Having studied Chinese for a year and a half - I visited china for a couple of weeks recently. I found I could easily do "functional" stuff - I could get a wake up call in the hotel - I could sort out a log in problem for my computer - I could buy train tickets. However, I found that I could not participate in genuine chinese conversations - especially if I was in the company of more than one mother tongue chinese person.
I think there are a number of reasons for this
1) my vocabulary is not large enough - therefore I miss a number of words
2) I am used to hearing chinese in a slower form than real chinese is spoken
3) Chinese occasionally is a massively compact language - such that say, english constructions like "on the internet" (5 syllables) get reduced to "wang shang" (2 syllables in chinese).
4) Chinese phonemes aren't as various and their distinctions are subtler(e.g via tones) than English - thus its easier to get the wrong end of the stick ("wang shang" heard quickly might be interpreted as "wan shang")
The only way I think I can address this - is to maybe to progess to the advanced cpod materials (even though I am not advanced elsewhere - and learn the vocab intensively before listening). But I am also wondering, if watching tv and film - but importantly with transcripts alongside - but not real-time subtitles - thats no help - I mean transcripts I can read - and use to prepare before hand).
However, while most CCTV seems to have subtitles - (therefore implying that people are employed subtitling loads of stuff) - I can't seem to come across entire transcripts anywhere on the web.
Does anyone have any ideas of where such material might be found?
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