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Glossika method


Auberon
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Question for those using the Glossika mp3.

 

I went and bought some other languages like French and Korean. Mainly because I felt the web based new service needs constant Internet access and doesn't really fit into my run around life. I wanted some resources for other languages I would like to pick up a bit. I was really tempted to try the triangulation package but had a fear of the unknown.

 

 

Reading through the PDFs, it says things like 50 000 reps will get you speaking comfortably, 75 000 at natural speed.

 

 

However, I couldn't get a good definition of a rep. Their explanation in q&a didn't answer it either. Would one hundred times listening to a sentence constitute as one hundred reps? Or is rep a rep defined as one listening of the sentence plus one practice speaking of the sentence.

 

Update: got a reply from them. One rep is defined as one listening and one mimicking/shadowing attempt.

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I managed to download the Cantonese module Mass Sentence A module. Phew the files are huge. I only manged to get the audio so far. I have reached B2 fluency in Cantonese (just limited by vocab) and I bought this for my brother. He has a totally British accent to his Cantonese pronunciation which makes people switch to using English with him straight away.

 

Cantonese is really good. It's a male voice and he sounds totally authentic from the sentences I have heard so far. The diction is clear. In fact, he speaks slightly slower and a bit clearer than a native speaker. This is a good thing especially with the 6 to 9 tones of Cantonese. From a listening skills point of view, you would have a bit of difficulty understanding native conversation speed after training with this but you would not be far off. Another slight barrier is that the voice is so clear, you might be tripped up when native speakers take shortcuts or are a bit lazy in pronunciation. That's to be expected with only one voice but that would be overcome with more experience.

 

For mimicking and shadowing, I don't think learners can get up to full speed that quickly and that is also normal for other learned skills. Some people may never achieve native speed. Even native speakers have different speeds. So for practicing speaking, I think this is great as you get very correct tones and pronunciation to start you off at a speed on the lower end of normal range. One terrible thing is the use of proper names. It contains weird names which are very off putting even for a somebody with quite a bit of Cantonese experience like me. I just think why bother even trying to shadow that sentence which is a pity.

 

The pdf timetable for suggested training regimes over various months is a mess. It looks so confusing when first eyeballed. It's because of GSM and GSR. Both start with G and both have the letter S. It's just not intuitive to look at and takes time to read it, especially with those numbers. I just glanced over it and ignored it. Far better would have been to use the words 'Mass'  and 'Spaced'. A small thing but just wastes space on a pdf.

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Still not sure what to make of Glossika. At the time when the Mandarin course would have been useful, I found the Taiwanese accent and grammar frustrating (they now have a mainland version too). And having bought the Korean course I'm put off right at the start because, based on my limited understanding of Korean, lots of the sentences are unnatural, a result of over-literally translating from the English. Plus in the past the courses were all full of spelling mistakes. And you have to take it on trust that the sentences you're drilling are correct. And that you're getting a reasonable accent to learn from, rather than just, say, the only person they could find in Taiwan who claimed to be fluent in Estonian . So personally I'd prefer to spend the extra time mining sentences from a thorough textbook or two. Not to save money, but to get over the nagging feeling that I'm memorising stuff that's not really right. For Mandarin, though, I think it's pretty good. And if I had a native speaker tell me that basically a course and its contents were fine, I'd buy without hesitation.

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Yes, and the products could be perfect now, my only issue is that, when they first came out, I thought they were an extremely wonderful idea, but at every stage, there seemed to be one problem after another. All credit to the guy for trying but it was really frustrating .. and bear in mind the whole premise is that you'll listen and repeat and listen and repeat these sentences until they're burned into your brain, so it's a bit disconcerting to wonder if some of them are wrong, or if the speaker's accent is all screwy.

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On 11/8/2017 at 11:12 AM, Flickserve said:

The pdf timetable for suggested training regimes over various months is a mess. It looks so confusing when first eyeballed. It's because of GSM and GSR. Both start with G and both have the letter S. It's just not intuitive to look at and takes time to read it, especially with those numbers. I just glanced over it and ignored it. Far better would have been to use the words 'Mass'  and 'Spaced'. A small thing but just wastes space on a pdf.

That's actually what led me to put together a simple app to keep track of your schedules:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ch.ralena.glossikaschedule

 

Also, thank you for your comments on the Cantonese course. I actually finished the old mp3 + pdf course and am now "reviewing" with the new AI version. I'd heard varying comments about it, and i think your overall assessment is pretty much right on with my experience. For me personally i've had more interactions with folks from Guangdong and the main thing that gets me is the seeming lack of distinction between n/l, it takes me a few seconds to realize that it's actually a word i know just with an 'l' sound instead of 'n'. The names are a pain in Chinese languages, but it's better for Cantonese. I've found only names with Chinese characters (like Japanese names) have Cantonese pronunciation, other foreign names are just read more or less as in English, which is much easier than the Mandarin courses.

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@Crush

 

Thanks for that app! It looks good. I was looking at scheduler apps last night for that very purpose but couldn't find an appropriate one.

 

I have only played a little bit with the Mandarin Ai Glossika. But even within twenty simple sentences, I flagged up a problem. That was quite puzzling. For a product costing 30USD a month, that's rather disconcerting. Another small factor that pushed me into buying the packs.

 

I bought the triangulation package using Cantonese as a source, and then mandarin and hokkien as targets. Should be interesting.

 

For anyone still on the fence about buying Glossika packs, today is the last day....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is everyone here satisfied with the speaker for the Beijing Mandarin?  I was prepared to purchase the program, until I heard a sample of the recording on Soundcloud.  I've managed to befriend some Northern friends with standard Mandarin, and I've listened to enough CCTV to have some awareness of what standard Mandarin should sound like.  Something sounded a little odd to me with the recording.  I asked one of my friends to listen to it.  She taught Mandarin to high school students in Beijing for 10 years and had to meet certain requirements for the standard of her Mandarin in order to do so.  She felt the speaker had fairly standard Mandarin, but with a certain accent she couldn't place (possibly Southern China or Taiwan), and definitely not a Beijing accent.  I can still understand the speaker just fine so it wouldn't affect my comprehension, but I was also hoping to use the recordings for shadowing and mimicking.

 

Another complaint I have, and this is definitely not an issue with only Glossika, is the dearth of male Mandarin speakers in learning materials.  I think there's probably value for all language learners to hear speakers of their own sex, but it seems like it could be particularly important when it comes to tonal languages.  I'm capable of listening to recordings of people with higher voices than my own and shifting the pitch downward so it's my comfortably in my vocal range, but I don't think that will work with mimicking or shadowing.  Besides the issue of absolute pitch, there's probably additional differences between male and female speakers of Mandarin (and other languages as well, I'd assume):

http://chris.erway.org/portfolio/cce3_ling101_final_chinese_gender_diff.pdf

 

I see that Glossika did offer "Mandarin Beijing Business Intro" and "Mandarin Beijing Daily Life," both with a male speaker, but it seems they're no longer available for purchase.  I think at this point I won't be purchasing the program.  I'm honestly considering just paying one of my male friends with a good accent and voice similar to my own to make some recordings for me, but it would be a bit of a hassle.  The other option would be to just bear down, not worry too much about my speaking, and try to get to where I can vaguely understand some native media that I can then use for voice practice, but by that point it will be much more difficult to correct any bad habits I've developed.

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@WaiMi The individual courses aren't available for sale anymore, only the $30/month subscription package.

 

Regarding the "Beijing" speaker, i was happy with the course overall. My main gripes weren't the accent itself but rather the use and translation of foreign names which tend to be the hardest part of a sentence with no real benefit (if someone says their name is Tom, you'll just call them Tom, if they say their name is 汤姆 then you'll just say that). Glossika has mentioned that they are working on getting male/female versions of all their courses out, but they aren't currently available and i don't know when they will be. Probably not for a while.

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One of the ideas behind Glossika was that they were going to take care of paying someone to record all the sentences, and then the cost would be shared between all the people who used them. If you're looking to get someone to make a recording just for you, be prepared to pay a lot more than you would ever pay for Glossika, or to get something that's much lower quality. Unless someone comes out with a very similar competitor, I would imagine that the only practical alternative to Glossika would be to mine sentences from native media.

 

It's definitely annoying that learning materials tend to have mostly female speakers. In the end though, I don't think it makes that much of a difference. Even between speakers of the same sex there is variation in what the comfortable vocal range is for speech. No matter what recording you are shadowing, you will probably have to get used to shifting the pitch into your comfortable range. It's not really a deal breaker.

 

Btw, I thought the Glossika "Beijing" speaker seemed fine. I think it's meant to be a standard accent, not actual Beijing dialect. If you manage to imitate that accent with 100% accuracy I can't imagine that anyone would find it off-putting at all. Most learners are lucky if they manage to get an accent that sounds remotely native at all. Nevermind if native speakers can tell what specific region of China their accent sounds like it came from.

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11 hours ago, Crush said:

The individual courses aren't available for sale anymore, only the $30/month subscription package.

 

Regarding the "Beijing" speaker, i was happy with the course overall. My main gripes weren't the accent itself but rather the use and translation of foreign names which tend to be the hardest part of a sentence with no real benefit (if someone says their name is Tom, you'll just call them Tom, if they say their name is 汤姆 then you'll just say that). Glossika has mentioned that they are working on getting male/female versions of all their courses out, but they aren't currently available and i don't know when they will be. Probably not for a while.

I guess I should have tried signing up at the Glossika site before asking questions.  That pricing is pretty steep.  I'm sure that's still a better deal than Rosetta Stone, but considering I can use RS and Pimsleur for free through my local library, and ChinesePod is also cheaper (and content can be downloaded so a long term subscription isn't necessary), that seems like a lot.  I did make an account after seeing your comment, and there is a male speaker, so that's one of my gripes already answered.  I might try it for a month and decide if it's worth continuing.

 

6 hours ago, eddyf said:

One of the ideas behind Glossika was that they were going to take care of paying someone to record all the sentences, and then the cost would be shared between all the people who used them. If you're looking to get someone to make a recording just for you, be prepared to pay a lot more than you would ever pay for Glossika, or to get something that's much lower quality. Unless someone comes out with a very similar competitor, I would imagine that the only practical alternative to Glossika would be to mine sentences from native media.

You're right.  My idea was to possibly pay a friend to spend a couple hours recording sentences of my choosing (we already do this for each other anyway, but not at such a large scale with payment involved).  That would give me control over what they record and the speaker of my choice, but obviously my knowledge of Mandarin is limited, so I'd much rather use a program like Glossika that will have all of the sentence types covered.  Native media is definitely ideal, but I'm nowhere near the point that I could take advantage of audio ripped from TV or movies.

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On 21/11/2017 at 6:23 AM, WaiMi said:

definitely not a Beijing accent.

 

Yes. Not a Beijing accent per se but pretty standard. Maybe just a marketing thing?

 

9 hours ago, eddyf said:

If you're looking to get someone to make a recording just for you, be prepared to pay a lot more than you would ever pay for Glossika

 

It is just like recording a lesson and processing the teachers speech.

 

To be honest, there are pros and cons. I didn't want to pay the monthly fee since I am pretty irregular with time on the computer. And I didn't see the point of paying for access to lots of languages when I can only do one at a time. 

 

Standard Mandarin with a man would be great. 

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3 hours ago, imron said:

Another possibility - Glossika is based in Taiwan and what mainlanders would call a "Standard Mandarin" accent the Taiwanese often call "Beijing" accent

 

 

If so, it is a misrepresentation. 

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  • 1 year later...

Glossika have a half price offer on the annual Pro plan starting in about 18hours from time of this posting. Their Facebook page has the link showing US$150 for a year. The offer is only valid for Dec 20th to Dec 25th.

 

 This price is ok for me. 

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@Flickserve and everyone else, I had a look at their website and I'm still slightly confused as to what Glossika is. Do you mainly use it for shadowing or do you make use of the interpretation/dictation training stuff as well? I'm always looking for new resources to implement into my study regime to keep it fresh but I'm not sure where this would fit in. To be honest I seem to have more success in conversation when I'm using a structure/sentence (or part of one) I've heard before rather than making it up from scratch - could Glossika be useful for this? 

 

I already use Chairman's Bao for listening/reading prac, Lang8 for writing, Chinesepod podcasts (+ YT) for listening and a load of Pleco flashcards + Skype chat sessions. 

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Given that you already have a good workflow, you may not need to change anything. I have the MP3 and to be honest, I use it for training listening. If there is a sentence where I don’t understand it exactly, I rewind and then listen to the English 

 

It is foremost repetitive training for fluency in speaking. IIRC, you have recorded some Skype sessions. You could easily train your fluency better with sentences from your own recorded conversations. Alternatively, get the teacher to do some recordings of some choice sentences. Loop each sentence a couple of hundred times or more in audacity/workaudiobook and try to shadow exactly how the teacher says it with all the intonations and rhythm. I don’t like to shadow sentences that are long - too hard. I like to practice simple sentences that can be used as building blocks.

 

From their community page on FB, there are some hard core enthusiasts who have built up a huge number of repetitions. And gave them good fluency. I think the main thing Is convenience in having many sentences available. I designed anki cards to do a similar thing but it just takes a lot of work to collate many sentences that you are happy with. 

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