Today, July 20, 2007, I crossed the Rubicon and went fully monolingual in Chinese. I do sometimes look up a Japanese word to find Chinese example sentences for it. So I guess this, makes me a mix between Steps 3 and 4 as outlined in this post on how to make the transition. As far as I’m concerned this counts as monolingual; any connection to anything but Chinese for Chinese quite tenuous.
Feelingswise it’s really liberating. Learning a language through another language is so mentally burdensome. It always seems like you’re doing translation in your head. From what I know of Japanese and English, I can confidently say that running a J-E translation in your head every time you want to say something is being recipe for これは is a disaster of Engrish proportionです . Plus there’s all the time and brain cycles spent (wasted) reading ABOUT your target language instead of actually USING it. After all, I’m not in this game to discuss or analyze Chinese, I’m in this game to become the best durn Chinese user since that other guy. If that analysis is IN Chinese, well and good — otherwise, as Ludacris might say: “move, beach! get out the way” [dang, if my sisters read this blog, they’d have a stern word or two for me…].
As for the number of sentences I do per day, I’m not worrying too much about that. I was initially doing 100 per day, because I wanted to be a trailblazer like Wan Zafran. However, it took too long per sentence, and hate to admit weakness, but I haven’t quite built up the mental strength to go for 100 Chinese-Chinese sentences in one day (Chinese-Japanese and Japanese-Japanese would be fine…but even though the quantity would be higher, I think the quality of doing Chinese-Chinese is greater — ultimately, the lack of a crutch (Japanese) is making me use my own “muscles” more). Earlier in my life, this would have led to me feeling bad or even giving up altogether, but that would be silly.