How do you improve your reading speed?

Discussion in 'Chinese Language' started by FrancoisTaipei, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Hey guys,
    I am curious about finding new ways to improve my reading speed.

    Currently I can watch movies and series with Chinese audio and Chinese subtitles together, while looking up words I don't know in Pleco. But I need to pause very often to read the long sentences, because my reading speed is still too slow. If I don't pause, I won't have time to read the whole subtitle before it's gone.

    I'm spending 2 hours every day studying Chinese, and always trying to find new & better ideas to use those 2 hours as efficiently as possible.

    For those of you who have no problem to follow the subtitles: any advices?
  2. Nobody?
    Well, let me share the series I'm currently watching: 痞子英雄! Taiwanese police/drama series, it's available on youtube which is super convenient (note: traditional chinese).
  3. alex_hk90

    alex_hk90 状元

    Try to listen instead of read, and only read the characters for the words you didn't hear.
    Subtitles in any language are going to be very fast, so I would avoid reading the whole line if you can.
  4. But then you find yourself like most expats who've been staying too long and studying too little: understanding and speaking a lot but unable to read and type?

    Since I speak and hear Chinese every day at work and outside, watching the movies is one of the cool ways to practice reading, and the cool thing is most of the TV shows and movies have subtitles included...
  5. Abun

    Abun 探花

    Oftentimes, it is the end of a sentence that is the hardest to understand because (at least in declarative) pitch and volume often drop towards the end. Therefore, our teacher gave us the advice to sort of read subtitles backwards/only the middle to the end. That way you understand the beginning through listening and have the subtitles as a fallback for the end.

    Btw, 痞子英雄 was one of my first TV series's in Chinese as well! :D
  6. Sounds like a good idea, let me give a try :) thanks!

    I like 痞子英雄, now next time I go to 高雄 I want to check out many places from the series!
  7. Abun

    Abun 探花

    Haha just don't expect it to be just like in the series. Don't get me wrong, it's a very nice city, but the series overglamorizes it to a point where even the makers weren't comfortable with calling it 高雄 anymore and instead set it in the fictional 海港城 xD
  8. Johnny20270

    Johnny20270 Member

    I good way I think is, to read well below your ability. If you recognise 90% of the characters pretty easily it trains your to speed up and not always stumble over unknown words, whereas if you have difficulty with 50% of the characters then it really starts to drag and other issues start to arise (what's the separation between words). For example: for a long time I seemed to stumble of 了解 as the 了 immediately leads me to assume its a particle
    I have read somewhere that research shows that reading at 90% - 95% character recognition rate is invariable the most optimal for Chinese / Japanese (for foreigners). Can't think where I saw this piece of research unfortunately but I do think there is some truth in it.
  9. HW60

    HW60 状元

  10. Wow thanks for sharing HW60! The author seems like a learning machine to me, those posts are very motivating!
  11. feng

    feng 榜眼

    I can't even keep up with subtitles in English, my native language. Good luck :D
  12. Hey guys!
    Let me post some update since I created this thread on January 6. By that time I had 7405 cards learnt on my pleco.
    Since then I watched the following series and movies:

    1/12/2016 Watched: 痞子英雄 7 & 8 + BBS鄉民的正義
    1/19/2016 Watched: 痞子英雄 9 & 10 + 老年騎士
    1/26/2016 Watched: 痞子英雄 11, 12 & 13 + 不能說的秘密
    2/2/2016 Watched: 痞子英雄 14, 15 & 16
    2/9/2016 Watched: 痞子英雄 17 & 18
    2/16/2016 Watched: 痞子英雄 19 & 20 + 聽說
    2/23/2016 Watched: 痞子英雄 21, 22 & 23
    3/1/2016 Watched: 痞子英雄 24 + Todd youtube show + 1/3 of TOCFL
    3/8/2016 Watched: 波麗士大人 1
    3/15/2016 Watched: 16個夏天 1
    3/22/2016 Watched: 剩者為王 + 康熙來了x2 without pause
    3/29/2016 Watched: 分手合約 + 康熙來了
    4/5/2016 Watched: 太極 + 16個夏天2 + 3

    Since beginning of April, I decided that every week I would watch 1 movie while pausing to make sure I have time to read every single word, and to look up every word that I don't understand.
    And I would watch 2 episodes of series without pausing at all.

    So far, I realized that I can understand all the main story without pausing. There are things I don't have time to read and that I don't understand, but they are not essential to understanding what is happening.

    By the way my pleco says I learned 8503 cards so far, most of them being words (not unique characters).
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
    alex_hk90 likes this.
  13. Sliaver

    Sliaver Member

    Basically, time yourself to get data about your current reading speed, then work on making gradual improvements to that speed.

    I also think that reading out loud is also a good way to improve your reading speed especially if you work on getting to a natural speaking speed. Although initially this seems contrary to the whole "don't sound out words" approach, it actually helps in that it gets your reading speed up to a normal speaking level, and from there you work on going silent.
    FrancoisTaipei likes this.
  14. Arqui3D

    Arqui3D 举人

    1) Find interesting reading material that comes with native audio recording.
    2) Open audio with Audacity, slow down the tempo until you can follow most of it but is still a challenge.
    3) Slice it in 20-second pieces
    4) Create an Anki flashcard for each piece, pasting the corresponding text in the question side and the mp3 in the answer side
    5) Practice shadowing each card until you get it perfect.
    6) Find a new interesting article each week and repeat.

    This is exactly what I'm doing.
  15. That's a good method, if you are able to keep doing it for a while.
    It requires some manual processing and probably some time to prepare all of it, however once it is done, you must really enjoy it, since it is entirely personalized.

    I'm doing something similar, watching movies and adding words I don't know into Pleco. 50-100 new words per week in average.

    Since my last post I watched:
    4/12/2016 16個夏天4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    4/19/2016 16個夏天9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
    4/26/2016 16個夏天15, 16 + 我可能不會愛你1, 2, 3, 戀愛通告 + 陣頭
    5/2/2016 我可能不會愛你 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    5/10/2016 我可能不會愛你9, 閨蜜, 巴黎假期, 神廚,青田街一號
    5/17/2016 我可能不會愛你10, 迷城
    5/24/2016 我可能不會愛你11, 12, 13, 14
  16. Arqui3D

    Arqui3D 举人

    Yes, thanks. It does take around three hours every weekend just to prepare the materials for the next week. The good thing is that reading these two articles per week was already part of my routine in my own language (Multi-language Bible study materials), so I kill two birds with one stone. The sad part is that this only makes me a faster reader for this specific subject.

    Thank you for sharing what you're watching. 你给我好的榜样。 I just started watching 快乐汉语, which is more adequate for my current level of spoken language (Until now I've focused mostly on reading). I downloaded the mp4 from YouTube so I could easily rewind difficult parts with Quicktime player, and I'm writing down anything new while I watch. I won't make this another Anki SRS exercise... I already have enough of that.
  17. Since my last post in May I studied the following materials:

    5/31/2016 我可能不會愛你15, 16, 17
    6/7/2016 我可能不會愛你18, 19, 20
    6/14/2016 我可能不會愛你21, 22, 23 + 甜蜜殺機 (learned 9000 words in Pleco)
    7/12/2016 101次求婚, 戀愛恐慌症
    7/19/2016 菜鳥, 再見在也不見
    8/16/2016 太陽的孩子, 人在囧途
    8/23/2016 北京遇上西雅圖
    8/30/2016 特工爺爺
    9/6/2016 推拿
    9/20/2016 賭神
    10/4/2016 賭俠
    10/18/2016 玻璃樽 (10000 words in Pleco)
    10/25/2016 箭士柳白猿
    11/1/2016 暗殺
    11/8/2016 只要我長大
    11/29/2016 整蠱專家
    12/6/2016 六弄咖啡館
    12/13/2016 對岸異鄉人

    september 2016 to december 2016 read first novel 後青春期的詩 > kind of adventure book probably for teenagers, quite interesting, quite painful in the beginning, smoother in the end (because I think I learned most of the words that the author likes to use)
    Regarding the book reading speed, I think I do about 10-15 pages per hour

    It's been a productive year, I hope that within 6 months (which will be my 5 year anniversary in Taiwan) I will be "daily fluent", meaning that my primary daily spoken language will be Chinese. It's already Chinese with people I'm comfortable with, but for instance at work I am still not speaking Chinese as a primary language. Go!!!
  18. Since my last post in December I studied the following things:
    12/2016: 逐風少年 (movie)
    1/2017: 九把刀 - 哈棒傳奇 (book - 280 pages), 危城 (movie)
    2/2017: 乙一 - 寂寞的頻率 (book - 215 pages), 危城 (movie), 樂高蝙蝠俠 (movie)
    3/2017: 乾胡桃 - 愛的成人式 (book - 260 pages)
    4/2017: 藤井樹 - 貓空愛情故事 (book - 215 pages)
    5/2017: 他是玩真的!(伊隆馬斯克的傳記) (book - 207 pages)
    6/2017: 馬雲的瘋狂創業心法 (book - 220 pages)

    I'm posting this for reference for gradually increasing difficulty material. The last 2 books are biographies of Elon Musk and Jack Ma, lots of technical / technology / entrepreneurship vocabulary, much more difficult than novels, it's still painful some times, feels like the author picks random chapters to use his most difficult vocabulary, while some chapters are super easy..
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    alex_hk90 likes this.

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