Today’s post is the first in a series aimed at helping you improve your ability to make sense of real spoken Chinese in conversations with native speakers — even when they’re speaking fast! Let’s ease into this theme with a quick and simple listening activity…
In the video below, “What makes you laugh?”, you’ll first hear several people asking a question and then a bunch of people answering it. At this point, don’t worry about using any specific listening strategies. Today it’s all about exposure — about hearing real people speaking real Mandarin Chinese — so, simply listen to the question and the answers a few times without subtitles and try to get an idea of what they’re saying. Then watch it with subtitles (starting at 1:01 in the video) to check your understanding.
In upcoming posts I’ll dig deeper into the challenges of understanding real spoken Chinese and give you opportunities to practice a range of strategies you can use to advance your listening skills. Stay tuned for updates!
Note: If you want to review this lesson on the go, the audio (along with a pdf transcript) is now available to download below.