I felt a bit better today, but not quite well enough to go to the gym, so I stayed home tonight and worked on my Chinese. I realised by reading other people’s posts on the Facebook type feed on the HelloTalk app, the language exchange app, that you can post both text and voice messages in the one post. I’ve been writing both Chinese and English in my posts, so people know what I actually wanted to say in Chinese, in case my Chinese translation doesn’t make any sense (which has happened a number of times before!), and also so English learners can get a bit more English practice. But now I’ve also included the audio version of both the Chinese and English, so everyone gets some speaking and listening practice as well 😊 And a few people have actually commented back – reading the English component of my post! 😊 It makes me happy that other people are actually practising their English speaking and reading through my post, which is exactly why I posted the English in the first place 👍👍 And then a few people commented back with voice recordings of them saying the Chinese half of my post, to help me hear how a native speaker would say it. Sooo good! I’m going to have to continue doing this! I like how we’re all helping one another, which is exactly the point of the app 😊 I think I prefer this app to Tandem, the other language app that I’ve been using. I feel like more people use Tandem as a dating app, which is a shame, as it detracts from the real use of the app, and so puts off true language learners. I still think I should try changing my photo to a random celebrity or stock photo, and see if that will make a difference to the type of people who say hi! 😆
Someone also mentioned that she thought my Chinese was really good, and she was quite surprised to hear that I only know a limited number of words and sentence structures. I said that I think that I’ve just learnt to express myself as best I can with the limited number of words that I do know. It’d be nice to expand my knowledge of the language and not be constrained as much as I currently am! 😆
I’ve also been working on my listening, watching a Chinese sitcom on YouTube called Home With Kids. I think I’ve mentioned this sitcom before? Although “watching” isn’t quite the right word… Maybe “studying” is better! First I watch the episode once through, listening purely to what is being said and trying to get the gist of the story based on what’s happening on screen. And then I watch it a second time, pausing constantly to read the Chinese subtitles, and looking up any words that I don’t know. And then I watch it a third time, again just listening, and not paying attention to the subtitles, but this time, I now have a few new words under my belt. I still don’t hear everything, but the third time around is definitely better than the first time! It’s tough going, trying to listen to native speakers. At the moment, first time around, I barely pick up 10% of what’s being said. This perhaps doubles to 20% the third time around. And also, there are no English subtitles available, so I’m having to get the gist of the dialogue based on my knowledge of the language alone. Craaazy! 🤪 But in a way I think that’s good, as I “stay” in Chinese more, if that makes sense.
Ah the fun of learning a language as an adult! 😆