Despite being a computer programmer I cannot seem to get the language of language to work in my head.
This isn't just Chinese but English as well, I don't think about nouns adjectives etc. they just happen in the right places when I talk!
When studying chinese am I better to just keep listening to as much speech as I can and reading as much text as I can and hope it goes in? or should I put real effort into understanding the grammar and the formulas that make the language work?
My gut says the former but I'm still struggling with things like the review questions. Even when I know the words I rarely manage to create the right sentence in the time space available.
As I am studying out side of china it is much more difficult to get exposed to the language so my progress is slow, but then I have time.....
What do other people do?
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