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Glossika method


Auberon
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A few extra negatives to add on.

There are a few mistakes, like some translations not matching what's written on the PDF or sometimes only translating half of the what it said in English (this is only a few, but still things like this should be checked)

I don't like the way it tries saying the same thing in more than one way on the same 'sentence'.

Occasionally there is a 'sentence' that is actually 4 sentences and it's more like a memory test than a way to learn a language (if that makes sense)

Seems to use too many names and you spend too much time trying memorise 5 character names (as they aren't Chinese names) to concentrate on the rest of the sentence

And as I mentioned before, I don't like how it doesn't literally translate things like currency

Wow, it's too bad they are making many of the exact same mistakes other language programs make. It amazes me how relatively little time and effort these companies spend on checking their own work.

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  • 4 months later...
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Thank you wibr for your post on Glossika's statistics. Here are a few of my own: 

fVealZ8.png

 

edit: whoops, the table doesn't appear after I've posted. Here's the image instead. 

 

I used imron's Chinese Text Analyzer, of course. 

Edited by laowhiner
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  • 2 weeks later...

So I have a question** (edited):

 

1) Is it okay to mix and match Glossika courses? There are many lessons in each that contain things that I really want to know how to say for my trip to Taiwan, but there are also a lot of other lessons that contain things that I know I won't need. For example, the Daily Life course has something like 9 units related just to health problems, and the Travel course has many units related just to cars and accidents, all of which are things that I know I won't be discussing in detail. Scattered throughout the lessons that I don't use, there are some high yield sentences/phrases that I would like to add to my Pleco cards.

 

 

Anyways, after a few days of use, here are some of my initial thoughts about Glossika and specifically GMS (take with a grain of salt since my opinions might change). Glossika overall seems like a good program but it definitely has some things that I would prefer to be different. Namely, the random nature of the sentence topics at times, the excessive use of Western names (why exactly do I need to know how to say Tyrone and Chad in Chinese instead of real Chinese names), and the bizarre translations of currencies. For true beginners, I would recommend starting with something else like Pimsleur, which will help you develop a solid foundation along with strong pronunciation skills. For those traveling just for the sake of traveling like myself, I'm still not not sure which course I would recommend. The Travel course is great for travel related matters but seems to lack the small talk you need to make new friends and be less robotic. The Daily life has some small talk stuff and lots of interesting conversation fillers, so it will help you sound less like a robo-tourist, but half the course is sadly related to health. There also aren't any set of sentences related to actually ordering food yourself (despite on the product page it says otherwise, but all they include are a couple simple sentences) or about transportation, which seems weird to not include for necessary things to know for daily life in a foreign country. The Fluency would probably be too in-depth and random, but it contains the strongest amount of small talk and conversation fillers.

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After reading through this whole thread I went ahead and bought their Fluency pack (mainland China version). I'd just like to point out that since a year or two back they have fixed a few things that people were complaining about in this thread. The biggest thing perhaps being that the text in the pdfs is searchable, copy-pastable, etc. No need to do OCR anymore. Also their website seems pretty polished these days and I didn't have any issues with purchasing and downloading everything. However some people earlier were saying that the Taiwan and mainland versions were packaged together but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I selected the mainland version and that's all I got.

 

Also I guess it's worth asking: out of all the people who were posting in this thread last year or earlier, is there anyone who stuck with it and got through everything and can come back and talk about what it was like?

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  • 2 months later...

I'm like 1800 sentences through it as of now, 3 months in. But I kind of rushed through the first 1000 or so sentences because they were easy. Probably the remaining sentences will take me longer. My speaking has definitely improved a lot in the last 3 months, and I think it's primarily due to Glossika. I've been happy enough with the results that as of now I'm still motivated to continue. I'm pretty curious where exactly it will get me to in the end though. I'm hoping to get to where I can be confident claiming to be B2. Lack of fluency when speaking is probably the biggest thing keeping me from B2 right now. We'll see how it goes I guess.

 

Maybe this response isn't that helpful but it's pretty hard to quantify how much it has helped so far. But the bottom line is that I would recommend the method. It's much more practical and efficient of a way to get better at speaking than just having conversations with people. You don't have to coordinate your schedule with anybody and you have a clear measure of progress. And you avoid the danger of reinforcing your own grammatical mistakes that comes from speaking too much without enough corrective feedback. So as long as you don't get bored too easily, I think Glossika works pretty well.

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@eddyf How exactly do you go through the sentences? Do you follow the method that Glossika suggests?

 

I just recently, finally, got started actually learning those sentences. I tried their space repitition audio files once but I got annoyed by them quickly. Then I did all the OCR, audio cutting etc. as reported somewhere in this thread to get single sentences. I sorted all sentences according to character frequency (maximum and average) and go through them using normal Pleco flashcards. So it's a little different from what Glossika suggests but I think it makes much more sense to learn in order of frequency. I don't have to learn any new characters (yet, I know around 1500) and can focus mostly on sentence structure and sometimes a new word. For example, recently I had a lot of sentences with 怎麼樣, apparently one of those characters is where I am currently in the frequency list. This way, I immediately get several different usages of the new word or character. Overall I can progress faster since there is more repetition and less new stuff per sentence.

I am not sure how well normal SRS works in the long run, I might have to remove old sentences if it gets too much.

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I wanted to use Glossika a while ago but got too frustrated by their actual sentences that I never managed to persevere. I'm less interested in it for learning vocab and more for cementing natural sentence structures & language patterns, and also drilling pronunciation. I picked up a book for HSK 1-3 vocab, which has 600 words, each with on average six example sentences, and each example sentence has the Chinese spoken in mp3. (The next two books in the series don't have mp3.) So, I'll use this in preference to Glossika. The book is:  A Dictionary of 5000 Graded Words for New HSK Levels 1-3   新HSK5000词分级词典 (1-3级)

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I was using glossika a while ago, and I got to somewhere around 800 sentences. I didn't really follow their method though. What I did was use audacity to split up the English audio and the Chinese audio into individual sentences - which can be done really quickly because there's a pause in between each sentence that Audacity can automatically detect and cut for you. Then you can batch export all of the sentences into an individual mp3 file for each sentence. I then used a spreadsheet to make a file which would have all of the names of all of the English sentences and the Chinese ones, depending on the sentence number (if I recall, all of the sentences are numbered). Then all I had to do was import the spreadsheet to anki as a .tsv, move my newly created sentence files into the media folder of anki, and I'd have a whole new batch of sentences. If I came across a word I didn't know, I'd keep open a copy of the pdf where I could find the sentences, get a feel for the word in question, and write a quick definition on my anki card, just as a reminder. I tested myself by hearing the English audio on the front, recording myself saying the Chinese audio (I'd memorize it), and then comparing my own recording with the Chinese audio on the back.

 

Actually, it worked quite well, and I definitely improved in some of my grammar structures, as well as learning new words. Learning new words by memorizing a sentence seemed to really make my overall tones and intonation for the better in general, as well as making my tones more natural for the words that I learned using this method as I describe breifly here:

 

 

I've also found that this method (memorizing and shadowing whole sentences) leads to more natural tones and intonation over whole sentences, as well as a more natural (feeling)/direct route to knowing the tones of individual words I speak. With flashcards of single words, it takes me a while before I tend to "forget" the actual tone of the word and just have a feeling for it and say it the correct way (and so if I want to identify the tone, I have to "reverse-engineer" it by playing the word in my brain and figuring out what tone it is - much like native speakers seem to do when you ask them what the tone of any given word is. However, with this method, I tend to get to that point much sooner with new words).

 

Anyways, eventually I continued using the same methods but with sentences mined from movies where I can get both the English and Chinese subtitles for, and using subs2SRS to make small sentence-sized sound bites out of them. The reason I now use movies is because I am very skeptical of resources made for students, as in my experience, they seem to not be very true to the real world. I know glossika explicitly tries to have their material be natural and true to what native speakers would say, but after seeing reviews about other glossika products (other than Chinese), I decided I didn't want to take the risk. Another advantage of using movies, is that I can pick movies I enjoy, and some of them are quite funny, making study more enjoyable. Using (current) movies, I can be absolutely sure that the stuff I'm learning is going to be useful and not sound "weird" or "not quite right" to native speakers, because it's made by natives speakers for native speakers, with no thought to make things "more understandable" or "more formal' for native speakers, like textbooks often do. A disadvantage is that the sentences are rather random - there is no nice build up like glossika seemed to have. Glossika seemed to try to introduce a grammar pattern, and then reintroduce it later, but with different context, or a slight variation, etc. This was good for really ingraining the patterns in my brain, leading to (somewhat) natural, active use of them in conversations. Movies don't do this so well.

Anyways, if anyone wants that spreadsheet I used, I could dig it up and attach it. Once you get used to it, you can add 50 sentences in a few minutes, if I recall.

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I use Glossika everyday. Currently, I'm on sentences #1151-1200. So like a little less than halfway.

 

I also use it different than the way it is suggested in the program. I listen to 50 sentences everyday for a week while I'm doing my chores or driving. I try to at least listen to 50 "A" mp3 files at least 2x everyday for a week. At the end of the week I sit down in front of the computer and focus on pronunciation speaking and repeating what I have been listening to all week.

 

I like this method because when it comes time for my focused study time at the end of the week, I'm already 70-80% familiar with the content. It's a slow approach but I have seen great progress in my everyday speaking and I attribute it to Glossika.

 

I recommend Glossika to anyone, but you have to persevere through it to see results.

 

I also have 新HSK5000词分级词典 (1-3级). It is a very useful book, especially if you want to pass the HSK. I think the advantage of Glossika is learning to use to everyday speech and grammar in daily life.

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I picked up a book for HSK 1-3 vocab, which has 600 words, each with on average six example sentences, and each example sentence has the Chinese spoken in mp3. (The next two books in the series don't have mp3.) So, I'll use this in preference to Glossika. The book is:  A Dictionary of 5000 Graded Words for New HSK Levels 1-3   新HSK5000词分级词典 (1-3级)

 

Interesting. I also heard about another book that might be similiar (I forgot where I saw it, perhaps some blog). A Taiwanese book designed for English language learners called 史上最強英語會話8,000. This book is useful for us Chinese learners because apparently the mp3 that comes with the book has all the sentences in Mandarin too. 8000 sentences Mandarin sentences on what looks like a huge diversity of topics.

 

Here's some sample pages:

 

http://im2.book.com.tw/image/getImage?i=http://www.books.com.tw/img/001/066/40/0010664087_b_06.jpg

 

http://www.books.com.tw/img/001/066/40/0010664087_b_01.jpg

 

I think it may be useful for training speech in the same way Glossika is.

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@eddyf How exactly do you go through the sentences? Do you follow the method that Glossika suggests?

 

Not exactly. I exclusively use the "B" files (English + pause + Chinese). What I did was I extracted the text from the PDF and made it into Lyrics on the mp3 files. Then I put them all on my phone. So I can listen to the sentences and I can also pull up the text if I need it. So what I do is I listen through the "B" files and I try to come up with the Chinese sentence within the pause. Then when the answer plays, I repeat after it in the pause before the next sentence. Sometimes I pause the audio if I need to give myself more time to focus on a sentence, so it ends up taking me anywhere from 20-40 minutes to go through 50 sentences.

 

My review schedule is kind of random. I'm mostly moving forward but every once in a while I go back and start relistening to files that I've done already. On subsequent listens I can go through the files a lot faster because I don't have to pause as much.

 

I didn't do the whole SRS thing for a few reasons. One, I'm not an Anki user for vocab, I use Pleco flashcards and they don't support something like this. Two, I'm not really trying to memorize the sentences so much as just train the ability to come up with correct sentences myself. Three, there's a certain logic to how the Glossika sentences are ordered that I kind of like and you lose that by splitting up every sentence as a separate SRS item.

 

It's true that this general study method could be used with any set of sentences. I am using Glossika because it's the set of sentences I was able to find and it seems good enough. A reasonable attempt has been made to create a set of sentences that have a good progression and have good coverage of a lot of grammar patterns. But most of all it saves me time because it's all been put together already. If I tried to mine my own sentences from movies, etc it would just be so much work and I would spend more time mucking around with audio files than actually studying. Or at least, that's what I'm afraid of but I haven't really tried to see how much effort it would actually take.

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@eddyf Thanks! Apparently no one here uses the Glossika method really, just their sentences, and often with modification of the files.

 

In general I found that sentence flashcards are more fun than word or character flashcards, but if it's getting too overwhelming I might also switch to something without SRS.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am working through Glossika Travel and Fluency 123 chorusing the GSR audio clips.  I just finished chorusing Travel day 56 and Fluency day 93.  I've been studying Mandarin for about 8 years and could move much faster through the Fluency material but choose not to since time is an important factor in memory retention.  Chorusing the GSR material is working well for internalizing sentence patterns and a little oomph that seems to have made a noticeable difference in my listening comprehension.  It also seems to be a good boost for spoken fluidity.   I like the gradual progression of the GSR files, the variations on how to say what is generally the same thing, so much so that I may purchase the Daily Life material.  This is despite having these Taiwanese English phrase books which all have Mandarin audio: (1) 連老外都再用的英語, (2) 史上最強英語會話8000, (3) 環遊世界必備英語會話.  I found these three books through posts by OneEye.   I plan to make the decision about whether to purchase Glossika Daily Life around Sept which will be after returning from a trip to Taiwan, and should be about half way through the Fluency material.  Moving from the GSR files to working the 2nd and 3rd mentioned phrase books is too jarring of a leap for me and being interested in coverage I’d rather put off working the 1st mentioned book.

 

Update;  I should say that right now moving from the GSR files to working the 2nd and 3rd mentioned phrase books seems to be too jarring of a leap.  It's possible after finishing Fluency 123 that I may feel otherwise. 

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  • 9 months later...
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I'm actually trying to learn mandarin and I gave Rosetta Stone a try. Now I am considering Glossika and the program at Optilingo.com. Has anyone tried Optilingo's Assimil program and can give feedback on which is better? I really need to be fluent. 

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  • 6 months later...

Has anyone tried the new glossika already? I think in general it's the right approach but the price is way too high and it doesn't offer enough flexibility at the moment. There are also some things that I don't understand, e.g. you can record your voice but somehow it's never played back to you, or am I missing something?

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