in Pronunciation challenge, December 2020

63 minutes

Reviewing Sunday + IPA Monday. Reviewed my vowels, I've heard -eng vs -ong so many times that I think I got to the point of departure again xD. Review the 四是四 poem as well. Sort of improved in speed, but noticed I try subconsciously to hide some flaws, like doing very short 4th tones.

47 minutes

Mimicking Saturday gone wrong.
Actually did more reading aloud, continued reading the Escape! game
+ worked on a tongue twister, the 四是四 one, although I hadn't planned any for this challenge. I can manage it at a somewhat fast speed, but I'll keep trying.

102 minutes

Mimicking Thursday + Reading Friday. Tried to do some dramatic narration of WordSwing's Escape (gone wrong) and mimicked 1st paragraph of Olle's 文字冒險遊戲 podcast trying to catch some of his pronunciation tricks.

67 minutes

Tone drilling Wednesday. Practised tones from sinosplice exercises for about 40 minutes, then kept practising 月下獨酌. Used voice recognition to test tones, got 17/20 recognized by it, main problem being consonants rather than tones sometimes.

115 minutes

IPA Tuesday + Mimicking. Went through my biggest enemies (ang vs eng vs ong) after practising repeating the whole list of finals. Although I can clearly notice the difference between them ("eng" gets really tricky), I think my main problem is processing them fast enough when hearing real speech.

Started studying the 月下獨酌 poem with CriticalOwl's recommended video and another song for children (very fun, though incomplete). These children songs can actually be good to have something midway day-to-day speech and poems, since they speak a bit faster and less dramatic than poem narrators.

Nice YouTube songs to Subscribe in.

65 minutes

Reviewed some recordings + practised S, Z, C / en / an, ang / ang VS eng / eng VS ong
Maybe I should blend in more fun into my practising, sometimes I get tired of not getting some specific sounds or rhythms and I obsess over repeating them haha. I'll probably learn a song or two before the end of the challenge.

82 minutes

Tone Drilling Saturday, compensated extra time for yesterday. Used Praat and Sinosplice's chart to go through all the possible tone combinations again checking pitch waves. This time I also worked with speech recognition and wrote on a chart the tones it didn't recognize well. Got 16 out of 20 recognized. Problematic ones: 2+3, 3+3, 3+0, 4+0.

45 minutes

Reading Friday. Read two stories from Learning Chinese Through Stories. First alone, then mimicking, then shadowing, then listening to myself and searching for mistakes.

69 minutes

Shadowing+mimicking thursday with LiTao + Everyday Chinese.
I'm not too sure about the shadowing method, I've heard myself doing it and it sounds worse than doing it with pauses or plain reading aloud. I surpress almost all the tones when mimicking because it seems I don't hear myself correctly or I fill that gap in my mind with the speaker's tones without noticing.

91 minutes

Tone drilling Wednesday, I went through the whole basic set of Sinosplice's chart (great resource). The session focussed on reviewing my own spectogram through Praat and seeing how a native's spectrograms looked. Practised as well some basic rules of tone shifting rules with the "Obligatory and optional tone change rules in Mandarin" article. Seems like I do second tones correctly when in words, but I make it too low when in isolation. At times my third tone was so low I couldn't see it on the spectogram haha

97 minutes

IPA Tuesday. Pratice finals + many syllables through the Chinese Wiki interactive chart. Seems there a lot of disagreement over "e / ㄜ". One chart I've found proposes /ɤə/ and other proposes /ɯ̯ʌ/. I think I have been using /ɤə/ , but I'm not sure if natives would notice that.

Tomorrow I'll go super hard on tone drilling using Praat and spectrograms to check my tones. My second tone is really lacking strength and my third tone sounds too exaggerated.

68 minutes

Consonant Monday. Practised mouth position and air for ㄐ ㄑ ㄒ ㄓ ㄔ ㄕ (JQX ZH CH SH) for a whole hour with some native audio and Pleco. Repeated many times the entire syllable sets for each of those consonants. This is perhaps the hardest point of phonetics for me because my Hispanic brain cannot process so many mouth positions when the farthest we get is /ʃ/ in some dialects, haha.

62 minutes

Review Sunday. Revisited my streaming recordings to find mistakes and try once again some of the texts I've read. I'm probably gonna drop reading aloud without a native audio to back me up, it becomes too hard to find the nuances I'd need.

Yesterday I discovered a Chinese narrator in YouTube with a very good voice that has over 3000 videos of him reading aloud, I am using some of his recordings for shadowing. If you want to check him out, look up "qingsheng zhang" on YT. Most seem to be classical texts, but there are many poems and songs as well.

Thanks, will check him out. Keep up the good work 👍🏾

65 minutes

I did a second hour-long session shadowing and mimicking poems. Started with 詠鵝 and continued with the one from the previous session, 空山不見人. I didn't I would like poems that much, I might add more of them to my program. I might need to read more about Chinese poetry rhythm since people recording themselves do some weird ups and downs at times.

68 minutes

Following CriticalOwl's plan, I shadowed some poems. Started by the famous 空山不見人. I think I'm going to devote a whole day just to ZH, CH, J, Q haha

95 minutes

Reading aloud Friday with Zhuyin sided Chinese font.
I was a lot slower than expected, but I think some parts were good. I'm checking them on Sunday.

Another thing worth trying out is adding only tone marks (if you want to focus on that, of course). You can't rely on a font, but just search for "tome marks over characters" on Hacking Chinese and you shall find tool if you want to try it out. :)

I was actually looking for that kind of font! Many times I tend to overlook the side Zhuyin of that font because for words that appear too much it tends to obstruct me. Thanks, I'll check it out :>

The very thing Olle suggested in using tone Mark's only, is what I do. You could also right the number of the tone above the character or pinyin, if that helps

85 minutes

Mimicking Thursday. Mimicked some super beginner's Chinese, HSK2 listening audio and part of a CCTV documentary.

I've prepared a whole routine for this challenge and I'll be streaming everyday on my YT channel (Shiwelt Polyglotting). If anybody wants to pass by or even practice with me you're more than welcome, because I have no teacher or native to correct me so all my references are from audios :)

Challenge time progress:100%
Goal progress:107.2%
Hours reported21.43