Participation
in Reading challenge, November 2020



15 minutes
0.25h

After navigating a little longer, I made to the 15th place in the Escape game heh heh Just to polish it

80 minutes
1.33h

1 Du Chinese article +Wordswing Escape game to finish the challenge

1) 105/155
2) 140/155
3) 155/155 Haven't made it the top 50 though haha

I'm very happy with my results from this challenge and for the first time I finished a whole book in Chinese :>

55 minutes
0.92h

Read two news from VOA, a bit slower due to some very long sentences at times.
《中国噩梦》:北京脆弱政权背后的全球野心
英法共同签订协议 阻止非法移民横渡英吉利海峡

Cool words
海峡 (Strait)
拦截 (To intercept)
庇护 (Asylum)
厌恶风险 ("Risk averse")
重挫 (Setback, plummet)

50 minutes
0.83h

Read some old bilingual news from VOA and 3 Du Chinese articles
特朗普总统力争边境墙拨款,不惜政府关门
巴西撤回主办联合国气候变化会议的提议
難搞的語言發音: 吃藕
爸爸的電話
你幸福嗎

Cool Words
催泪瓦斯 (Tear Gas, with "gas" as loanword it seems)
碳排放 (Carbon emissions)
批准 (Ratify, approve) (I think I have already come across this one before in this challenge)

55 minutes
0.92h

Read 时代抛弃了我父母:“买智能手机的钱 我想留着买墓地" from Sina Weibo
Felt very much represented since I'm trying to do some informatic stuff and I feel so dumb and frustrated haha

Cool words:
万能 (omnipotent)
绑定 (binding, as loanword)
聚焦 (to focus)
对讲机 (intercom)
譬如 (yet another way to say "for example")
前缀 (prefix)
谈何容易 (easier said than done)

85 minutes
1.42h

Three readings
男子“心脏病”其实是因为吞食电池的副作用 from Jandan
中國的手勢 from DuChinese
中國發射嫦娥五號,前往月球「挖土」from The New York Times
I gotta lower the level a bit, that NYT one killed me, almost an hour to finish it ~_~ But I am very interested in space exploration so I noted down some useful vocabulary, since we're definitely going to see more space-related news about China.

軌道 Orbit
著陸 To land/landing (careful with that 著)
諱莫如深 (Idiom, "Important matters that must be kept secret")
隕石 Meteorite
心电图 Electrocardiogram
钙 Calcium (the only mineral I'll be keeping for now, because I don't even understand what 釷 Thorium does)

95 minutes
1.58h

Three different sources today. Reading without hints, then reading with hints, then reading aloud.

-Read 2 articles on 煎蛋
"深度证据回归:当AI不再值得信任时,我们能提前得到预警" (Rather tough for me)
"犹他沙漠中的金属方碑是谁弄的?"
-Read "做饭,点外卖:哪个更划算" from Learning Chinese Through Stories
-And to relax the level a bit after that devastating AI article, I read some of DeFrancis Beginner's Reader, started from the last lesson (Lesson 33) to find something basic but with a little bit more of meat.

Cool words:
人工智能 (Artificial Intelligence) (I have seen AI used a lot more though, to the point I didn't know how to say it in Chinese)
谨慎 (cautious)
神经网络 (neural network)
反馈 (feedback)
同行評審 (peer review)
剧透 (spoiler)

70 minutes
1.17h

Read 3 Charmain Bao articles and 1 from DuChinese, also the Sherlock Holmes history preview from Mandarin Companion.
- 中國研究人員用超級計算機預測疫情 (By far the hardest)
- 人們會在上海見到牛頓的蘋果樹
- 中國禁止地鐵上吃東西
- 為什麼說大話叫吹牛
- 有意思的案子

Nice words:
模擬 (Simulation)
催化劑 (Catalyst)
宏觀 (Macroscopic)
泥沙 (Silt) (Didn't even know what was it)

70 minutes
1.17h

Read all 6 free articles available from Chairman Bao.
Full session with and without audio, reading aloud and reading in silence and then mimicking the audio.
Some more specific vocabulary on the HSK6 regarding computers, just learn 芯片 for "microchip" and I find it very symbolic that it has "heart" as phonetic part in it.

62 minutes
1.03h

Catched up with Du Chinese lessons
Listened first without seeing text, then read without audio, then read with audio, the read it aloud, sometimes repeating the last one playing the audio again to mimick.

Read:
穆桂英, 中國的女英雄
中國的綜藝節目
銀行門口的石獅子
結婚祝福語
他很紅
手術

70 minutes
1.17h

100 % of 撒哈拉的故事!
This is oficially the longest book I've ever finished in Chinese, and I wasn't even expecting to finish one during the challange, I'm pretty happy with the result. I might have missed many nuances, I might compensate that reading a translation in the future and perhaps comparing it to the original.

Now what do I do with my life? Haha

Some interesting vocabulary:
天堂鳥花 (Heaven's Flower, weirdly shaped)
鬼鬼祟祟 (Sneaky)
應酬 (Socialize)
木乃伊 (Mummy)
羅馬不是一天造成的 (Don't know how much Chinese speakers use this one)

135 minutes
2.25h

Very long reading session, 30+60+45
93% on 撒哈拉的故事
Reading 白手成家. This chapter has a great deal of idioms, brands and home appliances.
Interesting words:
朋馳牌 (Mercedes Benz, one of the many trascriptions it seems to have)
脊椎 (Spine) (I like this one, the first character is a very vivid pictogram I had totally forgotten about)
淚淌 (Another word for tears, seems to follow the word+counter plural form)
挫折 (Frustration)
羅曼蒂克 (Romantic). Didn't know they had this one as a loanword too, but I don't seem to find many info about it being interchangeable with 浪漫.
棺材 (Coffin)
鎯頭 (Hammer)
陋 (Shabby)
鶴立雞群 (Great chengyu meaning "outstanding", lit. "a crane standing in a flock of chickens")
龍飛鳳舞 (Another great chengyu, means "flamboyant", lit. "dragon flying, phoenix dancing")
風花雪月 (chengyu for poetic vocabulary that is used without sentiment)

50 minutes
0.83h

83 % of 撒哈拉的故事
Reading the 白手成家 (Building something from scratch) chapter
Cool words:
鄉愁 (homesickness)
瑣事 (trivial matters)
幼稚 (naïve)
搭車 (Hitchhike)

55 minutes
0.92h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事
Couldn't sleep, so I finished the 天梯 (Starway To Heaven) chapter.
Found a really nice idiom, 賣關子, "To sell Guanzi". I think it's used for when you keep something from someone in secret to give them the big surprise afterwards. It seems to have a very historical background behind from what I've read.
Some other interesting words:
皺眉 (frown)
滾鐵環 (that iron hoop Chinese kids used to play with)
& many other words to talk about criminals, since they passed by a prison: 胚子 -embryo (don't know why, but she uses it a lot to refer to them), 敗類 -scum-, 流氓 -hooligan-, 地痞 -ruffian-.
I leave here my favourite paragraph from the chapter, when San Mao starts to pity the prisoners.
"這個世界上真正的壞胚子就如我們中國人講的「龍」一樣,可大可小,可隱可現,你是捉不住他們,也關不住他們的。"

Just loved the vocabulary for criminals! hahaha

65 minutes
1.08h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事
Still through the 天梯 (Starway To Heaven) chapter.
San Mao found a driving teacher that was interested in Chinese culture and philosophy. She asked him if he knew Zhuangzi and he said: Zhuangzi? Isn't that a butterfly?
Some fun things learnt today:
三字經
書聲朗朗
模棱

60 minutes
1.0h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Finished 死果 (Dead fruit). That was an intense reading. I even wonder if the author might have something more fantasy-like, it was pretty fun reading about the curse. Having this sort of separated chapter structure helps a lot to keep reading since you always want more from a new short memory she proposes. Lexically speaking, she's also very consistent, you'll keep finding the same way to refer to surprises (驚), scares (嚇), screams (尖叫)...

Started 天梯 (Starway To Heaven). In this chapter, it seems Sanmao is going to learn to drive a car. I'm already having fun at the beginning of the chapter (she just asks all her neighbours to let her drive tehir, no matter the size)

70% progress!

90 minutes
1.5h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Started 死果 (Dead fruit [?]). A lot of things happen to this poor couple, now San Mao is suffering a curse from a necklace she found. Lots of word related to suffering: 癱, 脈搏, 撕碎, 縮著身體, 翻騰, 折磨...
I livestreamed it (I'm not a youtuber or anything, I just thought I'd be fun) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ytK4sygr6M
I suppose I'll understand the chapter's title when I finish it

Very cool idea to stream it!

35 minutes
0.58h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Finished 素人漁夫 (Amateur fishermen). Fun chapter at the end, they had to save money so they went to catch their very own fish (failed at it).

65 minutes
1.08h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Finished 芳鄰 (Good neighbours)
Started 素人漁夫 (Amateur fishermen). This one got trickier, lots of vocabulary regarding sealife, seafood and tools: 葷, 九孔, 潛水衣, 花斑鰻, 電人魚 (I'm still researching this one, I thought I'd be your good old electric eel, but dictionaries don't seem to index this form), 鏟, 魚鱗, 綁...

15 minutes
0.25h

Just some DuChinese before sleeping. Read in all the possible forms, with and without pinyin/colors/audio

50 minutes
0.83h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Finished 愛的尋求 (Love pursuing)
Started 芳鄰 (Good neighbours). San Mao talks about how she had to lend everything to her neighbours and received almost nothing in exchange. Best part was when a goat came through their ceiling and when a kid came to their house wanting to fit a whole dead camel in their freezer.

Congrats on the top spot. You’re keeping me motivated to keep on reading :)

Hey, that's great! I am actually surprised even with myself since this is probably the farthest I've ever gotten with a whole book in Chinese haha. Let's keep it on! :D

40 minutes
0.67h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Still at 愛的尋求 (Love pursuing)

110 minutes
1.83h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Started and finished 沙漠觀浴記 (Notes on a bath with views to the desert)
The protagonist finds out there's a bath house at her little Saharan town and decides to give it try. But, like everything in her life, it ends up being pretty gruesome. Lots of vocabulary regarding body parts and fluids. Some interesting dirty words: 瀉, 污垢, 排泄, and yet another word for something mud related, 泥漿.
I'm sorta absorbed by the book, I've started the next chapter, 愛的尋求 (Love pursuing)

90 minutes
1.5h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Finished 荒山之夜 (Night on a barren mountain) chapter.
That was a great and very romantic chapter. The couple goes close to the sea shore to have fun finding some fossils 化石, but San Mao ends up saving his husband from being sucked by a quicksand all by herself. Lots of mud and soil related vocabulary: 泥, 泥土, 泥沼, 稀泥... And also machine related, I just learnt 油門 (oil+gate) is used for "accelerator".

95 minutes
1.58h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Started the 荒山之夜 (Night on a barren mountain) chapter.
San Mao described on the last chapter Saharan wedding customs and the suffering of a girl from her neighbourhood that was forced to marry at the age of 10.
I am finding this reading quite enjoyable and accessible, it would be a nice book for a HSK4-HSK5 student.
I also just discovered a great word, 仙人掌, which literally translates as "Immortals' palm" but it's used for "cactus"!

I love how cactus is translated! It's one of my favorite Chinese words! I wonder why it has this name haha Btw, I'm really interested in this book, and after seeing who is 三毛, wow, added it to my book list!

I didn't have great expectations at the beginning, since at least here in Spain, San Mao is very popular among Mandarin students so she's a bit "mainstream". But 撒哈拉的故事 is pretty fun. Btw, some people on the net say 仙人掌 because cacti live very long and have great resistance just like the immortals 仙人. And I guess the palm 掌 comes from some flat-type cacti.

30 minutes
0.5h

Half an hour of 撒哈拉的故事.

Right now, San Mao tells how she ended up becoming sort of a doctor at her small Saharan town. She almost became a midwife and saved a goat.

100 minutes
1.67h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Right now at 懸壺濟世.

45 minutes
0.75h

Reading 撒哈拉的故事.
Finished 沙漠中的飯店, started the next chapter, 結婚記.

60 minutes
1.0h

沙漠中的飯店
I understand more than what I thought I would, I could even decipher some new words just from context, and that's something I wasn't able to

Very nice! What's 沙漠中的飯店?

It's the first chapter of a short memories book by Taiwanese writer San Mao. She had a Spanish husband and they lived together in the Sahara desert for a while.

60 minutes
1.0h

百妖譜 9話到14話
Writing learnt words on Twitter

50 minutes
0.83h

三毛 · 沙漠中的飯店

95 minutes
1.58h

百妖譜 從一話到八話




Challenge time progress:100%
Goal progress:175.1%
Score35.02
Rank2nd
Hours reported35.02
Profile
Goal20h