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艾墨本

A Short List of Resources for Studying Chinese

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markcarter

Great list!  For the Tones section, our Hanping Chinese SoundBox Android app has offline studio-quality recordings of all single syllable sounds (arranged by initials or finals) as well as all the tone pairs (all taken from HSK1-6). Also includes special sections for tone sandhi.

 

This free app includes all the single-syllable recordings and a few recordings for each tone pair. An extra 4000 tone-pair recordings can be unlocked via a small in-app purchase.

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艾墨本

@Shelley, thank for clearing that up. That sounds like quite the improvement over Chinese Skill. I'll swap them out.

 

@Luxi, can you post a link?

 

@Bigdumogre, I'm not going to add Pimsleur since "the glossika method" is already on. I don't know much about NPCR. What does make it special and why should it be on the list?

 

@Mikelove, I like the Tone Trainer because it helps you learn the proper tones through exercises whereas the Soundbox only plays audio recording (though in high quality). Personally, I wish Rosetta Stone's pronunciation aspect--where you speak and it shows you the graph of your speech and auto compares it to the recording and then determines if you are close enough based on your difficulty settings--was a solo phone App. Though, besides that, I found Rosetta stones Chinese program pretty inefficient (in that I wasn't learning things very quickly relative to other methods).

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zhe

My most useful (free) resources have been FSI pronunciation module and Yoyo Chinese Pinyin Chart.

 

FSI teaches systematically correct pronunciation, it is easy to follow and clearly points out nuances between different sounds. Should be easy to find online since it's distributed under public domain.

 

I like Yoyo Pinyin Chart because of the videos she provides, they helped me to position mouth correctly.

 

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Luxi

Here is the web link to the Chinese dictionary app for Windows that I mentioned above:

 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/store/apps/Chinese-English-Dictionary/9WZDNCRFJCS8#app-details

 

and for the Microsoft Translator (that can now be used as an app with the Edge browser - but only translates full web pages (no selection or single words)  

 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/translator/9wzdncrfj3pg  

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Flickserve

This is horrible news. What's an alternative language exchange website or app, then?

italki's new website takes a lot of time to upload For a commercial website that is not video orientated, I would classify it as a near disaster.

For the language exchange function, the new iTalki website is more limited. I like searching for people using location e.g. By city. That helps my geography - I don't travel into China so often so knowing generally where places are helps me connect to people in other conversations. Because I would like to develop listening skills, I also look for people nearer the North of China. The new iTalki website doesn't help that. Probably they don't want to develop the language partner function too much except as a way to draw people into using their tutoring services.

I haven't really tried other websites/apps. I think there was one called hellotalk but I never tried it having a lack of time. From this forum, it seems that the participants there are more hormonal and interested in other things rather than languages.

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Bigdumogre

艾墨本 NPCR is a great book series with audio that progressively gets harder and lessons the amount of English used. Great for reading, writing and listening skills 

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markcarter

@艾墨本 I just tried the Tone Trainer, but it doesn't seem to do tone pairs at all, which is the main reason people use the SoundBox app. Tone pairs are extremely useful especially regarding the 3rd and neutral tones. Does it have anything regarding tone sandhi? Also, it doesn't group sounds by initial or final. Furthermore, it doesn't work offline, AFAICT.

 

It looks like Tone Trainer and SoundBox are designed for very different use cases.

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艾墨本

@markcarter, I added the tone trainerSoundbox. Didn't know it did all that. Thanks for explaining it.

 

@bigdumogre, I added a new category for textbooks. Considered putting NPCR under complete courses as well. I've seen NPCR mentioned on these forums quite a bit and had a change to stop by the BLCU bookstore to look through it. Seems to be a pretty sweet book. I learned from Integrated Chinese, but I think I like how NPCR is laid out and progresses more. 

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Shelley

I am confused - Tone Trainer or Soundbox? i thought markcarter was saying Soundbox was better. Although they are very different? Which one is best for tone pairs and tone sandhi?

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艾墨本

@Shelley: Oops. Brain slip. Yeah, It should read "Soundbox." 

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艾墨本

@Euephie, You're welcome.

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roddy

Made this a pinned topic, will unpin the other much older one. Many thanks to the OP and all who contributed. 

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eddyf
@Bigdumogre, I'm not going to add Pimsleur since "the glossika method" is already on. I don't know much about NPCR. What does make it special and why should it be on the list?

 

Pimsleur and Glossika are not interchangeable at all... Pimsleur is suitable for absolute beginners, but Glossika isn't really. Pimsleur is much more helpful for pronunciation because they go slow enough that you can actually imitate it syllable by syllable. If you wanted to do that with Glossika it would take a lot more work. And that's without mentioning the fact that Pimsleur is a lot more fun and encouraging for a beginner so it will probably have a lower rate of giving up. Overall Pimsleur is quite useful and I would strongly recommend it to anyone just starting out. So I think it definitely merits a spot on the list. Maybe you could change the "Tones" section to "Pronunciation" and include Pimsleur in there.

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艾墨本

@eddyf

 

That's very good to know. I've never used Pimsleur before. Actually, before coming to these forums, I assumed it was over-marketed vaporware. Good to hear it does what it says it does.

 

*Edit*

 

Would Pimsleur make more sense as a "Language Course?"

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Shelley
Would Pimsleur make more sense as a "Language Course?"

 

Yes it is a complete self contained course.

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etm001

 

 

Maybe you could change the "Tones" section to "Pronunciation" and include Pimsleur in there.

For what it's worth, Glossika does offer a tone training package. On the Mandarin course offering page, click "See additional courses and supplementary materials not listed here."

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艾墨本

@Shelley, thanks for the input. I added it to the full courses section along with a wordlist I found on these forums. Couldn't find a more recent review of it spare a comparison between it and Glossika

 

@etm001, left it as tones. Thank you.

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艾墨本

It seems that iTalki is no longer free. I've heard Hello Talk is good. Has anyone used this?

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chinesemadrush

Has anyone tried the "Mandarin Chinese for Business" course by edX? Any feedback? I am currently enrolled for it and it starts on Monday. Would I get the links to access the course materials closer to that date? Currently, I have signed up but can't seem to get any further information on the course like outline and so on.

 

Thanks.

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