How do you cope with the confinement situation?

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by LenaicM, Apr 13, 2020.

  1. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    811
    Occupation:
    Language teacher & graduate student in linguistics
    Location:
    Europe
    I just wanted to start a thread to know how others cope with life in solation during the confinement, what works for you and how do you guys manage your day?

    I started to develop some anxiety at first because of the stress related to the situation. Surely everyone is different and for me it had quite a significant impact on my life, non related to the virus directly though, mostly morale so nothing too important :) but still.

    I'm only starting to adjust positively to life in isolation after 4 weeks!

    How?

    - I stopped following the news and only check once a day during a brief time and to update myself on the current situation. Too much information was messing up with my mood and optimism.

    - I am working (translation) but studying for a Master degree at the same time and this year, exams will be graded through online assignments. I have quite some studying ahead so it keeps me busy, driven and focused.

    - I was supposed to move to Japan early April for a teaching position near Kobe but agreements have first been postponed then canceled because of the situation and I was very disappointed as I have been planning that for a long time. I started looking for another position and it also keeps me busy working on revamping my resume and doing some job hunting.

    - thankfully I'm not alone and spend some quality time with my wife and 3-year-old son (who misses school a lot). Spending a lot of time building Duplo and Lego! Playing a lot outdoor too as we have a large garden. Seeing life through my kid is surely the best way to cheer me up and keep me sane! :D

    - I started doing a lot of sports at the beginning of my isolation, including badminton shadow drills, but since 1 week I completely stopped any exercices (only walking with the family for an hour a day). Somehow, right now I can't find the motivation knowing the season is finished for me and I don't necesary like working out unless it is for a badminton oriented goal. I actually think less of badminton because it becomes very frustrating quickly if I watch a match on TV or think about it. A bit frustrated about it as it's the first time since I started badminton that I have to let go of it but that's how it is at the moment.

    - Learning a new language. It's been 4 years now I study Japanese but it's on and off as usual. Regardless of the isolation or not I can't keep up with it on a regular basis. I always learn hard for 2 weeks then stop for a few days or longer before getting back at it etc. That's the pattern I'm in. Currently not learning much Japanese after having made some good efforts during the first weeks of isolation.

    - Food! Eating more than usual but trying to keep it healthy. We do bbq and bake a lot of cakes or pies. Trying not to put too much sugar. :p

    Well how do you guys manage to stay sane, focused and optimist when in isolation? Talking about it is a good way to vent it out too! :D
     
    #1 LenaicM, Apr 13, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  2. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Messages:
    21,081
    Likes Received:
    2,869
    Occupation:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Location:
    Outside the box
    Food is the same as you. There is more time to eat. I have to make a conscious effort to keep it to two meals a day.

    I brushed the dust off my mandarin textbook and going through some exercises. In fact, I have a lot of books to go through but not been motivated to open them. Sometimes I can’t understand what people speak in my learning materials (accent or simply very fast) so I record the voice into wechat and send it to a group to confirm what is said and try to work out why I got it wrong. I also have mandarin sentences in flashcards in anki. At present, it is mainly setup to practice : A) listening skills B) chorus method for speaking.

    I would like to learn other languages such as Japanese and french (7 years of french at school) but probably too lazy now. Maybe you can coach me using French and then I will learn much faster! I asked my kid to start watching Spanish cartoons as she has decided to pick that as her third language for school.

    My kid asked if we can build a computer. We will do that today! I hope I have all the components at home.

    not much exercise for us. It’s difficult to get motivated having no competitions to target and not meeting any badminton friends.


    What languages do you do translation? French English? I bet you must enjoy watching the japanese badminton videos and trying to understand them. Sometimes I watch the mandarin ones but their accent can be quite strong. I once asked a native mandarin speaker what Wang XiaoLi was saying and the person I asked said they couldn’t understand.
     
    speCulatius, Baddie lover and LenaicM like this.
  3. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    811
    Occupation:
    Language teacher & graduate student in linguistics
    Location:
    Europe
    If you did 7 years of French, that's already some solid foundation! I guess you can read short stories and watch movies or series with subtitles. Actually that's when learning a language gets harder and takes much more efforts.

    Granted, starting takes some efforts too but the results are fast and significant so it's encouraging and easy to stay motivated. It's always a lot more efforts and little less results after the basics have been acquired. Especially when it comes to talking or listening in some languages.

    It's also asier to read! I can read a japanese book for kids such as princess Kaguya but listening to a Japanese player's interview is tough... especially when technical vocabulary is being used. I guess it's similar with Mandarin. Actually I can sometimes understand the meaning conveyed in written mandarin because some characters are similar to japanese, although sometimes they differ with Kanji's and l end up being totally wrong! :rolleyes:

    I translate in no particular order Spanish English and French. Mostly web content and product descriptions. It takes some time because even experienced translator double check meanings in the target language, and re-compose sentences so it is smoother. Well depending of the content being translated. It can be very mechanical too. My goal is to add a 4th language with Japanese but I will only be able to study deeper the language after the Master degree is completed in 12 months. I won't do much more progress in Japanese unless I consecrate a lot more time to it, including with a native teacher. It's obviously very hard for me to learn it compared to spanish say.

    And yes hard to stay focus in terms of badminton related objectives... same here no tournaments in sight = less motivation, especially after lockdown has been extended for another 4 weeks yesterday in my country.

    Well having kids sure keep us busy and happy. Can't complain. :D
     
    Baddie lover likes this.
  4. extremenanopowe

    extremenanopowe Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,787
    Likes Received:
    118
    Occupation:
    Chief Coach. The best and still active.
    Location:
    www.extreme-power.org or xtremexn.blogspot.com
    Hang in there...
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Messages:
    21,081
    Likes Received:
    2,869
    Occupation:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Location:
    Outside the box
    @LenaicM

    Out of curiosity, I listened to pimsleur French. I got up to series four before getting to unknown words. That surprised me considering I hardly touched French for many many years. I think I could read short stories and guess some of the meanings. Films are too difficult even with subtitles. A few years back, I did go to Paris. After about a day and a half, and with the aid of a phrase book, it's quite OK for me to to travel around and start to guess what people are saying to me. Unfortunately, my school French was a lot of grammar and translation exercises in a classroom which was not very interesting and we didn't have the same access to media making my progress a bit limited. Often wondered what I could do with French now if I spent six months self studying and with a tutor. Possibly/probably I could learn really fast.

    Mandarin is a lot lot harder though. I have some new ideas about learning the language (or any language. I do a lot of repetitive listening and not much reading (yet). I am just in the process of contacting tutors again to prepare some simple learning materials. Basically I found a comic with very short stories of 4 to 6 pictures. My idea is to get a couple of tutors to describe the story with about two to three sentences per picture. For one story, I would then get three versions of it and then listen the story. Hopefully with different voices saying the same story I get to build up hearing different ways of saying the same thing with similar and some different vocabulary. Then later, I can try to build up the story myself telling a different tutor who can then correct me, show grammar errors or obvious pronunciation problems. I am pretty excited about this idea as different people express the same ideas differently and recognising the different ways people say the same thing is not something I do well. If you are interested, the comic I chose to pick is 老夫子 :)
     
    #5 Cheung, Apr 14, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
    LenaicM likes this.
  6. visor

    visor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,976
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Re mandarin, if Axelsen you can do it!

    Sent from my SM-G988W using Tapatalk
     
    Cheung likes this.
  7. visor

    visor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,976
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I've been watching as many videos of TTY and Watanabe/Endo as I can. Don't know why, just like their style and deception. And maybe they just won the most recent All England titles...

    All this watching while dry swinging my racket practicing an explosive grip tightening by listening to get as high a pitch sound as possible, while at the same time being as relaxed as possible ie. not forced.

    Next I plan to setup a small net to practice serves as in Tobias' video.

    But yeah, gotta watch out for the information overload on COVID-19 as I'm quite often on a FB group discussing it a lot.



    Sent from my SM-G988W using Tapatalk
     
    LenaicM likes this.
  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Messages:
    21,081
    Likes Received:
    2,869
    Occupation:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Location:
    Outside the box
    He's younger than me....
     
  9. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    811
    Occupation:
    Language teacher & graduate student in linguistics
    Location:
    Europe
    At some point and with any language, it's either living in the target language country or clocking in some solid hours with a native tutor.

    French isn't too complicated at first I guess. However when a learner of the French language start to dig in the verbs and their conjugation (other than basics) it tends to become very complicated as there are many forms + we do have six distinct subjects pronouns for which each verb has a specific form, unlike English or Japanese for example. It doesn't mean english as a language is easy either but when it comes to the verbs and compared to French, it is. But at this point (able to read short stories, communicate with locals, etc) and for better progress, you have to live in the country for a certain amount of time or spend some regular hours with a native tutor I agree.

    That's an interesting way to learn a language, focusing on receptive skills . Just to be clear, you already know the written meanings of the Chinese characters right and your focus is mainly on the pronunciation?
     
  10. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    811
    Occupation:
    Language teacher & graduate student in linguistics
    Location:
    Europe
    I remember one of his videos showing his daily routine and he does spend some time on the morning and between his training sessions studying the language. He seems to do it very seriously. Anyway he can talk the language so he worked hard for it.
     
  11. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Messages:
    21,081
    Likes Received:
    2,869
    Occupation:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Location:
    Outside the box
    What I found with languages is although I can repeat phrases out loud and make them easily understandable, I can't understand the replies which is what I need for communication. Hence, listening skills are a very weak area of mine. I don't know the meanings of Chinese words very well either. It's not a problem to try and recognize them but writing would be difficult. I have learnt spoken Chinese Cantonese before and this doesn't follow standard written Chinese all the time. So for me, there was no real incentive to read and just picked up spoken language just from being around native speakers in the environment.

    I see a lot of overseas Chinese who learn to speak Chinese as an adult without having knowledge of the written language. I noticed it is the ones with better listening ability that progress far faster and better. After reading around the internet a lot, I saw a lot of people say that the best way is to learn is to start talking to people from the beginning. That's quite hard for me because there's just too many things going on at the same time. I have to think about what is being said to me, pick up the accent, slurred words etc. And that's even before I start thinking about my output. It might work for some people but it is frustrating for me.

    My previous experience learning Cantonese can't apply to learning Mandarin because of not being in a native environment. So I have to take a different learning approach. There's a minority of opinion that a person should try to get comprehensible input and I+1 for learning. It seems to hold true for me because information overload leads to less retention. Thus, I chose to work on my weak point which is listening skills and I do that with prerecorded native spoken material (more advanced than slower learner materials).

    Axelsen is interesting. He obviously works hard with Mandarin out of training. What is probably less appreciated, but very helpful for him for reinforcement, is that one of the coaches he works with is Chinese and they can work together using Chinese as a medium of communication. Then add that the average Danish person learns speaks three or four languages as a minimum so they are very familiar to trying out languages if interested.
     
    #11 Cheung, Apr 15, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
    LenaicM likes this.
  12. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,639
    Likes Received:
    303
    Location:
    Canada
    I love the ambition that you all have: building computers, learning languages, etc. Impressive! :)

    The best our family has done is to watch all the Harry Potter movies in French.
    It’s funny because the spoken French and the French captions are slightly different translations. So I get to misunderstand each line twice.:rolleyes:
     
    Cheung and LenaicM like this.
  13. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    811
    Occupation:
    Language teacher & graduate student in linguistics
    Location:
    Europe
    That's like up to 15 hours of hearing and reading French. That's totally learning a language!

    :D I know right! The subtitle translation is done apart from the audio and mainly because the dubbed voice-over is done in a way the audio will match (more or less) the movements of the lips, syllables and the intonation or even the physical reactions and emotions of the character. A lot get lost in translation. The subtitles can be a better translation of the original audio (although it has to sounds smooth and is often greatly modified for that purpose) while the dubbed audio is usually more altered.
     
    Fidget and Cheung like this.
  14. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Messages:
    21,081
    Likes Received:
    2,869
    Occupation:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Location:
    Outside the box
    Oh. I didn't realise that before! I converted some films into anki flashcards but realised that the English films translated into Chinese don't have the spoken Chinese matching the subtitles. Whereas original Chinese Mandarin films will have the audio and subtitles match much more accurately.
     
    LenaicM likes this.
  15. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    811
    Occupation:
    Language teacher & graduate student in linguistics
    Location:
    Europe
    Totally! That's why it's so satisfying watching, reading, listening or talking in the source language because it's understood differently not matter how accurate is the translation. The meaning is always conveyed in the target language but it can't be felt the same way in the original source. It's so obvious when translating any idiomatic expression from say English to Spanish and Japanese.

    蛙の子は蛙 literally translate to: the child of a frog is a frog. In spanish it will be de tal palo, tal astilla and would translate to: from that stick, comes that splinter. Guess the english idiom? Like father like son. :D

    I think that quote sum up what I'm trying to say much better: "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." - Ludwig Wittgenstein.

    Btw I'm curious to know how is this idiom expressed in Cantonese and Mandarin?
     
    visor likes this.
  16. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Messages:
    21,081
    Likes Received:
    2,869
    Occupation:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Location:
    Outside the box
    Err I don't know. Idioms are my weak point LOL.

    What are your strategies for learning languages?

    If there's anybody into studying more formal spoken cantonese, the daily updates by the Departmental of Health are very good. HK Legislative Council are also pretty formal but I am not into the arguments which put me off.
     
    #16 Cheung, Apr 18, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  17. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Messages:
    21,081
    Likes Received:
    2,869
    Occupation:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Location:
    Outside the box
    Today I was able to go out to Decathlon. They had some new stock in. I bought couple of 5kg weights, stronger resistance bands, and a couple of hurdles to complement the ones I have. The prize purchase was a foldable badminton net that's three meters wide. 1.55m high. hehe.
     
    LenaicM likes this.
  18. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    811
    Occupation:
    Language teacher & graduate student in linguistics
    Location:
    Europe
    That foldable decathlon net is a must have. Started badminton by buying it 3 years ago. Still using it in the living room to practice serves
     
    #18 LenaicM, Apr 18, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  19. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    811
    Occupation:
    Language teacher & graduate student in linguistics
    Location:
    Europe
    I am not sure it's right because I only googled it as I was curious but it seems that in mandarin it is: 虎父無犬子 and it apparently translate to: father is a lion, son cannot be a dog. :D

    I honestly tried everything from children school books and songs to get started, young adult novel, reading news, language apps, karaoke, movies, etc but not one method works better than the other for me. In my experience (everyone is different) it's all about putting in the hours. No matter how I study, for example even when Ì watch Terrace House (don't judge me :rolleyes:), as long as I make an effort, I can learn something, I sometimes watch the same episode a second time, pause it and note the kanji I don't know and watch it again and practice saying the new words out loud. I think languages can be learnt through various methods or strategies depending of preferences but let's say the more variety the better. At least not to get bored. I unfortunately don't have strategies. I just wish I could study regularly for months and not on and off which I always do. I guess that would be my strategy then. Never stop and learn, even a little bit, every day. Easy to say...
     
    Cheung likes this.
  20. Martynas

    Martynas Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    court
    I ordered portable badminton net with posts, normal sized one, so probs will go on some evening to play singles, it is allowed to be outside in groups of two :D then yea work, eating, spending lots of time with son, doing wall drills
    in this case it so unfortunate that badminton is social, so it will take lots and lots of time to return back to normal, probably not possible without vaccine....
     

Share This Page