Frustrated?

Dionna-Monique

Dionna-Monique

Okay, I'm only on 2.1 and I'm already frustrated. I've studied and practiced Unit 1 by itself repeatedly, but I still feel like I haven't learned anything really. Or will it all start to come together the further into the program I am? Are there any tips someone can give me to help with my studying?
Oggiedoggy

Oggiedoggy

From my take on studying Chinese for nearly 3 years: At first one is mostly restricted to set words given to you in one's study course. Typically at this stage it is hard/impossible to say the same thing in a different way at this point because one doesn't know how to do so. As vocabulary grows ever large then it becomes possible to say the same thing in many more ways as in our native languages, and then speaking becomes much easier. The hardest thing is getting to such a stage. I have realized that when asked to repeat something I hear in English that I won't repeat verbatim but will paraphrase in my own style. Yet, when we learn foreign languages we pressure ourselves to repeat verbatim. This I feel is what causes much of our frustration like you are feeling now. Keep plugging away! You should start to feel the progress soon!
Dionna-Monique

Dionna-Monique

Where do you live? I honestly need to kidnap you and bring you to stay with me. Haha. You honestly have no idea how much better your response made me feel. I felt like maybe I'm just not meant to learn Chinese, and was really discouraged. Everyone asks me what I learned so far - and I know I've learned stuff - but when I try to remember how to say some things it just comes up blank or I can only partially remember stuff.
Oggiedoggy

Oggiedoggy

haha!! My favorite is when non-Chinese friends ask "say something in Chinese!" Now I just have lines prepared for these times. Recently it has been something like "我的猫星人特别喜爱吃巧克力冰激凌“ or <my cat especially loves eating chocolate icecream>. On the other hand if they are Chinese then they will love this line even more haha
Dionna-Monique

Dionna-Monique

Ahh. I need to come up with a nifty line like that!! If you don't mind me asking, about how long did it take when you first started learning to speak Chinese somewhat at ease?
Oggiedoggy

Oggiedoggy

My "aha" moment came after reading articles like this about tones: http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2008/12/10/toward-better-tones-in-natural-speech Once tones started feeling more fluid and connected, speaking Chinese felt much more comfortable with the vocab I already had. I may be avoiding the "how long" part of the question. I can't remember how long ago I first read that article.
Dionna-Monique

Dionna-Monique

Ah, yeah. There's times where I think that my pronounciation is fine, and then times when I struggle to say certain words. Sometimes I feel awkward trying to speak, does that go away with time and practice?
Jaime_Andres

Jaime_Andres

When I was starting out I also felt awkward speaking, maybe due to the big difference with one's native language. I also think that the more you speak Mandarin with someone else over and over, the less you will feel awkward doing it. I speak with my teacher all the time and now I don't feel awkward speaking it, I'm 100% confident on what I'm saying, and my teacher reciprocating back is proof that I'm getting there!
Dionna-Monique

Dionna-Monique

Yeah, I just started chatting with people on Skype, not in Mandarin or anything yet, just getting to know them - helping them with their English until my Chinese gets better. Plus, my Uncle's new girlfriend is Chinese which is a plus for me! :-) Does listening to music actually you learn? Like with pronunciation and stuff?
Jaime_Andres

Jaime_Andres

That sure is a plus! Yes, reading things, listening to music/podcasts, watching TV in chinese, it all helps alot. It makes you get used to very fast speaking too, even though you might not understand a thing at the time. Listen to this song, its a very nice song with very simple words, you can also see the characters plus pinyin which will make you start singing it in no time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ2tvnudqK8
Oggiedoggy

Oggiedoggy

Fully agree with Jaime_Andres's recommendations. I would caution against learning much tones from songs. Songs often change them for musical reasons. Still love listening to Chinese music though :)
Dionna-Monique

Dionna-Monique

Ah alright. Thanks! And I'll keep that in mind Oggie :) Now I know the two people to pest with my gazillion questions that I know I'm going to have later.. haha.
Keyatta-B1

Keyatta-B1

Thank you so much for recommending that Chinese song! The singer voice was so calm. I really love that song! The singer name is mentioned and her name is Wang Zheng.
Jaime_Andres

Jaime_Andres

不客气 :) If you want more songs let me know.
Lin-Ping

Lin-Ping

大家好! I am so happy to see that our RocketLanguages community is so active on the forum. It really promotes a more "classmate" feel around our course and shows your commitment to your language studies. You are absolutely right about the tones in songs Jaime_Andres and Oggie and I would advise anyone learning Putonghua to not use songs as the basis for their learning of the tones. Keep these conversations up and I hope all of your studies are progressing well! 你们都这么愿意学我的母语让我很愉快!谢谢大家! 再见! - Lin Ping
Alan-R-G

Alan-R-G

I agree with Jaime Andres, Oggie and Lin Ping about not using songs to learn the sounds. The sounds are hard enough to learn on their own.

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