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Glossika's account removed by youtube

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ad nd71: (...) ... After some tries, I find the sentences very boring, even more boring than the stupid lessons in some Chinese textbooks. (...)

I've heard that from a few other people on another language learning site. This kind of product certainly is not for everyone. I would not use it as a stand-alone product but I have found it to be extremely useful as a supplement. While the sentences might be or appear boring, I think they help you get used to typical patterns and they help me improve my pronunciation too.

I also read newspapers, magazines, watch tons of sitcoms and other videos on youtube in Chinese. But I still find his products very useful if you want to practise typical patterns and equip yourself with some really useful vocabulary.

What kind of sentences in particular do you find so boring? I'm just curious.

e.g. "Shakespeare was a writer and wrote many plays and poems." / "莎士比亚是作家,写了很多戏剧和诗。"

ad nd71: Ok. I see what you mean. If I had just started studying Mandarin I would probably have wanted to learn other vocabulary first (I'm not suggesting that your level of Mandarin is lower than mine, however).

Personally, I find that sentence quite useful. I normally start out with other basic vocabulary when learning a new language and I also like using well written phrase books. But after that I prefer tackling other types of expressions and to me "writer" "plays" and "poems" are quite useful words.

I don't want to get stuck with the first 500 most common words which probably would not include expressions as in the sentence you mentioned.

Don't get me wrong, please, I can readily see that such sentences sound boring to some people. I use products like the ones Mike offers in a specific way, however. I don't just listen to these sentences and try to memorize them, I always try to elaborate on the sample sentences.

So, when I hear "plays" and "poems" or "writer", I try to come up with other, similar sentences. Given the fact that these sentences mainly help me familiarize myself with certain speech patterns my approach has worked quite well so far.

Nevertheless, I know many people who find such "vocabulary builders" boring. There are many different ways of achieving the same goal, so we need to find tools that suit our own learning style best. At least with Mike's products you won't have spent too much money in case you find his approach does not work for you.

Are you not at all interested in this kind of study tool or is it just the type of sentences you don't like? I bought similar books (but with many more example sentences) during my stays in China and Taiwan. If you are interested, I could give you the titles of these books. They are mainly written for Chinese speakers trying to learn English, which probably makes for even more natural Chinese sentences. They come with a book and mp3 files. Some of them you may be able to buy on the Internet.

@Ginko58: I just follow the directions/schedule given in the intro. Works just fine! I just finished the last unit. I only have some review days left. But I think I'm going for another round before I start with Basic II, to master the material even better. I don´t believe you can really over-learn something.

@nd71: I can't really understand a remark like that. The point of the course is fluency in speech. It is supposed to work like physical exercise (and it does in fact), if you follow it's directions. Each day I notice my improvements. I could only imagine being bored by this if the course was too easy or if someone doesn't have the right motivation. Saying it's boring sounds like an athlete saying it's boring to train. So then why would one start in the first place?

Maybe I am not motivated enough, or I am for sure no language learning masochist. I am doing language learning for fun, and I try to make enjoyable. I don't "train" to participate in a language learning competition. Each to their own.

@nd71: Well of course you should suit yourself. I didn't mention any kind of competition. There are many people who enjoy and play golf for fun. How is trying to put some effort in improving your golf swing masochistic? Anyhow, that is all besides the point. I was just quoting Campbell in my own words: that learning a language is like learning to dance. And that you have to practice dancing instead of reading about it. The Glossika website has a very elaborate product description. You could most likely have avoided your product dissatisfaction, instead of complaining here.

Just like lovelanguagesIII, I think that writer, poem and play are actually pretty useful vocabulary. I could add to that, that it even reviews certain chinese characters from previous sentences. And to elaborate even more on this, all these (example) sentences are designed in such a flexible way, that you can just replace many words. So in effect this is actually a very painless way of getting down the structure of the language, without spending a lot of time on long grammar explanations. It's even unnecessary to try to remember all the vocabulary. It's all built in.

@lovelanguagesIII: I would be very interested in more products like this! Please tell us more!

ad Lion:

This one has about 4,000 sentences. It comes with mp3 files, traditional characters and Taiwanese accent (American English):

ISBN 978-986-8667-8-5

This one has about 8,000 sentences, again with mp3 files, traditional characters and Taiwanese accent:

ISBN 978-986-6481-83-3

I also bought a version with simplified characters (the sound files are the same though):

ISBN 978-7-5404-4854-7

The only criticism I have is that sometimes the recording does not correspond a 100 % to the written text. It is no big deal, just an extra "and" or a slightly different wording of the sentence. The meaning is always the same.

But it can be a bit of a nuisance if you are trying to practise recognizing characters by reading and listening to the recording at the same time.

This book has also 8,000 sentences, same features as the ones above:

ISBN 978-986-6481-99-4

You can either try and buy these books online (not only from the sites I took the pics from; I just quickly searched for a book cover on the Internet) or get a friend to buy them locally and send them to you. That's what I sometimes do.

I also have another book with about 4,000 sentences where the audio files were only in English. I asked a Chinese friend to record the Chinese sentences for me and paid him for his service. That worked out really fine.

I can't give you any more detailed information about that book because another friend borrowed it from me and I don't remember the exact title.

I hope this post helps. 加油 :-)

I have a book in russian with 30 000 something, conversation-building sentences with translation. You can find it on amazon. I think its made by some kind of US military department. Only problem is that the text is so small, I can´t really read anything in it, or I fall asleep tryin'.

I got that too. It's not bad - but the examples are maybe a little dated?

Whatever do you do with such books? I remember watching the Glossika video where he discusses them and thinking "man does that sound boring." Perhaps I'm missing out on something?


Well, they can be helpful if you want example sentences of how prepositions are used - that kind of thing.

ad grefg: I use these books to study and practise vocabulary in context. With Chinese, the mp3 files also help me get some important listening practise with regard to tones. I've used similar books for my working languages too. Some people find this sort of thing boring, I don't.

I use this kind of compilations to build a core vocabulary.

It all depends on what motivates you to practise the language. If you find it boring, it certainly is not for you because you won't stick with it. And if you don't, you won't get any benefit from it.

@lovelanguagesIII: Thanks man, I'll definitely look into this!

@lovelanguagesIII Thanks for your reply, but I'm still a little curious about them. I was under the impression that the books (at least Glossika's Chinese books) consisted of random sentences, one after the other. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't remember seeing much "context" in the sense of a narration, or grammatical categories, etc.

I admit that I really only took a cursory look at his materials, and I'd be happy to be proven wrong. Could you go into a little more detail as to how you use such materials? Do you just read them? Or are they actually divided up into grammatical or thematic sections, to give you a little more idea of how to use the sentences?

Yes it is. Why cant they just update good old stuff instead of inventing new bad stuff.

@cribbe & @Prinz_Wladimir

What's the name of the Russian book with the sentences? I'd be interested to take a look at it. Thanks :-)

ad neofight78: I guess they were referring to "A phrase and sentence dictionary of spoken Russian" by doverpublications.

ISBN 0-486-20496-0

Great book but terribly small print - other than that a real gem.

ad gregf: The books I use for my working languages (English, French, Italian, Spanish) are published by Langenscheidt. The contain about 9,000 example sentences which are divided up into various chapters covering specific areas.

The books for Chinese which I mentioned are divided up into various sections as well. You don't get dialogues or any sort of narrative.

It is more a compilation of sentences where you can see words used in a specific context. I'd like to add that these books are just one tool that I use to practise vocabulary. I read a lot and I mean really a lot (magazines, newspapers, books).

However, I have found that it is great to have a list of words which cover the most common expressions. I pick up new vocabulary with the help of such example sentences much more quickly than if I had to learn new words by reading a lot of texts. But everybody is different and I do read a lot of texts as well, as I mentioned above. It's a combination of both.

I just prefer trying to build up my vocabulary with "frequency lists" (not just words, but example sentences). In a next step I consolidate my knowledge of new words by reading anything I'm interested in.

Others might say that it is a waste of time to go through these frequency lists first, why not go straight into reading? Well, as I said, I do both, I read narratives but also frequency lists because I find the latter a much faster and also highly efficient way to build up a core vocabulary.

Sometimes when I'm too tired to read the sentences, I just listen to them. I have noticed that through repeated listening I have sort of internalized certain grammatical structures and idiomatic patterns.

I'm not trying to convince anybody of this method, however. I know quite a few people who find this approach too boring or tiresome. If you don't like it, you should not force yourself to practise it. Have a go at it and if you think it works fine for you, stick with it. If not, do whatever you enjoy. There is no such thing as "the best method". We all need to find out what suits best our own interests and learning style.

Btw, I also read the sentences aloud a lot because I think you need to train your facial muscles to get used to the pronunciation of unfamilar sounds. I also seem to retain vocabulary better if I have actually pronounced it out loud instead of only listening to it.

@lovelanguagesIII Thanks for the info, I'll check it out :-)

Yeah, as Robert says, it's this one:

ad Lion and neofight78: You are welcome :-)

That Russian book looks good, but hard to read and handle. My understanding is that US government documents like this are public domain (such as Foreign Service Institute materials). If someone finds a scanned text version, please let me know.

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