I know it’s been quiet around here for a couple months now. I’ve been studying hard, trying new things, etc. I just haven’t had much time for blogging. Anyway, I figured I’d pop in for a quick update on what I’m doing right now.

The most important thing right now is applying for grad school. I’ve finished my autobiography, and I’m now working on my study plan/research plan. I intend to finish that by the end of February, so I can put the final touches on everything before the mid-March deadline. I’m also getting stuff together for the scholarship application, and I’m pretty much just waiting for my letters of recommendation to come in before I send it off.

In other news, I’m still working with TV shows and such, but in a slightly different way than before. I’m essentially just mining shows AJATT-style, watching a show and throwing useful/interesting/difficult sentences into Anki, but then reading them aloud during reviews. It’s working very nicely without taking up too much time (I spend about half an hour on this specific thing). The catch is, I’m mining only for colloquial spoken Chinese since that’s what I’m working on, and specifically natural spoken Chinese, not scripted. That pretty much leaves me with talk-show/綜藝節目 type shows like 康熙來了 like I mentioned before, but that’s OK for now. I’ll probably move on to more formal speech later on.

I’m also reading a bit more widely than before. Some newspapers, some magazines (《遠見》 is nice). Basically an article per day, and I throw all the new vocab into my Pleco flash card deck. I thought about using The Independent Reader, but then I figured using current articles would be much more interesting (and I was right). If I’m feeling extra crazy I’ll read the article aloud, which I find does help but is much more taxing mentally.

For Classical Chinese, I’m taking 裘錫圭’s advice to would-be palaeographers and focusing solely on the 左傳 for right now. I’m not happy about it, because it’s a very difficult read compared to say, 四書, but it will be good for me.

I haven’t been as good lately about reading for my MA as I should be, but I am still trudging along with some 音韻學 books. My reading list has changed some, but I won’t bore you with the details. I’m also working through 古文字學概要, which is like a reader of 甲骨文, 金文, 戰國文字, etc. Good stuff.

In other other news, I’m still working on Japanese. I switched to Assimil from 大家學標準日本語, and although the audio is painfully slow, I’m pretty happy with it. I’m also using a book called Shadowing: Let’s Speak Japanese! which is very much like Assimil in many ways, but has recordings at a natural speed (read: fast). It’s a great course, but there’s almost nothing in the way of explanations other than translations of the dialogues into English, Chinese and Korean. No grammar, etc., so it’s really intended as a supplement, not a primary course. But it’s a really fantastic book.

I’m working here and there on Taiwanese, but it’s really not a priority right now. Maybe later I’ll be able to devote some more time to it.

OK, well that’s all for now. I’m not sure when I’ll have time for blogging again, but I’ll pick it back up again when I can.

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