Wednesday, February 25, 2009

real Chinese

I downloaded the latest real player this morning. When I went to the radio link I searched for China to bring up radio stations listed in China. I couldn't connect to a lot of them but I did connect to China National Radio 6. I found a radio drama being aired. It was a really weird experience for me. I could recognize about 40 to 60 percent of the words but they were speaking much faster than the TV dramas I've been watching and there were no visual cues to help me follow what was going on. I had trouble processing the information. It was just so fast and while hearing the voices I kept expecting to see something. There was also this slight echo and all of that combined made me feel like I was in a dark room hearing voices and couldn't see the people speaking. While it all sounded familiar I wasn't making sense of it. I found myself trying to concentrate on the words and trying to make sense of the familiar words I was hearing. All of that runs contrary to my present methodology.

Right now there is a story being narrated by a woman. The speaking speed is much slower. But still I need to concentrate on the words. I guess the visual information is important to distract me from thinking so much about the words. I will go back to the TV method.


  1. Hello there!
    "I guess the visual information is important to distract me from thinking so much about the words."

    Why are you always trying not to think about the words? whats up with that, please enlighten me Keith =)

  2. You can't give up in the first day!
    Give the audio dramas a week ore two!

  3. I find pure audio quite different to video, my advice would be to either record it or find radio shows you can download.

    If you know you can listen to it again it is easier to relax about the words, the first pass you may just try to get an impression of what is going on. After an interval listen again etc. eventually you may discover you know the story and what happened (maybe not word for word) and all this with resorting to dictionary or reading a transcript.

    I don't do this all the time though sometimes I listen and look up words via pinyin dictionaries (that is study though and there is only a limited amount of time I can spend on that).

    You do need to be able to pick up a fair few words and phrases without thinking before you can do this with audio only though (in my experience).

    Anonymous: for me the point of often learning this way is that even when your level is quite basic, the words and phrases you do know require no effort (and little or no internal translation via your mother tongue). You can build up from here and I find learning this way can be done even when you are tired, or haven't the time to "study" in a more conventional sense. It takes all sorts though.

    I find what you are trying Keith very interesting as you have your Japanese experience to compare with.


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