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Finding a tutor for writing


feihong
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I need some advice on getting a tutor to help me with my written Chinese. I know there have been some posts about getting a tutor, but I specifically want one only for writing, and not for anything else.

About me: I'm a fairly advanced heritage learner, able to read novels and newspapers (albeit slowly).

Here are some of my criteria:

- Remote is fine. I'm not sure the time difference even matters if we're just exchanging emails.

- Easy to pay. I don't want to have to wire money to China.

- Needs to have a good understanding of English. My writing level isn't so good that I can always explain what I mean in Chinese.

- Must be able to go beyond just correcting my writing. For example, be able to explain subtle variations in phrasing.

Since I've never had any experience hiring a professional tutor, I'm wondering:

- What's the best site for finding one?

- How much are other people paying for this kind of tutor? Also, I'm not really sure if paying by the hour makes sense for me, since there won't be any facetime involved.

Finally, please do not suggest a language exchange. I've never had a good experience with them in the past, and nowadays I just don't have the time.

UPDATE: I forgot to talk about what kind of writing I want to do. I seem to spend most of my time translating song lyrics and writing "puzzle text", i.e. sentences that serve as hints, solutions, or descriptions of puzzles. I expect I'll probably branch out at some point, likely into technical writing, but that is too far into the future to worry about.

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I've had good experiences with my local Confucius Inst. Probably have a local chapter in your neck of the woods and the rates were pretty cheap. (Thanks Chinese Government!)

You may want to look at a site I saw in a review:

http://laowaichinese.net/chineseteachers-com-my-review.htm

I've never used it, but they might be a good place to start and the rates looked reasonable. Good luck!

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This is a great post and something that I have been thinking about myself. I have a few suggestions for you. Given your level, you probably want to find a tutor who is fairly educated, reasonably fluent in English (written at least) and can tailor to your needs. Some suggestons on where to look:

1. Craigslist.org (since you're looking for remote tutors, you can select any city that might have a lot of Chinese tutors. San Francisco / LA / New York, etc.)

2. Contact the Chinese language department at a university and see if they can give you some referrals. Again, since you can do remote, any university is open to you.

3. Do some searches online for Mandarin tutors. I have no idea which ones are good. Perhaps others will chime in here.

I've been successful before using Craigslist and found a great tutor who was a graduate student at a university. At the time I did language exchange so I didn't have to pay anything but I am sure you can negotiate a deal that fits your needs. At your level, you should probably have a plan of what you want to have the tutor do rather than expect the tutor to lead the way (at least in the beginning). Here are some things that I might ask the tutor to help me with:

1. I read an article in Chinese, then summarize the article in Chinese and email both my summary and the article to the tutor. Have the tutor correct my mistakes and teach me how it can be written better. Goals: summary practice, memorize / learn how an article is written by reading

2. Do the same as #1 except this time with an Engilsh article. Goals: summary practice and translation

Try 1 and 2 when you are interviewing tutors to see how they respond. It should be pretty easy for you to figure out their skill level (both Chinese and English) this way. Negotiate a price based on # of articles / length of article. Maybe 1/2 hour rate per article?

Good luck. I'm looking forward to hearing others' opinions on this topic as well.

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I doubt I'm going to go the textbook route. I basically want help with the writing I do for 中文挑战. And although I've been using Lang-8 for a while, I sometimes feel the quality of the corrections is not very good. Plus, the correctors usually don't adequately explain why they revised the way they did. So I was getting my work corrected, but I wasn't actually improving.

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OK , I saw that. 汉字方程 is not easy because it's following the 出题人‘s(I don't know what is it in english, the guy who gave out the puzzle?) logic. I don't have the logic and I don't like puzzles

In terms of others, I think I can help. I've explain the comic one roughly. The father wants to rescue his daughter, he hired the guide to brought him to Babylun(anyway, ignore my spelling) which is close to or just the location of the 黑社会组织. After he and the guide go near the location, he asked the guide to rescue his daughter together, just like what happen in your movies. The guid doesn't feel it worthy to take the risk(with that little money) as he doesn't want to go against the 地头蛇(local 黑社会). Of course, it's money problem because he didn't refuse directly, instead, he talked about the contract and the risk he would take. So when the father offered twice the money. He 松了口(stopped insisting). Of course, he don't want to show his excitement of receiving that much money. So he only answer’I won't fight" which means he agrees to go father( lead him to rescue the daughter), but he won't fight for him when conflicts occur.

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  • 9 years later...
On 11/15/2011 at 5:08 AM, feihong said:

need some advice on getting a tutor to help me with my written Chinese. I know there have been some posts about getting a tutor, but I specifically want one only for writing, and not for anything else.

About me: I'm a fairly advanced heritage learner, able to read novels and newspapers (albeit slowly).

Here are some of my criteria:

- Remote is fine. I'm not sure the time difference even matters if we're just exchanging emails.

- Easy to pay. I don't want to have to wire money to China.

- Needs to have a good understanding of English. My writing level isn't so good that I can always explain what I mean in Chinese.

- Must be able to go beyond just correcting my writing. For example, be able to explain subtle variations in phrasing.

Since I've never had any experience hiring a professional tutor, I'm wondering:

- What's the best site for finding one?

- How much are other people paying for this kind of tutor? Also, I'm not really sure if paying by the hour makes sense for me, since there won't be any facetime involved.

Finally, please do not suggest a language exchange. I've never had a good experience with them in the past, and nowadays I just don't have the time.

 

I found this thread, because I wondered if people have used ITalki or other online tutor for that purpose. If so, what is a typical rate (e.g. $ per 1000 characters)?

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4 hours ago, Kenny同志 said:

Haha, this is definitely something I can do.  Just PM me for samples if you are interested.

I can personally recommend Kenny’s services. His explanations are very detailed and easy to understand. It’s totally different from language exchange partners, some of whom can give good suggestions but are unable to explain WHY they made such suggestions. However, I’m not using a tutor for my translations anymore, because I feel I’ve improved since then, and I also don’t feel the need to produce very professional translations.

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  • 2 months later...
On 3/21/2021 at 5:51 AM, Jan Finster said:

I found this thread, because I wondered if people have used ITalki or other online tutor for that purpose. If so, what is a typical rate (e.g. $ per 1000 characters)?

 

I'm looking to improve my technical writing, so I asked my language exchange partners about this today. Ha, they had some sticker-shock over the italki rates! For my situation I don't need anybody with CSL teaching qualifications or really any competence with English... someone with a STEM degree and who can write well would be adequate. They agreed that 25 RMB/hour to edit my writing and give me detailed feedback would be a fair rate.

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