Six Words in 1.2 Seconds! Hearing the Wrong Thing, Examples in English and Chinese

The other day I was playing the Listen Speak Game and a couple rounds made me laugh.

I got only one word right out of six! And with a different person in a different round, the other person got two words (out of 10) that I said correctly!

We were playing in HelloTalk, so when you miss more than half of the words, the whole thing gets crossed out (even if a few words are right).

Here is the round in Chinese,


I have been learning Chinese for a year and a half, so I recognize a few characters, but not too many. I convert characters to pinyin most of the time. Have been working on learning the characters better though.

The first word, 您(nin), I actually know, but most of the time I would use 你(ni), so I didn’t expect that. Part of the reason I could get mixed up was that although it says 5″ (5 seconds), the actually speaking lasted for about 1.2 seconds.  So six words in 1.2 seconds, a little bit fast!


Here is the round where the other person got two words out of ten. Really, almost three since the person said ‘learn’ instead of ‘learning’.


Two of those words are important to the meaning of the phrase, Chinese and learn, but overall the attempt did not get an understanding of what I said.

I said the ten words in about three seconds, so at what I thought was a fairly slow speed.

10 words 3 seconds

I did not feel bad about missing most of the words though, it was said quickly. And by seeing that I missed most of the words, the other person can better gauge my level and either simplify or slow down the rate of speaking a bit, slowing down would have helped a lot.

For the example with English, since I did not speak too quickly, the other person can listen again to the recording and learn from it. I can do the same thing, although it would help to have a slower recording!

What I can realize from the English example is that I should not try to say sentences that are more complex than that and probably should use some of those same words in another recording to see if the person can now recognize them.

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