Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Manos

Chinesepod

Recommended Posts

Manos

I found some information about Chinesepod here and there on the forum but my search didnt lead to any specific topic about that. If there is one, i am sorry and an administrator might want to merge the two or delete mine.

In the meantime, i would like some information and mostly some personal thoughts about Chinesepod. Do you think it is a good addition to someone learning chinese with a private tutor(i have 2 lessons per week, 2 hours/time)?

I ve listened to some of their free podcasts and i must admit i liked the fact that not only they have different levels,they also offer a pdf transcript for the dialogue and exercises etc etc.

Also, i m wondering the following: If someone registers for a month with the BASIC subscription which offers :

WHAT YOU GET

  • thousands of lessons

WHAT YOU ARE MISSING

  • review audio (dialogue-only, vocab)
  • lesson review activities (dialogue, vocabulary, expansion, grammar, exercises)
  • full mobile access (Apple iOS, Android)
  • personal vocabulary list
  • ability to save target vocabulary and sync across devices
  • class sessions

1)Do i have access to the podcast and the PDF dialogue/vocabulary?

2)Can i download any podcast+PDF from any level within this month? Someone could even download every single one of them? I d find it strange if they let that happen because that means that everyone would subscribe for a month and get everything.

Looking forward to your personal experiences with chinesepod, what cases you found it helpful and is it really worth the money and the extra time learning?

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

icebear

You are correct. I think they count on subscribers either being more interested in premium content, or the savings of a 1 month binge not worthwhile relative to the hassle of downloading all 1000+ lessons in a single go. (Besides, if your goal is to screw them, you could just use torrents.)

I've been a premium subscriber for quite some time, and always have found it worthwhile - if you use it daily the cost is pretty trivial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manos

Since you mentioned you use it on a daily basis, i assume you ve found it very helpful. Could you please elaborate on that and tell me some specific examples?

Did it help you improve your listening skills? speaking? vocabulary or?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ThatBlokeDave

Hi Manos,

I have been a subscriber to Chinesepod for around 2 years now. I also started off on a premium account for the first year and then renewed my subscription and downgraded to Basic as they had a great deal on at the time so maybe I can share a few thoughts to help you decide.

First of all, I think ChinesePod is a fantastic resource to supplement your learning and in your case you are thinking of doing just that since you also have other lessons in your schedule.

Lets talk about the service in general first. My opinion is this;

Pros

  • Well structured, level appropriate content
  • Lessons content is geared towards real world usage rather than academic.
  • Personal RSS feeds - This means you can automatically download lessons without having to go to the site and manually do it.
  • A generally friendly community
  • Traditional Friendly - Learners of Traditional can use 95% of the resources (A bug in one of the memory games prevents it from being 100%)

Cons

  • Limited range of voice actors / accents
  • Teacher / Community feedback can be a little slow at times
  • Podcasts only improve listening skills. There is no prompting to try and recall what you have learnt like pimsleur.
  • If you are based in Taiwan, you should be careful to check the words you are learning. I found I was learning lots of words that are never used in Taiwan.

Basic Vs Premium

The question on whether to go with basic or premium I would say depends on a few things;

1) You current level

2) How many other learning resources you use

3) Your budget :)

Having used both, I would say the premium level is worth every penny if you are a beginner / elementary level student in the language, not too tech savvy (I will explain that in a bit) and not aware of some of the vast free learning resources elsewhere. Premium features like the flash cards are great for initially learning a word but there is no feature to remind you to review the cards (spaced repetition) so after learning you will probably find yourself using a program like Anki (which is free) for this. The matching game is fun for a bit but longer term as you progress it is something that is used less and less. So the most useful features of premium to me are the review mp3s, the dialogue mp3's and the review / grammar sections.

The review mp3's and dialogues are great for reviewing once you have absorbed the banter and explanations and just want a quick efficient review. However, if you are a little tech savvy, you can chop the dialogue out of the lesson mp3 so if you were on a basic account the only thing you are missing mp3 wise is the review MP3.

In my experience the review tab is just the same as the MP3, maybe with an extra sentence of two but can be useful for shadowing specific sentences quickly and then finally, the grammar tab I cannot comment on because it was added after I downgraded to basic.

So overall, I would say that if you are a beginner / elementary level student a premium account is worth it. For intermediate and above, I think you would be fine with the Basic subscription.

I hope you found this helpful and not too ranty :) Maybe see you around on the site sometime.

Happy learning.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manos

Wow thank you very much for all the time you put into this response! It sure cleared a few things out.

My level is Elementary and my main source of learning is my private tutor.

I think i might start off with a basic subscription though, and see how that goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
amytheorangutan

Anyone here still using Chinesepod? What do you guys think of the new-ish lessons since Fiona and the gang left? I’ve honestly been having difficulties listening to the new lessons. A lot of them are either too hard for the level or it’s just hard for me to concentrate listening from start to finish. I listen to mostly Upper Intermediate but sometimes Advance lessons. I’m curious if I’m the only one who feels that their new lessons are less engaging compared to their old materials. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PerpetualChange
1 minute ago, amytheorangutan said:

Anyone here still using Chinesepod? What do you guys think of the new-ish lessons since Fiona and the gang left? I’ve honestly been having difficulties listening to the new lessons. A lot of them are either too hard for the level or it’s just hard for me to concentrate listening from start to finish. I listen to mostly Upper Intermediate but sometimes Advance lessons. I’m curious if I’m the only one who feels that their new lessons are less engaging compared to their old materials. 

Well, I couldn't afford them when they were supposedly really good, but a few years ago I did a trial and found that I couldn't really get into it. Mainly because I feel like after a certain point of competency with the language I have to guide my own learning by my own interests, not by what a website thinks I'll be interested in.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moshen
Quote

’m curious if I’m the only one who feels that their new lessons are less engaging compared to their old materials. 

 

I didn't like the new material, either.  Seems to me they are trying too hard to be entertaining and upbeat.  Fortunately there's quite a lot of the old stuff, and it doesn't feel outdated.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
matteo
7 hours ago, PerpetualChange said:

Well, I couldn't afford them when they were supposedly really good, but a few years ago I did a trial and found that I couldn't really get into it. Mainly because I feel like after a certain point of competency with the language I have to guide my own learning by my own interests, not by what a website thinks I'll be interested in.

 

yeah I second PerpetualChange in this comment, if you listen to Chinese Pod upper intermediate or even advance level you can definitely make an extra effort and start listening to native material, according to your taste and waaay more engaging.

I was in this same situation just a few months ago and was advised to make the switch in this thread https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/59917-discouraged-by-my-inability-to-understand-moviestv/page/3/ , I'm very happy to have followed the advice.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
amytheorangutan

I think what you guys say is true. I just like the convenience of having short dialogues being explained mainly in Chinese (once you’re Upper Int) with the transcript that I can also use for mimicking and only a few new words that are introduced at a time that I can put to flash card. I normally listen to each lessons 3-4 or more time to get the new words to stick, so I subscribe more for the structure but it would be useless if I can’t get through the content. I do listen to a few podcasts for pure listening practice but I use Chinesepod I guess for a slightly different purpose than just listening.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...