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Auberon

Glossika method

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realmayo

Does anyone else find the use of Western names a little bit annoying? Perhaps I just got a run of sentences with quite a few of them, but it means that I've either got to remember how to say 'Sandra' in Chinese, or give up trying to remember a sentence correctly.

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xiaokaka

I have the pdf's both for basic 2 and for basic 3. Basic 2 has embedded text and is searchable, and copy-pasteable (however, not from all programs since it is a secure pdf, e.g., Acrobat pro 9 does not allow you to copy text, while preview for Mac and GoodReader for iOS do allow it). The Basic 3 pdf has been converted to images and back to pdf, so you cannot search or copy at all. OCR could work but would be very problematic with the mixture of traditional and simplified chinese, pinyin, English and IPA. Another big difference is the size, basic 2 is just 2 mb, while basic 3 is a whopping 188 mb! I bought basic 2 a month ago and won basic 3 in the Hacking Chinese character challenge (http://www.hackingchinese.com/sensible-character-learning-challenge-2014-milestone-2/) two weeks ago, so the change must be recent.

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simplet

Well I was wondering what was the point of the PDFs anyway, I figured people used them to plug some vocab into srs programs, but if you can't even copy the text they seems really useless. 

 

The website does need a LOT of work. The very minimum would be to warn you in some way that you'll receive a download link (relatively) shortly instead of leaving you there wondering what you paid for. And I hope I'll be able to download the files in 24 hours, I've been fighting connexions problems since this morning to get them. Not sure if the problem is on my end or their's, but I suspect their servers might have something to do with it.

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wibr

@xiaokaka so I rechecked, my version is from yesterday and the three basic Chinese ebooks are the same: All Chinese text converted to curves (no pixel images), nothing is selectable or searchable, all files around 150mb...

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fabiothebest

@Simplet: When I purchased  some Glossika products I received only 1 download link in my account, I tried to download it multiple times but the zip file was corrupted. I had to fix it by using a program in order to open it. I didn't have all the download links, anyway after 1 day I got another email with all the links and they are all working and fast this time. They are hosted on Amazon AWS. The mail says that files should be downloaded within 24 hours. I wonder what happens if someone doesn't download the files within a day, I'm afraid files get deleted. In that case, people should have to contact Glossika for new download links, I guess. This isn't a good way of handling file downloads. Anyway yes, the website needs a redesign in my opinion. I offered Mike to help him, giving him some suggestions since I'm also a freelance webdesigner, anyway it seems he ignored what I said and said that at the beginning of May the website was updated and problems were fixed..but most of them are actually still there.

 

I would like to add something about the Glossika system itself (not the website). I think it is useful and the PDFs are necessary. All the sentences seem to be natural and mostly informal. I guess it's good to drill the sentences a lot of times and memorize them so that they can be used promptly for daily conversations. So emphasis is given on fluency, rather than on grammar. There isn't any grammar or vocabulary explanation except an English translation and it is fine, anyway I recommend having a tutor or a native speaker to ask when you have some doubt. When I meet a new word, I hardly can just drill it, but I usually look it up on a dictionary, I try to pronunce it in isolation and to understand its meanings and connotations. Then I can come back to the drilling part, but the previous step is important for me. I sometimes find a few words that are informal or mainly used in Taiwan. There may be times when I wanna use normal words (not informal) or formal words instead, and about words used in Taiwan, alright they can be understood also in Mainland China but I think you should be aware of the fact that they aren't commonly used if you aim to talk to people from Mainland China. (of course just a few words in the course are used mainly in Taiwan, most of them are used anywhere). I think it's important to know that there are multiple ways of expressing a word in Chinese language with slightly different connotations instead of just blindly relying on the one they "taught" you. I've been using Glossika for a couple of days now. I will judge better the effectiveness of the system after I finished the program.

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ChTTay

So I have been debating buying this pretty much since I read about it on here. The first thing that made me pause is how unhelpful the website is and how hard it was to find out what the glossika method actually is (good job you guys are here!). The second thing was trying to figure out which level would suit me best.

Finally, I have only just managed to listen to a sample of the audio (on their website) as for some reason it hasn't been loading for me until now. I have never heard a Taiwanese accent up to now, at least not knowingly. I am not sure I could listen to it for as much time as needed for this method. Perhaps male audio would be better but i'm not sure. I would prefer a Northen/Beijing/Standard accent and preferably male voice.

I know there has been some debate above about whether the Taiwanese accent matters or whether you pick up some of that "twang". It probably doesn't matter overall ... but it is enough to cause me not to buy this method for the time being.

Will keep following this anyway, interested to see how people find it.

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etm001

 

 

I have never heard a Taiwanese accent up to now, at least not knowingly. I am not sure I could listen to it for as much time as needed for this method. Perhaps male audio would be better but i'm not sure. I would prefer a Beijing accent and preferably male voice. 

 

For me it's important to move out of my comfort zone (which is standard Mandarin Taiwanese) and expose myself to other regional accents [Wikipedia]. Do I find the northern/Beijing accent pleasing to the ear? In a word, no. But it's not that bad - it's just different. It sounds like pirates talking. With their mouths full of cotton. Speaking harshly with each other. But seriously, I think having some exposure to other regional Mandarin [Hacking Chinese] Chinese accents is beneficial, as we are all unlikely to only ever interact with people who only speak standard

 

 

 

I know there has been some debate above about whether the Taiwanese accent matters or whether you pick up some of that "twang". It probably doesn't matter overall ... but it is enough to cause me not to buy this method for the time being.

 

I agree. I don't think hearing the Taiwanese accent would have a lasting impact on someone who has been studying standard mainland Mandarin Chinese for a reasonable length of time. That said preferences do matter, but if you feel that the Glossika method has merit, then I say keep an open mind and give it a shot (unless you really can't bear to hear the Taiwanese accent). To that point, I don't see how Mike can go indefinitely without releasing audio files based on standard mainland Chinese Mandarin. Too many people will want it, and many people (such as yourself) will be reluctant to purchase the product if it's not based on it (as well as having male speakers). If he does release updated audio files based on standard mainland Chinese Mandarin, then I hope he will allow the early buyers an opportunity to download the update for free.

 

Right now it's clear Mike is going through some growing pains with this product. I'd imagine (or at least hope) he'll work out many of the kinks that have been noted in this thread soon enough. If he doesn't, then he's never going to expand beyond the hardcore Chinese enthusiast market (i.e., all of us who visit these forums), who so far have been forgiving of the flaws in the product (and website), and who have been willing to purchase the product based on the opinions other forum members that we trust.

 

 

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simplet

@fabiothebest I guess it depends what you're using this for. I don't really intend to learn a lot of new words with this, it seems to me that it would be sort of clunky to pause the thing all the time to check for new words, copy them into some kind of database and so forth. The program seems meant to be listened to continuously. I mainly intend to use it to drill common patterns in my mind in a way that'll make it easier for me to use them in a natural way in the future. From what I've heard so far I already know the vast majority of the words used, which is fine to me.

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fabiothebest

@simplet yes, I understand what you mean. I also used Pimsleur in the past and I know I should just listen to the audio and drill the sentences. Though if I find a new word I'd like to look it up, see the definition and its pinyin, especially when the speaker speaks as fast as in the Glossika course and you don't have time to focus on new words. Then I just let the recording go and I repeat if I'm able to, then eventually I look up a few words if I don't know them, then I play the recording again and do the drilling exercise without pausing anymore. Sometimes I have to listen to the audio 2-3 times before feeling confident (unless I know all the words, but usually that's not the case since sentences are many). Glossika Basic 1 , 2 and 3 have 1000 sentences each (3000 sentences in total, with over 3000 words). I'm at HSK level 2, so I know around 300 characters and words and I still have to learn many words. I notice some differences between the Pimsleur and Glossika method, maybe I prefer Pimsleur but I used Glossika only for a couple of days so I still have to test it till the end. When I used Pimsleur, the sentences were pronunced slowly at the beginning, sometimes a word were even split in two parts, so you could focus well on pronunciation, then you also could hear the pronunciation at normal speed and the speaker asked some questions and you were given time to answer, it was a more interactive and guided method. Instead Glossika says a sentence in English once, then the same sentence in Chinese twice (fast), you don't even have time to repeat it, unless you speak over the speaker's voice, then you are presented immediately the following sentence. You can listen to 50 sentences in each audio file. Well, else it wouldn't be called "mass sentence method". It is a different approach, and like every method, it probably has pros and cons.

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imron
Do I find the northern/Beijing accent pleasing to the ear? In a word, no.

Please note, a Northern accent and a Beijing accent are quite different.

 

When I used Pimsleur, the sentences were pronunced slowly at the beginning, sometimes a word were even split in two parts, so you could focus well on pronunciation

I think this is actually a plus for Glossika.  It gives you material spoken at normal speed - just like you'd get in real life.  I also think it's perfectly acceptable to look up words you don't know, and to listen to the same file multiple times until you can understand it.  That's all part of the learning process.

 

Instead Glossika says a sentence in English once, then the same sentence in Chinese twice (fast), you don't even have time to repeat it, unless you speak over the speaker's voice, then you are presented immediately the following sentence.

You should have 3 versions of each sentence, the files that end in A are like this, the files that end in B have the English, then a long pause and then the Chinese, and the files that end in C have just the Chinese.

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simplet
You should have 3 versions of each sentence, the files that end in A are like this, the files that end in B have the English, then a long pause and then the Chinese, and the files that end in C have just the Chinese.

 

I didn't get any of that. I bought two sentence packs, and all I got was a massive zip file (1.4 Go each) with a hundred mp3s on it, from GLOSSIKA-GSR-BASIC1-ZHRU-DAY001 to GLOSSIKA-GSR-BASIC1-ZHRU-DAY104. All I have here is a chinese sentence quickly followed by the same sentence in Russian, all the way to the end.

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hedwards

@imron, I think it's basically impossible for programs like this to get the speed truly correct. The speed should be rather fast because people using these course are probably wanting to express the ideas fluently. And that means fast, unfortunately, single track programs where you don't have individual tracks for each phrase don't have the ability to give you less and less time as you get better and better.

 

Now that I think about it, presumably it would be possible for somebody to use cue sheets in order to do that, but I'm not aware of any program where they do such a thing.

 

As for accents, in any language not all accents are equal, some accents are considered better than others by native speakers, so you want to speak with one of the better accents when possible. Which is why I tend to prefer to study with the Beijing accent as Beijing has so much power these days. However, you still need to be able to understand other accents and it can be advantageous to be able to use other accents in personal affairs and business dealings when you're wanting to express that you're taking them seriously.

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Koxinga

simplet, it looks like you bought the wrong module(s). ZHRU suggests it was made for Chinese speakers who want to learn Russian. You should have bought this or this (RUZH).

 

GMS has 3 * 20 files, and GSR has 104 files for 104 days (ENZH).

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OneEye

Agreed, the speech isn't "fast," it's simply normal. If understanding and producing normal, native-like speech is your goal, then slowed-down audio is precisely what you don't need. I'd go so far as to say it's harmful. Aim for the target, don't settle for less.

 

simplet,

 

The files imron described are for the GMS program. The ones you're describing are for the GSR program. Same sentences, same order, different approach. The explanation should be in the front of the book, and I posted it earlier in this thread. I think it's worth going back and reading for a few of the posters here, because, for example, it specifically says that you should prepare the new sentences, look them over in the book, and then listen to the audio file.

 

It's also important to remember that Glossika is selling a whole method here, not a flash card deck or a list of sentences. Obviously, you don't have to follow the method if you don't want to, but importing the sentences into Anki isn't part of the method and I don't know if you can fault the course for not being conveniently set up to do that. Very few courses are.

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simplet

@Koxinga No no from ZH to RU is exactly what I wanted, not that it changes all that much one language is simply before the other, I could probably make do with the reverse almost as well.

 

@OneEye : oh ok I thought GSR was simply better than GMS because in GSR the sentences where ordered in some way and the other one was just a big dump of sentences. It's really hard to get information on the site and I didn't buy any books or pdf, like I said they seemed useless to me.

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imron
then slowed-down audio is precisely what you don't need. I'd go so far as to say it's harmful. Aim for the target, don't settle for less.

I agree with this.

 

Obviously, you don't have to follow the method if you don't want to, but importing the sentences into Anki isn't part of the method and I don't know if you can fault the course for not being conveniently set up to do that. Very few courses are.

That's a fair point to some degree, but there's also going to be variations between users finding out what works for them.  Incorporating English in to my studying is simply not something I wish to do, nor something I need to do, however having a few thousand sentences in Chinese that I can drill fits very nicely with the way I like to drill things.

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Solarin

So I bought the bundles for Basic 2 and 3 (now called Fluency 2 and 3), and this is the problem I've run into. I much prefer GSR over GMS because I don't want to manage reviews by myself. But, I like how the GMS recordings actually align with the PDF. That is, I can easily find the sentences in the book with the GMS audio files. With GSR, I can't find the sentences in the book, and I'd really like to have text to refer to. Anyone know the secret to this? Surely the GSR audio files aren't just randomly ordered from the 1,000 sentences, right?

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wibr

I think it's 10 new sentences per GSR file in the order of the pdf, so in file day 15 you will get sentences 1-140 for review and 141-150 as new sentences...

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Solarin

Thanks for replying wibr! Maybe it's just the Basic/Fluency 3 Module I'm using now, but the GSR sentences and the PDF sentences are definitely not in the same order. I'm hoping there's some sort of order to this, but for whatever reason the GSM sentences are spoken in the order of the PDF and the GSR ones are not. As such I don't know how to find them in the PDF (searching doesn't work)  :(

 

EDIT: never mind! I figured out, the first GSR file was reviewing stuff from the older module, that's why I couldn't find it. Thanks again for the help wibr.

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fabiothebest

@Solarin: I'm the same situation. At first I didn't know whether to use GMS or GSR. I like the spaced repeatition system for memorizing sentences anyway an ordered list is easier to follow. Then I decided to use both. Since each file is 3-5 minutes long it's not a big deal for me. (Pimsleur for example has audio files of 30 minutes so it takes longer time to listen to them multiple times). What I do is listening to the GMS files (A, B and C), then when I feel confident with the words (meaning and pronunciation) I drill the sentences using the GSR system. Doing all this doesn't take long time. So if I feel like the sentences aren't hard for me to remember I even listen to 2-3 audio files/day (100-150 sentences). Then I just let the GSR system do its work and as I drill the sentences again and again, also during the following days, I memorize them.

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