"Imprinting errors in your brain?" The case for corrected written homework!
This is actually a reaction to furyougaijin's post in the "CPod users can't read" thread. I think it needs a place of its own.
On the subject of producting Chinese posts without native speaker correction furyougaijin writes:
"[Without correction] it becomes an exercise of inventing your own Chinese language and imprinting your own (and other people's) errors in your brain."
Although I hate to admit it there is some truth to that point. Let me give "anecdotal evidence":
I recently posted this in the 中国八大菜系 thread:
我的妻子看这种节目的时候,一直抱怨 "他们做得错"， "这样不太好吃"等等 。 然后起来表演怎么做，证明她做的饭是独一无二的那么好。 因此我越来越胖。
When my wife read that she surprisingly became very angry - although I thought I made her a compliment with that message. "So I am only *trying* to cook better than those TV-clowns?". "No - as I wrote you *prove* you do better"! 证明 = prove - isn't it?".
It took a while to find out the source of the misunderstanding.
It was one of those beloved 了s that was missing.
The evidence is only valid if it reads: 证明了 [...]. Without a 了 the proving is not yet completed and therefore left in the state of just trying.
Point here: I learned a lot. But I made a serious grammar mistake that I did not recognize without native-speaker-input.
But even in daily speech or CPod Practice Plan sessions this would probably have stayed unnoticed - below the waterline of recognition, buried under several layers of real-time-language-processing challenges.
My conclusion: There is a case for a written homework correction service that is independent of the Practice Plan. Although that might come costly for its users it might be worth it.
By the way: Yes, I will indeed continue posting Chinese comments. Actively (!) remembering or looking up vocab, trying to piece sentences together and Google-checking expressions imprints lots of good and correct language into my brain that outweights all the errors. I am not making up a whole new language, I just make mistakes . I learned most of my faulty English that way.
But I hope you are all warned now. :P
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