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bchang

Chinesepod.com-Does it really work?

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woliveri

I don't have a problem with the intermediate Cpod lessons with Jenny and John. I can usually learn quite a bit and feel they are put together quite well.

What I do have a problem with is the beginner levels or anything with Ken. He comes off as a bit pompous and annoying to listen to.

The upper immediate or advanced are great.

On other resources. Serge Melnyk recently took away the ability do freely download his podcasts. I like the content of his lessons but slightly annoyed with the female counterpart in those podcasts.

iMandarinpod is all in Chinese and appears to still be free for downloading.

I also like the CCTV Travel in Chinese with Da Shan but that site seems to have problems lately (very slow download speeds).

Slow-Chinese is quite nice but the podcasts come out rather slowly.

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wrbt
iMandarinpod is all in Chinese and appears to still be free for downloading.

(...)

Slow-Chinese is quite nice but the podcasts come out rather slowly.

I like both of these. Imandarinpod just pumps out lesson after lesson I'm amazed at the volume of material they throw out there for what seems like a pretty small outfit that doesn't charge for the podcasts and transcripts. I like the format too, where they do a dialog then go over grammar, vocab, etc. all in Chinese. Gotta accept that I sometimes I won't understand the explanation either but I usually manage to get the gist.

Slow-chinese is wonderful after I took 30 lessons and ran them thru a free app that sped them up 20% to sound natural. Interesting content and nice digestible size, only issue is sometimes goes quite awhile without anything new.

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mnspg

To answer the original question, Chinese Pod is a useful resource, but useless if you try to make it your center of learning. There is no structure, and no course to speak of. Apart from the 5 levels, there is no lesson order - you just pick what you want to listen to. So there is no consolidation from one lesson to the next.

Having said that, it is very useful at the Newbie and Elementary levels, but as soon as you hit the Intermediate level, you come up against a brick wall. Jenny explains the dialog in Mandarin, using words that have often not been covered at the lower levels, and listeners are expected to pick up the meaning just by listening - there is no word list for Jenny's talk.

People who live in China and are hearing/speaking Mandarin everyday. or people who were already at this level before joining CPod may disagree. But for people who live outside of China and who wish to work from the basics up, CPod sucks you in with the Newbie/Elementary lessons, then spits you out.

But, as I said, it is a useful resource. Do your learning elsewhere, then use CPod for listening practice. But don't pay them any money - just sign up for a new free 7-day account every week.

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Serge Melnyk

Hi guys, thank you for mentioning my podcast on Chinese Forums. I have recently made some changes to the Website and actually added some new content.

Each podcast lesson now comes with an individual situational dialog recorded by native Mandarin speakers (professional voice actors)-just these dialogs themselves are worth listening to. I know, it was a hard task to go back to re-record everything, but I'm happy I did it! There are 282 individual dialogs, a great way to review without listening to the whole lesson. A while ago, I have also included video lessons on Chinese calligraphy.

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imron

Bear in mind that review is 6 years old however.

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mnanon

Yes, I am sure it has improved, with an already high score, I think it should be great. But odd to hear that he recieved threats/insults from his first negative review of the site.

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gamerfu

Any one know if ChinesePod.com is worth it for a few months before traveling to a Mandarin speaking country?

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tomblack

I personaly use Chinesepod a lot. You can get a trial account for a week or so and download a bunch of podcasts for free from what I'm aware. I'd give it a shot. Its helped me a lot.

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hanyu_xuesheng

@ tomblack

CPod doesn't anymore offer trial accounts for a week with full access. You'll have to buy a monthly subscription. But don't forget to cancel it, it's recurring.

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iteachchina

My wife and I use Chinese Pod very often and find it is a great supplement, though I wouldn't use it exclusively as it doesn't do much for writing or reading. I think character recognition isn't really a part of their program. But for speaking and learning real world speech, I think they are the best I've seen.

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Ania

To answer the original question, Chinese Pod is a useful resource, but useless if you try to make it your center of learning.

I would have to agree with that. As a learner, I personally need some structure, revision etc., so I still prefer the more traditional approach to language learning. However, I love the fact that the podcasts are self-contained and I can listen to them without having to have a book. For me it's a great way to revise and consolidate what I have already learned and kind of get the rhythm of the language. Plus I really honestly enjoy the podcasts, all the cultural insight and the humor. 

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