I relax and am not thinking about something, I hear these Chinese sentences in my head. They just pop in there. I'm not making any intentional effort to think about Chinese and suddenly I realize that I'm hearing Chinese in my head. And it just goes on and on. My head is just full of Chinese. Sometimes I just want to speak Chinese and I don't even know why. I know I don't have enough vocabulary right now to get very far. But once I've acquired a significant amount, I know I'm going to speak quite well, and without hesitation.

Even while writing this post, I keep hearing those Chinese sentences or phrases in my head. Dialogue from the drama is so full of emotion. Those strong emotions seem to keep playing back in my head. They are so rich with feeling. I think it is having a strong effect.

I knew I was going to finish that drama tonight, so I bought my next one earlier this evening. My next one precedes the one I just watched. It is called The Last Emperor.


  1. I've wondered how an total massive audio approach to language learning would fair. I'm definitely adding this blog to my watch list, I'm curious as to how your TV method turns out.

    Do you do any reading in Chinese?

    I tried a search of your blog for "Chinese", but all the posts that looked like it would answer this question were 404ed: How was your Chinese before you started the TV method?

  2. Hello Alyks. Thank you for commenting.

    The only time I did any reading in Chinese was when I used LingQ for a couple of months. I imported 39 short lessons there. My stats there say I read 54,015 words. I read the same lessons up to 31 times. Most of them, I read 15 to 20 times. I created 574 lingqs, which means I read those 574 words over and over for a total of 54,015 words of reading. I listened to the lessons for a total of 29 hours.

    Before that, I had listened to all of Assimil Chinese, but I didn't learn all of it. I concentrated on listening. I listened to it for 407 hours. I was trying to reach 1000 repetitions of listening to the content of each lesson. That would have taken about 800 hours, I think.

    I tried the search you did and I see some links have .html endings. If you change those to .php then it should be fine.


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