Naysayers and Chinese films – Week 7

Since I am inordinately busy helping The Natural Language Institute finalize plans and preparation for its big 11-year party, I will have to write shorter posts this weekend and next.

This week Camila Daya and I watched Chinese films, exclusively. We watched the Boonie Bears to the Rescue film twice (attentive readers will know by now that Boonie Bears is originally a TV cartoon, usually about 10 minutes long, but they have also begun making movies out of them). Daya enjoyed it quite a bit, but I was mostly along for the ride. It’s good entertainment for a 6-year old, but not so much for an adult.

Surprisingly, however, Daya took my Kindle Fire (well, she uses it as much as I do) and began watching the movie Hero over and over again. This is definitely a PG-13 type movie, and a year ago I would never have let her watch it. Even now, the only reason I tolerate it is because it is so cool that she is watching Chinese, and I did explain all the scenes to her, and we talked about good and bad messages, etc.

Anyway, as you can see from the following graph, in the past 4 weeks she has pretty much kept up with me in terms of viewing time. This is probably the biggest and best surprise of the experiment thus far.


While she watched Hero, I rewatched some scenes from Lost in Thailand, and began watching Lost on Journey. Somebody from the forum I mention below recommended it, and it is, in fact, much more funny in my opinion than Lost in Thailand. It totally copies Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, but with some originality and certainly Chinesefying it.

In other news, I got on a forum of Chinese learners this week ( and briefly explained my experiment. I got many comments, all of them friendly, but mostly people saying I was wasting time, that my method wouldn’t work or would produce much poorer results than traditional methods. However, though I have called them naysayers in the title to this post, I actually do not mind hearing their skepticism at all. First of all, they may be right and made some good points. I am open to my hypotheses being proved wrong (although my progress thus far only reinforces my overall optimism). Second, I am actually as motivated by naysayers as I am by outright supporters. I will love to prove them wrong!

2 thoughts on “Naysayers and Chinese films – Week 7

  1. Greta Browne says:

    Pretty impressive that you and Camila are keeping up with this project. I’d love to hear next week what words you’ve learned (if any).

  2. Can you believe that today she watched the Boonie Bears movie again?!

    I’m definitely learning new words, slowly, but I’m not sure I want to keep trying to list them, for a few reasons: I don’t know how to write them; if I translate them, I know that’s always inaccurate and limiting; and perhaps it’s more interesting to reflect on our experiences than try to keep listing words. But I will mention interesting words or expressions from time to time and be happy to tell you in person some of the terms I’ve picked up.

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