Journeys – Week 11

After watching Lost in Thailand and Lost on Journey, I was intrigued when my sister Sofia told me she had heard about a Chinese film called Journey to the West. Well, it’s actually an entirely different genre–set in a mythical ancient China, it’s a combination of comedy, action, spiritual, and satire. I kept thinking “crazy” and “hilarious” as I watched. It also happens to be a very good movie to pick up new vocabulary in Mandarin, so I watched it twice.


Speaking of journeys, the day I completed 11 weeks of this Mandarin-learning adventure, Camila caught up to me on total hours viewed – 36! It’s quite amazing and unexpected that she has gotten into this experiment wholeheartedly.

In addition to our usual Boonie Bears diet, we also watched the Mandarin version of the song Let it Go from the Disney movie Frozen a few times. Sui ta pa! It’s also a bit unexpected that so far I seem to pick up a lot more vocabulary and expressions than she does. However, that may be a temporary adult analytical advantage that will be later overshadowed by her child’s neuroplasticity advantage. Time will tell!

I’d like to take this opportunity to comment on another journey. Just over 11 years ago, I founded a language institute in Brasilia. We recently held a huge celebration, where we showed the following video we prepared of our history. It’s partly in Portuguese, but there are bits in English as well. I hope you’ll watch it and enjoy!

I am currently downloading a movie Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles. Apparently, it is in Japanese and Chinese. So it may or may not be good for learning Mandarin. However, it is about a dad’s relationship to a dying son. Well, not to belabor the metaphor, but those who know me personally will understand that this relates to a personal journey of mine.

7 thoughts on “Journeys – Week 11

  1. Luca says:

    Hi Victor, (I am late) congratulations for your 11 years .. but I understood nothing (ahahah), just I picked up few words :)

  2. Luca says:

    Sorry Victor, i tried to answer your question in the “week 12”, but I don’t know why my post won’t appear…

    • Author says:

      I’m not sure either. You can leave it here if that works. I’m curious what type of script you use when practicing reading and writing Mandarin.

  3. Luca says:

    OK, I’ll try again ;)

    There is an interesting article at hackingchineseDOTcom, look for “writing” and “simplified and traditional chinese”
    I am not sure if it may “spoiler” something about the language itself, it should not. I think it is worth have a look, it describes how the two system work.

    As for me, I use simplified, “our China” is the mainland but it is funny because our teacher is from Taiwan and sometimes she mixes characters up :)

    But it is common that Chinese people could read both system.

    Maybe due to the fact I was incorporating a web link that I could not post.
    But I removed and still can’t post … very weird.

  4. Author says:

    Nice link! It seems to be an excellent resource.

    It’s interesting the first article suggests up to 10,000 hours may be necessary to master Chinese (although that’s not the main point of the article), and some commenters claim it would be 30,000. I wonder whether the1,200 hours for my listening experiment are far too low, even though I’m not aiming for mastery, but mid-level comprehension.

  5. Luca says:

    “The 10,000 hours rule”, is actually a rule. They said (I heard of Malcolm Gladwell ) if you want to master something (like play an instrument o be good at your job etc..) you have to spend at least 10,000 hours on it. More and less it will take 10 years, assuming you practise 3H per day.

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