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thechairmansbao

The Chairman's Bao

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thechairmansbao

Hello all,

 

During the past few months we have been working on our new website www.thechairmansbao.com, which is set to be released in January. The Chairman's Bao is an online newspaper simplified for students of Mandarin. All articles are going to be written to specific HSK levels by Chinese nationals with experience in teaching HSK and there will be loads of features such as a live dictionary and flashcard system.

 

As we know that many readers of Chinese Forums are likely to be people who may be interested in the site so we thought we would post here to see what you think of our work so far. We are keen to stress that the launch in January will be a pilot and we hope to create a real 'community feel' about the site, so if there is anything you feel that we could improve on or any features you would like to see please don't hesitate to get in touch. 

 

Our promotional video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L78vvwePH9o

 

If anybody would also like to take part in the project in any way, be it through blogging, articles or otherwise, again please get in touch! 

 

We are very excited to see what the next few months hold and we hope very much that The Chairman's Bao will prove to be a useful tool to you all.

 

Thank you for your time! 

 

Team TCB

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Frederik451

Wow this sounds amazing! i'm very excited to try it.  :lol:  :D  :D

 

do you have to create an account and pay a monthly fee in order to use it? if so, how much?

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simc

I'll be quite interested to see it as well, especially since it has audio for the articles.

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anonymoose

Don't forget that a lot of learners are already in China, and that both YouTube and Facebook are blocked here.

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ChTTay

I second that. If your site doesn't work in China or has a lot of YouTube content then I'll never use it.

:(

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hedwards

I like the idea. I just see a thumbs up and thumbs down for vocab. That's OK for the initial bit, but it's better to have a wrong, bad, OK and good or equivalent so that one can easily tell the system how well the card is known so as to remove them more quickly when you really know them. Pleco is kind of annoying me right now because it doesn't do that.

 

Also, it would be nice if the system could rank by not just HSK level, but how many of the words you know, so if you're mostly reading science articles, you can go to a higher level and if you find an art article you wouldn't be using the same level.

 

And definitely have QQ and Youkou options, there's going to be a relatively large number of people in China that would use a product like this, and the investment is probably pretty minimal compared to the other stuff. Just a bit of monitoring and reposting.

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ChTTay

 

Pleco is kind of annoying me right now because it doesn't do that.

 

Have you bought the flashcard add on in pleco? It has 6 levels of 'knowing' a flashcard - don't know, forgotten, almost remembered / pefectly remembered, remembered, barely remembered.

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hedwards

@ChTTay, I bought the bundle, I should look to see what's all included. I know that I need to buy the new updated writing input as there are more options than there were in the old version. If there's an option to get that, I'll definitely be getting it as it's just that useful.

 

Edit, I found the setting, now that I see it, I think it was enabled at one point, I wonder why it got disabled on my phone. Thanks.

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thechairmansbao

Hi there, thank you for all of your replies.

 

The site will be completely free initially and will be for the foreseeable future, once we (and our users) are completely happy with the website and we have ironed out any issues then we are likely to a charge a monthly fee, but it won't be a lot. 

 

All Youtube content will be posted on Youku and QQ, although none of the actual website content will be posted on to Youtube. That is to say, if you have access to the website you will have access to all audios etc. However, anything we do post to Youtube or Facebook will be made available on Chinese social media channels.

 

For those of you withouit Youtube access, here is our promotional video on Youku: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XODI3NTk1MTIw.html

 

Thank you for the comment about the flashcard system, I will pass it on to the Web Designer and it is certainly something we can consider for the future. Thanks also for the suggestion of grouping word level by category, again it is something we can consider as it fits in perfectly with our aim to be a 'topical news' site. 

 

Again, thank you all for taking the time to reply, best wishes!

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thechairmansbao

Hi Hedwards,

Sorry at first I misunderstood your comment slightly. The flashcard system we currently have in place recognises which characters you have previously remembered and will test you less in the future. When a word has been remembered (english, pinyin and characters) then it goes into the 'remembered once' word group, which is tested less than those that have never been remembered, and so on and so forth.

I hope this helps!

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ouyangjun

This looks interesting.  Are the articles written by chairman's bao writers, or are they taking existing articles in Chinese news and "simplifying" them into HSK level vocab?  I'm curious, because it looks like the video shows an article from a Chinese news website.

 

One thing I'd suggest is to make sure this is mobile phone friendly.  I've never done any reading on my computer, just can't do it.  The mobile phone is great to catch a quick article if on the subway, taxi, etc.

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Angelina

You should make an official account on WeChat!

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ouyangjun

Angelina's comment on making an official account on WeChat or Weibo is not a bad idea.  I do almost all of my Chinese language news from WeChat via Baidu News, Tencent News, etc.... 

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thechairmansbao

Hi everyone,

 

Thanks again for all of the comments. Firstly, the reason for having the live dictionary is so that people can easily highlight vocab to retrieve its meaning rather than having to search it in their own dictionary. It also makes it easier for users to add the words to their word lists for use with the in-built flashcard system. You suggestion about enabling users to import flashcards into their own software is a very good one and something we have already discussed - so watch this space! 

 

Also agreed on the pinyin fix, I will pass it on to the web designer. It was how the dictionary (CE-Dict, by the way - who will be credited on the website) formatted the words I believe, but I will pass this on and see if there is a way we can sort it out. 

 

Another thing on our to-do list is to switch the English and Chinese titles so that the English title is the one that people see first, they will then have the option to hover over for a Chinese translation. This will also help our articles to be more 'findable'.

 

All of the articles will be written by our team of Chinese writers (currently we have five) who will write and upload fresh articles each day. For the promotional video we did simply import a news story as at this point we hadn't hired the Chinese writers. 

 

We have optimised the site for mobile use and we hope to be able to develop an app in the near future. 

 

As for the Wechat account, our director in China set one up recently so I will be sure to pass the details on!

 

Thank you all for the constructive and kind comments! 

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imron

and see if there is a way we can sort it out.

It's a reasonably straightforward issue to solve and I do this 'on the fly' for Chinese Text Analyser, which also uses CC-CEDICT.

Feel free to get in touch if you run in to issues and would like to discuss ways to do it.

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thechairmansbao

That's great, thank you for your help!

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Elizabeth_rb

Looking forward to this starting.  I'll certainly use it as my reading is poor.  Well, actually, it's OK and I can read HSK level 5 stuff just fine, just a bit slowly as I rarely take the trouble of practising. :D 

 

I wonder what content there will be for Level 1, given the very low vocab level.  :P

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thechairmansbao

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your interest in the site. Articles on the site will begin at HSK3 and we will be trying to cater for lower levels in other ways through educational videos etc., although not initially.

 

If you have any suggestions for this, please get in touch! 

 

And HSK5, that's brilliant - I hope we can help you push on for level 6 articles :)

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