Friday, April 03, 2009

dubbed into your target language

The name's Bond, LOVE BOND.

As it turns out, all 4 items that I bought from Amazon China are not originally Mandarin TV dramas. I knew that for 2 of them. One is Korean and the other is Japanese. But for the other 2 I didn't know that they were Hong Kong Dramas. For the 2 that I knew about, they have both the original and the dubbed audio tracks. I didn't want to buy dubbed shows unless the original track was also included. Looking back at the product pages, the only way to tell that the other two shows were originally Cantonese is to look at the categories which they fall into. At the bottom of the page is the different categories that the product can be found under. I used the search function of the browser to search the page for the word 'Hong Kong' in Chinese characters in order to find this information. Now I'll know where to check. Live and let learn.

So now I have finished watching the first of my four titles from Amazon. The English title of the drama is LOVE BOND. It is 30 episodes and came on 4 discs. The picture quality is not great but the price is cheap, so that's fair enough.

The discs came in disc sleeves with a box sleeve but no box. This makes the packaging very flat. I put the discs into this 4-disc case.

And I took the box sleeve and put it under the plastic outside of the DVD case.

Who is this old man?

One thing I wasn't particularly too fond of is that a few English sentences and words are used. I suppose this could reflect reality in Hong Kong. I don't know, but now I am guessing that most modern-day dramas from Hong Kong will be like this. The first sentence in English that I heard was, "Who is this old man?" It was said by a woman who was apparently annoyed by the old guy and she kept calling him "old man." At one point he says to her in English, "shut up!" The other parts of the dialogue were in Chinese. There were other instances of whole English sentences being used as well. I find that it annoys me. I think I won't order any more Hong Kong dramas unless it is a bilingual version. Of course, when I start learning Cantonese I won't have any choice.

Vocabulary Explosion

There is an article on the web about why toddlers experience a vocabulary explosion. There are two reports of the same research. Here and here. Here is a quote from the article:
"Children are going to get that word spurt guaranteed, mathematically, as long as a couple of conditions hold," McMurray said. "They have to be learning more than one word at a time, and they must be learning a greater number of difficult or moderate words than easy words. Using computer simulations and mathematical analysis, I found that if those two conditions are true, you always get a vocabulary explosion."
I don't know if the research is well conducted or not. Most research conclusions are more theory than fact.

I think I may be at the beginning of my own vocabulary explosion. It could just be that this drama was special, but I had a larger frequency of new words that I picked up on. It happened much more often during this series than anything I've experienced in the past. I mean I could really tell a difference. I can credit the vocabulary explosion to 2 things for sure. One is that my listening ability has risen to what it is now. I couldn't have gotten to that level without the hours and hours that I have put in so far. The other thing is that my understanding of the language has also risen. Both of these allow me to start understanding more new words at an increased rate of acquisition.

If this drama is any indication, I think I've switched into a higher gear. I've gone from 1st gear to 2nd gear. I'm still fighting the translation demons. But my understanding of Chinese is improving.

Targets for daily input hours

I'm going to try my best to get as many hours in as possible in the next 2 months. I'm not satisfied with the averages I've attained in past months. I can't remember if it was last month or if it was in February, but I had the idea to get a minimum of 4 hours in a day. I thought I should shoot for 5 but not accept less than 4. I didn't really aspire to that idea, but I ended up with just under an average of 4 hours a day last month. I did 122 hours. I should have guaranteed myself 124 hours. Basically, a 6 hour day would make up for a 4 hour day and average to 5 hours. With every day having at least 4 hours, and most days having 5 or more hours, I should be able to get 150 hours or more a month. So this month and next I need to keep myself in check.

This may sound like a lot, or it may sound like no fun to have strict targets, but it is necessary in order to keep from wasting so much time. A lot of time is lost due to the world wide internet. If you're not careful, a whole day can slip away. You can't go back for a "do over." Once you've squandered your time, it's gone. And for what? Nothing! It's time wasted. If 150 hours of TV method is doable for me, then I must have wasted 30 hours last month. I probably wasted more than that.

Focusing on the future

Today is a result of the past. I can never get the past back. I am where I am at now because of what I did in the past. I will give up today so that I can have a better future. I would like to enjoy a future where I can understand Chinese. Once I can understand Chinese, I will never lose it. I can lose physical possessions, but a language is not physical. I carry language with me wherever I go. I don't need to remember to bring my language. It is always inside me. So even if I am not expecting to use it that day, I will have it with me.

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