2/14/2009

Back in the Swing of Things...

I admit, the Chinese language related blogging has been slow lately... the reason is, I really haven't studied very much Chinese the last few weeks. As it is, I don't really like the structure of university Chinese classes, but that's the vehicle by which I can afford to incorporate spending this time in China into my university degree. So after purposefully choosing a much too hard class for myself last semester and basically coming to the point of almost hating studying Chinese by exam period, I'm vowing to take an easy class and put the onus for learning Chinese on myself. It's good to take a break though at times like that, so I feel better now that the stress has left. Expect the translation and Chinese learning posts to gear up from now on.

Though I'm a little unfaithful at times, I'm a big believer in the "All Japanese Chinese All the Time" model. So I have a big host of media at my disposal and I thought I'd list them mostly for my own benefit.

  1. Chinese blogs and forums (see the links on the right).
  2. Podcasts: Chinesepod, 反波, and 静雅思听。
  3. My 三国演义 project: the CCTV series paired with the novel. I'm also reading An Introduction to Literary Chinese to help me understand the grammer.
  4. Novels: I'm pecking at 徐三观卖血记。
  5. Various dubbed Western films.
  6. Exploring the magical land of Youku.
  7. Edit: I forgot about 南方周末(I read the paper, but here's a link to the online version)!I'm trying to read it, at least on a superficial level, since it's like the closest thing I've found in Chinese to the Saturday issue of the Globe and Mail.
轉寫主義者asked how I can use Wenlin. Wenlin may not look pretty, but it's functionality is far beyond what any of the web based apps can offer (with the possible exception of nciku, a service I am really enjoying and have replaced the old faithful, perakun with). The way to really get bang for your buck with Wenlin is to rely on it's powerful "component" and "radical" search function. Simply CTRL+click on a character to break it down into different components (emphasis: components, not just radicals). A very simple but powerful tool. Once you master this tool, it will become the fastest way to find out a character you don't know.

I use Wenlin for two different things. One is for taking notes in class, while watching a film, or reading a book. I get a quick translation with no loading times and all of my searches are saved together. The second is for annotation of complicated documents, though I find that I have been relying on nciku more and more as my vocabularly grows. Still for more technical documents, especially legal related documents, I'll still use Wenlin for it's speed and radical search functions.

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