I’ve mentioned here and there how I’ve been playing with Duolingo and Memrise lately, in order to improve my vocab and be able to put words in the right context. Both D and M have their pros and cons of course, even though it depends a lot on the kind of decks you decide to study (for Memrise, as on Duolingo you only pick the language).
When I first started off, Language Learner Enthusiasm got the best of me as usual and I started studying a lot of different courses at once (-.-). I’ve now narrowed down the material I’m currently using so here’s the recap:
- Chinese course (Duolingo). Well, I already said that you don’t really have a choice on Duolingo, you complete all the levels for your target language and when you’re done you just keep reviewing them (actually the review part starts way before having completed the course). There are a number of things that I find annoying about Duolingo, but it’s still useful practice. I’m currently at 71/88 stations, so I guess Iit’ll take me another month to complete it, and then I’ll just keep up with the review.
- Chinese for HSK3 Part I: Paking University (Memrise). This is the vocab review for a HSK3 prep course I started attending on Coursera a couple of months ago (still have to finish it). It’s very convenient having flashcards for all new words already prepared to review (instead of having to manually put them into Anki or a similar systems), and it’s even more helpful if you follow the lessons on Memrise along with the classes on Coursera. There are a few technical issues with this course (like audio track doing weird things), but overall I’ve been enjoying it (especially since it doesn’t use a lot of pinyin). I’m currently at 8/30 lessons, so way to go.
- Mandarine Chinese 2 (Memrise). Completed! Though I want to keep it reviewed since there were quite a few words it took me a lot of time to master and I don’t want to waste all my good efforts. It’s a bit annoying that the number of words to review increases exponentially day by day, but I’ll manage.
- Mandarine Chinese 1 (Memrise). Completed as well, but I have yet to start reviewing it. There were quite a few words/phrases I never really learnt properly, so I’ll go back to it once I finish my current open deck.
- French 1 (Memrise). This has actually nothing to do with Chinese or other Asian languages but since I’ve been studying it steadily for more than a month now I thought it was worth mentioning. 16/18 lessons, so I’ll start French 2 before the end of the month.
- HSK level 3 (Memrise). I barely started this deck and then set it aside because I wasn’t making any progresses. Tbh I don’t remember exactly what wasn’t working for me at the time (maybe too much focus on characters’ radicals?), I’ll just take the time to retry studying with it and decide if it’s worth retrieving or to toss it for good.
I also started a Remembering simplified hanzi course (Memrise) but I didn’t like it, again for reasons I now can’t remember. I guess that it’s pretty easy to evaluate whether you’re actually making progresses with a certain course of not, and that’s the beauty of these apps imho.
On whether it makes sense to study both M and D at the same time, I honestly cannot say. They’re pretty similar so in the end I think it’s more a psychological factor (I’m studying with two apps = I’m making more effort) than an actual growth of your progresses. For now I don’t find it too cumbersome, so I’ll keep up with both of them – but I wouldn’t have any problem dropping the one or the other.
Maybe it makes more sense to study a deck on one of the two, and then when it’s done keep it reviewed while studying a new course on the other. When I first started reviewing my French on Memrise I thought to start the course on Duolingo as well, but than I changed my mind and I kept working just on one app for the time being. I’ll try the French deck on Duolingo when I’m done with French II on Memrise.
Of course those are by no means sufficient to really progress in the language, but they are a quick and easy way to ensure you practice your target language everyday (and they’re way more fun and appealing than Anki).
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I’m now at episode 9 of Goblin, and the story is finally starting to get moving. Gong Yoo is just amazing, Lee Dong-Wook is great support character and I absolutely adore every gag between Kim Shin and the grim reaper.
This said, I find the female lead somewhat annoying (as usual). She’s not worse than others tbh, but still, I wish I could have seen a stronger female character for once. Plus I’m a bit sick of these characters with super extra mega hyper miserable lives who are hated by literally everyone. I mean, seriously.
So yeah, I like it, but I’m still not loving it. I know that it’s a great product and I honestly wish I could feel super hooked, but I’m not. I wish that at least the story could be a little less slow, it has been 8 episodes of almost nothing ._.
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I think I’m going to have vegetarian nachos tonight, watch something quick on Netflix and then be in bed by 8 for my reading session before sleeping. Today the weather was super cold and sunny and I was dying to go out for a walk. I hope to have another chance tomorrow, as I’m planning a 6:30 walk in the park 🙂
Currently listening to: Lany ~ Made in Hollywood
Currently wearing: New Retro Wave tee, black jogger, pink socks