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m.ellison

Podcasts -- Popup Chinese or ChinesePod (or who?)

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m.ellison

Popup Chinese versus ChinesePod -- any experiences? any preferences?

Popup is slightly cheaper than the ChinesePod premium option for about the same features; ChinesePod also have a Basic option with fewer features and various 'executive' options.

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realmayo

I like popup chinese's podcasts -- they seem very fresh and direct, versus chinesepod. But I'm not interested in paying for the "premium" chinesepod, nor the popupchinese subscription, so I just pay a small amount for the chinesepod "basic" -- ie podcasts and pdfs, and download the popup podcasts for free. I don't feel the need for the full "package" of either one.

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kdavid

I subscribe to Chinesepod, but only the basic subscription. This gets me access to all the podcasts plus the transcripts. All the bells and whistles that come along with the premium are nice, but they're not worth an extra 20 bucks a month.

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mikeedward

ChinesePod advantages - vast archives of entertaining lessons

disadvantages - lots of English mixed in, community forums need major work

PopupChinese advantages - very natural, authentic Chinese, HSK tests, movies, stories and music videos thrown in make things interesting. simplified/traditional support for transcripts.

disadvantages - could use a better more centralized community forum, needs a basic subscription package, archive currently small by CPod standards.

Edited by mikeedward

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Meng Lelan

...I subscribed to ChinesePod just for the Story of the Week where one of the staffers is videotaped telling a story. After a few months I stopped subscribing to ChinesePod because I didn't feel like any of my needs were being met. The dialogues seemed to all follow the same pattern of some argument or heated discussion about the issue of the day... I wanted to focus more on HSK preparation and learning Chinese from the media like music videos. So I switched to PopUp Chinese and so far so good...

Edited by Meng Lelan

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chinadude2006

The problem with Chinesepod and Popup Chinese is that they have no structure, the lessons are too random, how is one suppose to retain the material they learn? They are good for listening practice, but not good as using as a primary program. Another problem with both is that they are either too easy or too difficult. There is no real intermediate level.

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wrbt

Lingq has about 30 Chinese dialogues/interviews now. I've only looked at a few but:

Good = very conversational, resists the trend that Chinesepod has where to make more difficult level they pick obscure topic with obscure vocabulary that you won't retain.

Good = convenient to look up vocab since can click on words in transcript to get definitions and create vocabulary lists

Bad = sound quality hit or miss, some speakers a little too slurred/rushed to understand.

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LaoLiang

"The problem with Chinesepod and Popup Chinese is that they have no structure, the lessons are too random, how is one suppose to retain the material they learn? They are good for listening practice, but not good as using as a primary program. Another problem with both is that they are either too easy or too difficult. There is no real intermediate level."

Exactly.

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chaxiu

I quite like both sites in that you can find lessons on many different topics. I agree with others that the lessons primarily are good for improving listening skills. For me, I've also found the lessons a good review of vocab I learnt previously.

I also like them because you can choose traditional characters. There's not a great deal of material in traditional characters that is designed for the learner.

I only use the pdf file and the mp3 of the dialogue/story. I don't want any of the other extras. So, I find the whole subscription concept to be a little strange. I can download 3-4 months (or more) worth of material in a short period of time. I really wish that Chinesepod (cpod) had an option where you could just buy 10 lesson or 100 lessons, etc.

It really annoyed me in cpod that you couldn't alter the PDF files. ie cut and past the bits you wanted. I ended up downloading most of the lessons that sounded interesting from the inter and upper inter. I combined all the pdfs into one. Had it printed out and bound. It cost me about 300 NT. $12 AUD. When I get bored of my text book, I use it.

In the future I plan to use the stuff in the test prep section of Popup Chinese. Again mainly because there isn't a lot of HSK material available in traditional.

My 2 cents

Chaxiu

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putonghua73
The problem with Chinesepod and Popup Chinese is that they have no structure, the lessons are too random, how is one suppose to retain the material they learn? They are good for listening practice, but not good as using as a primary program. Another problem with both is that they are either too easy or too difficult. There is no real intermediate level

Seconded!

I'm a premium CPod subscriber, although I don't make best use of the features because I'm (i) disorganised, (ii) studying for my professional qualifications and (iii) lazy. I'm in the act - and have been for quite some time - of managing my time a lot better so I can progress faster and further.

The problem with CPod is exactly what ChinaDude2006 stated: lack of structure, too random and too much English. Not high impact enough. I do like the wide variety of topics but is useful as a supplementary aid - not a primary language program.

I'm finding it difficult a little difficult to retain the material (although I'm listening to 'Newbie' and it's [grammatically] too easy for my level), but if you structure your lessons and choose the podcasts based upon your personal lesson structure, it can be quite useful - especially to hear Chinese and learn on the 'go'.

My fundamental problem with CPod is that is isn't high-impact enough. I've seen a few videos of ActiveChinese on YouTube, and I like the use of multi-media [Flash] to enhance one's learning - particularly their colour coding scheme for tones. I'm a very visual person, so I suspect ActiveChinese may work better for me than CPod.

If I had time, I'd subscribe to both. But I'm still working my way through 'Chinese In Steps' books (bought when I did go to SOAS on Saturday mornings), have my old Chinese notes to work through when I studied at International House, not to mention a number of John DeFrancis books that I bought on Ebay, piled high on my desk!

I suspect the real problem is that I'm a lazy, disorganised so-and-so ;)

Cheers!

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roddy

Did you look at Popup Chinese? The quote mentions them, but you don't address them directly.

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putonghua73
SkyFitsHeaven

Here's an interview with the host of Pop Up Chinese. It can tell you more about their approach.

Admin note: While we don't necessarily object to people linking to their own articles, we do object to not saying so as you do it. Especially as we asked once already.

Edited by roddy

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jbradfor

@chaxiu

It really annoyed me in cpod that you couldn't alter the PDF files. ie cut and past the bits you wanted.

It's half a solution, but you can from the html files. Either replace the pdf extension with html, or look for the link on the bottom of the pdf.

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JP Micco
I've been using this website recently and while there aren't any dialogues, there is audio and I like the interactive section under "HTML."

http://collections.uiowa.edu/chinese...te_unit01.html

Weilian

I have no idea where you found that link, but this stuff is gunna help me heaps! It has most of the useful beginners vocab that I didn't know, and it has listening activities, something which will help me along alot!

谢谢你!

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paike
JP Micco

Quote:

I've been using this website recently and while there aren't any dialogues, there is audio and I like the interactive section under "HTML."

http://collections.uiowa.edu/chinese...te_unit01.html

Weilian

I have no idea where you found that link, but this stuff is gunna help me heaps! It has most of the useful beginners vocab that I didn't know, and it has listening activities, something which will help me along alot!

谢谢你

Yeah that website is the best around.

Whoever found that originally, I hope the karma train comes around to them someday, they deserve it. It had made me consider the unthinkable of going to Iowa to get my MA in Education just for the fun of taking a few Chinese classes there for fun, to hang aorund with the people who made that.

Study only those dialogues, make flashcards of the new words, listen to the audio. Its better than any class.

Pai Ke

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Bob

All:

I recently subscribed to the basic level of Popupchinese. For me there is too much English, giggling and fluff on ChinesePod.

Has anybody on this list had a look at Mandarin as a second language at http://www.mslmaster.com/ and http://learningmandarinpod.blogspot.com/?

I'd be interested in comments, pros and cons, of this site. I have listened to several of the podcasts and downloaded some of the the transcripts. They are interesting but I can't say that they have been really useful.

Thanks.

Bob.

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querido
the lessons are too random, how is one suppose to retain the material they learn?

1. I'm flashcarding the cpod *lesson*s. Make a new deck. Each card has on its front the name of the lesson, on the back, nothing (or the transcript if desired). Card pops up, listen to the lesson in your audio player (so you can stop, pause, repeat, etc.). Here, I'm not necessarily using the memory-stretching theory of the flashcard program, but just the scheduling and record-keeping functions.

2. I'm playing the cpod *dialogues*s on random/repeat. (I snip off the beginning and ending music with audacity, and ensure 1 sec of silence at the beginning, 3 sec at the end.) This way, all of the CPod Newbie dialogues would make a 3 hour long playlist- quite manageable it seems to me. (The full *Lessons*, 60 hours- too bulky.)

I've been doing this for only two weeks. It seems to be working well and is pretty economical compared to the usual micro-snipping, flashcarding etc. I usually do.

#1 seems maybe too easy, but it lets me prove that I've stepped through them all.

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