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Some people have trouble with tones, others with forming complete sentences, some with memorizing vocabulary, others with listening. What part of learning this crazy language makes you want to go on a shooting rampage while ripping all your hair out? Let's try to work together and help one another overcome these weaknesses with our experience and resources.

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i need to learn more swears!
I don't know about you guys but more and more i'm learning how to really master Chinese you need to work on re-thinking how to organize your thoughts and way of viewing the world. What do I mean by that? Well first of all English to Chinese is probably the widest gap in any language relationship, both languages are derived from mutually foreign trains of thought, parsing, and algorithms. It's pretty much impossible to obtain second-nature fluency while thinking in terms of English and trying to translate the meaning of what you hear and say to from Chinese to English.
So the solution as I see it is not only to practice till your tongue hurts but also to work on how you think about situations, explaining things, and organizing your thought/sequencing of things. If you can think like a Chinese the grammer, fluency, and listening will come more easily. This has been one of my bigger problems, I have found myself even fighting some of my learnings in this regard - dismissing the differences because of how silly I thought they were (in light of what I already understood in my mother tongue). So I challenge myself daily to think like a Chinese and not fight every quirk that I think should be organized differently - fighting 20% of the world's way of thinking isn't going to get me very far ;). What do you guys think?
I agree, you'll end up speaking Chinglish though and speaking Chinese to people who don't speak it, like your friends from home. That's okay though I think, since it's all in the name of learning. I often forget plurals, tenses and start saying things like "I tomorrow go..." etc... in English now but my Chinese has improved a lot.
Hehe, good 'ol Chinglish, I suppose its an upgrade from my old Spanglish days - not that I was very good at that either hehe.
Finding the motivation to write in Chinese other than typing and texting; especially when I'm really tired and all I want to do is rest after working all day and going to the gym. It's easy to incorporate speaking, reading, listening and typing into my work and social life but writing will literally take hours and hours of solitary practice that are hard to find.

I also find it hard to understand some Chinese people's accents, especially the Guangdong and Hunan accent where "h's" seem to be omitted further increasing ambiguity in x, ch, sh and zh sounds. Common words are okay but for words I've just learned it can be a bit taxing reverse engineering from regional Chinese into standard Chinese.
Great topic! I am all ears! 我洗耳恭听!(Wo3 xi2 er3 gong1 ting1 ! --I wash my ears to listen!)
谢谢 Jessica! Thats a good read!
David, I can stand a bit of words but just don't know how to put them all together to construct a sentence. The difficulty is just trying to learn everyday and master at least two words a day. If I don't right the pinyin I'm not going to remember it and once I do then a week after I will forget it. I even made a flash card to know more vocabulary. Sometimes just to practice the pronunciation I will repeat chinese words even if I don't know what it means yet. Sort of a baby step, I notice that once I figure how to pronounce it then it would be easy to know the meaning.

I know that it's just all about practice and commitment but really boils down to linguist talent and the reason for learning it. Being here for almost 5 years I can say that my minute understanding, speech and vocabulary have improve, might not be at par or a joke to guys who have been here for a year or months but still not giving up on learning it even if time spent is not as what should be if one want to be fluent speaking the language.
Thanks for taking the time to post Graydude. I've been having quite a bit of trouble retaining stuff too. I think it's just lack of time and focus due to other demands on my time. Largely business related. I have to do a lot of thinking and decision making in English which really detracts from my development in Chinese language. I have a ton of flashcards if you want to use them. They're linked on the group page. I have a few basic - simple strategies I try to employ.
1. Think in Chinese - when I'm planning out my day in my head or thinking what I want to eat or whatever I try my best to use Chinese in my head
2. Force yourself to talk Chinese at every opportunity - when communications aren't critical and you can put up with the stress in return for the benefit try to branch out there and work out the kinks in your Chinese.

Hope that helps in some way :)
hey wulumuchi! We're always there :) Your more than welcome as always :). What part of the conversation making seems to be giving you trouble? Is it the construction of sentences? Grammer? Following the conversation?

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