I just started a Mandarin Blog

Before I get to the Mandarin:

I’ll get to the mandarin in a second, first I wanna talk about art. I realized that when doing art and I guess music as well, I am way more motivated when working towards a goal that I will benefit from, rather than just practice. I find I learn pretty fast already and that I can learn things as I go. Practicing just to be practicing…to possible “master” something eventually, doesn’t appeal to me as much and I think that holds me back from any practice at all. So I realized I should probably focus on acquiring skills through purposeful use of them.

The Mandarin(not the restaurant…unless you are asking me out. In either case the following bracket is to close this aside, not to create a sad face with the colon that follows it):

Now for the mandarin bit, if you haven’t guessed already. I decided I should try to find a way to do the same for mandarin, and I realized one of the best ways would be to create a journal. Btw, I can’t help but notice my art ideas(a comic at least) and my Mandarin ideas (blog) are both very social in nature and I am motivated by this I THINK, but I wasn’t a few weeks ago…like back when I wasn’t on nofap. Just throwing that out there as it’s (common)knowledge that testosterone is a pro-social hormone.

Anyways, so as soon as I started making that first post I realized, wow there is a lot of review going on here. First I have to copy and paste from google translate, double checking the characters seem to say what I want to say. Also I can look at the pinyin for the words. Then I have to copy and paste the keywords again for tags. Then I have to search for keywords in the categories, or in this case add new ones as I had no categories as it was my first post.

I thinkĀ  should do more of this, just immersing myself in Chinese, using it in my life. Using it to express myself.


Keep a beautiful journal in Chinese (Power of Aesthetics)

I stumbled on some motivational tips in a scientific america magazin
which initiated some pondering, which resulted in some ideas about what
I might enjoy doing in Chinese.

namingly, writing in a cool ass journal.
This journal has to be cool, and look cool, etc, as this will be part
of what motivates me to write in it.

Also the fact that I be able to show anyone who reads it, “this is the chinese
I know” etc, would mean everytime I write I get an instant sense of
being more chinese and that I am making visual accomplishments.

Also, the more I write in it, the more valuable it will become, especially
if I write observations about my day, or notes about myself.

I just hope I can learn enough through using it, instead of an Srs.
I mean, I hope I will memorize enough.

I plan is to make it like a TAG style Journal where I have a set of questions
that I answer every day for a week or so, then next week I will have another

For each day I write, I’ll first write out the question, before answering
it so I at least get practise writing and comprehending the questions
I write out.

Also this structure means less burden on me to come up with things to
say on the spot when I write. It makes it more of a task based thing.

Although I can still write stuff afterwards for fun.

I also like this because it allows the artistin me to come out in a more
passive but stll rewarding way.

Just like when someone was asked how to turn toasting bread into a game
someone would want to play. The first thought was, make the toast “cute”.
Aesthetics seem to actually be that important.

I mean yeah you can see businesses where people stay on websites or
in stores or whatever based on beautiful or user freindly it is.
What I’m discussing here though is like, can you make doing homework,
more fun than going to a party, through proper use of aesthetics?
I hope to prove this to be the case.

Aesthetics seem to have the ability to add meaning to something.
Would samurias be as romantizised if their swords and armor didn’t look
beautiful. Probably not. Aesthetics might actually hold a huge amount
of power that we can use to our advantage by weighting our tasks
with aesthetic appeal so that the most important task, is made to be
the most beautiful,(and I guess most personalized (like adding your
own touches to the stuff you beautify)) so that they draw you in the

I mean, Chinese drew me in because of it’s beauty.

That is also another thing. It would suck if liking chinese so much, I
didn’t allow myself to write in it and own my writing.

Also those writing prompts could even evolve into a game that
I could play with others. Like, everyone getting the same question
and having to answer in just a few words, but getting lot’s of comprehension
from the reading, etc.

Also, notebooks have way more context than srs cards, and after a few
reviews you will have the connections of a whole page for each page of study
instead of just one card.

Also, I will be able to draw on previous pages in future writings allowing
me to use more and better language the more I keep at it.

I went for a jog today, and after work as well, I was feeling pretty motivated.
I’m just waiting till tmr, though because I want to by nice notebook, probably
from coles/indigo

“following a formula get’s old fast”.
How about I decide each day what I’m going to write but I need to
write a minimum of 50 words plus reading a number of previous pages
chinese first just to see how much has stuck. Once it’s allo stuck I
leave it for a random review which I could even schedule as a day where
I pickĀ  few pages at random to review.

Language Learning Motivation: Avoiding Pain

I just realized another very interesting thing. I mean, a well known technique for motivating yourself to continue is to realize that if you quit, there is a good chance you will regret it at some point. However, that motivation is just as distant as the motivation to continue. Just like telling yourself, “in 6 months time I will be glad I stuck with it” is often not enough, saying, “If I quit, in 6 months time i will regret it cause I’ll know where I could have been” is also not motivating enough on it’s own.

However, Once you’ve actually experienced that regret, you’ll realize it’s not like, in 6 months you’ll suddenly feel like, “O snap if only I stuck with it”. At least that’s not the case for me. It’s actually an on going thing, if I’m not actively learning, especially after how much time I put in, every day I am seeing Chinese or bumping into situations where I would love to even be able to say “I am learning Chinese right now, this is what I learned today, ect”. Just that feeling of knowing you are progressing, that you are in it, that you have that affiliation with it. This is a reason to maintain it daily.

Daily is what you need, and it doesn’t have to be a lot. Just something. I give it around 20 – 30 min a day depending on how my reviews(using anki) and new hanzi come to me.

SO, well I guess it’s kind of moving towards pleasure as much as it is moving away from pain. Maybe these two are part of the same spectrum. I just realize this type of motivation is really important in tasks that you know you will have to do every day, especially before they have become habit. Part of the motivation does come from failure from doing too much and quitting. I know this, so if someoen is just starting out and has the urge to do too much, I kind of feel like saying go for it. It will be more meaningful when you finally internalize how these things need to be done, and if you still have a flicker of passion left after quitting many times, you’ll know how much it really means to you.

For me, I can feel the difference when I do just 10 new hanzi each morning and the rest of the day I don’t need to think about learning any more but I have the constant assurance that I am getting there and that the whole time I am having more and more to show for it. Night and day compared to quitting and having less and less to show for all the effort, every day.

Language learning Journal: Interesting occurances

First I decided if I didn’t feel like studying today I just wouldn’t, and minutes later I realized I did want to study so I did.

As I was skimming and reading words, I had music on and for some reason I got the feeling that the music I was listening to was China and in Chinese and I had to realize that actually no, I’m just really immersed to it feels like I’m in China, but the music is English lol. It was cool.

Then I realized that what I do besides skimming and looking for the word I want 10 times, is whenever I come across a blue highlighted word I open it in a new tab. This adds even more randomization because it determines the next word I search for as long as it’s interesting. So it meant that I went from spiderman and comics to Apollo and Greek mythology to The Plauge and other diseases.

That plus the music, I really felt like I was in flow, or close to it.

Becoming literate in Chinese, my developing method Part 1

I study every other day. Never every day because doing it every other day means the day off is one where I think about other things. This way there is no build up of anticipation about my development in the language. So ofcourse it is important to have other goals to focus on with at least as much intensity. This kind of thing I think will keep me from getting bored of something enjoyable, as well it will keep me from becoming to over emotional and burn out.

Next the Immersion

I am focusing on buidling a chinese environment online for the most part. Youtube, wordpress, hotmail, moxilla firefox, ect, all in chinee. Then I am picking around 25 stand out words from those environments to srs, mostly one word at a time, although I might do sentences. I don’t write, but I observe the components to help me memorize. I did a lot of the youtub environment over two sessions and knwo I can navigate most of the basic stuff in Chinese which means I might never need to change the language back which means I will always know that much Chinese.

I will probably go that way for the next bit, maybe some sentences like warnings ect as they show up.

Next, extensive scanning

This is an ace in the whole almost. Pick a word, translate it into the language, google or find a book where that word comes up a lot, and then skim every word until you come across that world 10 times (I chose ten just cause it’s nice and small) When doing this, you obsorb so many other words, how they come together ect. Even if you don’t know what they mean, you will know what they are related to. This plus the stuff above, especially if you do this with words related to youtube or whatever part is in your immersion environment, you will get so used to seeing some words so soon that you will just naturally want to know what they mean, and remember them way faster.

The other thing

It seems this word search game is more fun than just reading.
1) It is a short thing and with many rewards along the way
2) The rewards are randomized
3) The rewards are based on what you know, there wont be any failure because you are perfectly suited to find that one word you know, you will find it just about every time. No negative feedback.

I think this could actually turn into a much bigger game if a short article was used as a game board with mana being tapped to travel or do other things with your avatar, and key words having effects bad and good when landed on. For instance “creature” could mean a random creature attacks your avatar, ect.

Anyways, I feel this is an excellent way to combine passive input of many characters, as well active learning of a word, and all in a way that is not very strenuous the word will be learned just based on the 2-5 min of searching for it over and over and seeing the other words and characters surrounding it which add context. I feel like if I did 20 of those wrord searches that woul be a good 20 words a day in under an hour. The words would be good meaning I would know them and remember them enough that I wouldn’t fail any of them on srs reps and would know them very quickly. Iunno, I still have to test this but I feel this is a better method than just putting in words to a deck and goign through them until memorized. So this method combined with learning words in environment, should be great. Also I think I need to decide which words I’ll use for the word searches. I could even take words out of immersion, and then word search them, and then add them to the srs. Or I can word searh any other words I think are interesting, iunno.

Or I can word search words in a subject I woud like to read, or a book ect. Just word search 20 words from said book, passivly taking all the sentence structures and patterns as I go. If I do that for a month. Thats 20×15(cause every other day = 300 words, targeted words, to add to my vocabulary. Or I can even take a book or article and go through the same article but wordsearching different words. Although that might be far more boring, it would be pretty effective in getting more exposure to previous words I’ve learned passivly as I learn new ones and quickly gain ability to read that article.

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