Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
艾墨本

A Short List of Resources for Studying Chinese

Recommended Posts

realmayo

Oh I see. Yes you're right. In fact I think that's a feature/drawback of how Wenlin uses for convenience a one-word 'translation' in English for those component parts. As in, like you say, 彳 (chì) ‘footprint’, or 止 (zhǐ) ‘foot.

 

But if you click on 彳, Wenlin tells you:

 

彳 is the left half of 行 xíng ‘walk’, which originally depicted a crossroads. Since 行 has sometimes been re-interpreted as depicting two footprints, 彳 is also often considered to depict a footprint. Where 彳 occurs as a component, it seems to have originated as an abbreviation of 行.
    彳 only occurs as a whole character in the rare word 彳亍 chìchù.
    As a component, 彳 is sometimes known as 双人旁 shuāngrénpáng, contrasted with亻, which is called 单人旁 dānrénpáng.

 

Again, note that it glosses 行 xíng as ‘walk’ but that's just for convenience's sake; if you click on 行 you get: Long considered to depict two footprints, 彳 and 亍. However, older forms appear to depict a crossroads.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

tofulearn
On 03/03/2017 at 8:22 AM, 艾墨本 said:

What dictionary is your dictionary based on?

 

It's based on CC-CEDICT, Unihan, and skishore's Make Me a Hanzi project (which is in turn based on Unihan and Cjklib).

 

On 03/03/2017 at 8:22 AM, 艾墨本 said:

How are you generating the frequency numbers?

 

It's based on frequency lists generated from open subtitles and publicly available texts. Similar to how frequency lists for other languages are usually generated. The numbers are generated automatically and didn't pass manual review.

 

On 03/03/2017 at 8:22 AM, 艾墨本 said:

Where do the example sentences come from? The example sentences all seem very simple and the several more difficult words I tried lacked examples, altogether.

 

These all come from Tatoeba project so far.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
艾墨本

I've added Ninchanese to the list.

 

@tofulearn, I've been keeping an eye on your application. Currently, I am waiting for it to leave beta and hopefully get proper mobile versions before assessing it again.

 

This list has gotten long and cumbersome for someone looking for the right resource. Do you see anything that could be removed? Please also say why you think it could be removed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve

Perhaps you can stratify the resources into 'really useful' and 'useful' categories depending on the time one has available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
艾墨本
2 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Perhaps you can stratify the resources into 'really useful' and 'useful' categories depending on the time one has available.

 

Maybe I could just bold the most important resources.

 

After some thought, I went ahead a bolded some important resources. My selection of bolded resources is most certainly up for conversation. I welcome any suggestions to add or remove bolded resources.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ceciliamiao
Quote

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

 

@艾墨本 楼主 I don't think it's fair to just delete ChineseSkill from the list. First of all, the fact it has in-app purchase is completely justifiable, since most of the features are free and the app itself is ad-free. It's not fair to want everything for free or look down on free apps that work and want to make money. HelloChinese is now a fremium app. Secondly, ChineseSkill was the first duolingo-like Chinese learning app; HelloChinese benefited a lot from piggy-riding quite a lot of features. It has its own strengths now but not without the credit to ChineseSkill. 

 

I sincerely hope you add ChineseSkill back to the list, as it's still very highly rated on both app stores. It's not like it's a 3-star product and HelloChinese the 5-star newcomer. Which one of them is better can be left for more users to judge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

I'm not maintaining the list and I'm not going to comment on which apps should and shouldn't be there. However, it is intended to be (as the title says) short. That means the majority of resources have to get left out. There's plenty of space elsewhere for more in-depth discussion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ceciliamiao

You have a point. ↑

 

I think 楼主 @艾墨本 didn't compare the two apps thoroughly before he took one of them down. The amount of resources on ChineseSkill is also much larger than HelloChinese. The design and interface of HelloChinese is smoother than ChineseSkill. The two are similar (especially because HC came later and developed itself based on CS). If he's responsible for maintaining this list to the best of his knowledge, he should compare them himself instead of accepting suggestions by just one of two people (including me). Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
艾墨本
2 hours ago, ceciliamiao said:

 If he's responsible for maintaining this list to the best of his knowledge, he should compare them himself instead of accepting suggestions by just one of two people (including me). Thank you.

I like to believe I'm a very open minded person. You are more than welcome to make a case for one or the other. I am not the purveyor of all that is right with apps. Many, if not most, of these apps I have never used or they simply don't meet what I want out of an app. But this list is meant to be a community project, not me telling you what to use.

 

To echo Roddy:

2 hours ago, roddy said:

@Chong, what do you think?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

In this case why not have both listed, after all choice is a good thing, I know it should be a "short list" but it is not really adding too much and it is not a short a list as it could be if you were being really strict.

 

For example if it was my list I would have New Practical Chinese Readers, Pleco, Hanzi Grids, HelloChinese, Skritter, Schaums Outline Chinese Grammar. This are my core materials. I have lots of others I dip into or browse occasionally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
艾墨本
1 hour ago, Shelley said:

For example if it was my list I would have New Practical Chinese Readers, Pleco, Hanzi Grids, HelloChinese, Skritter, Schaums Outline Chinese Grammar. This are my core materials. I have lots of others I dip into or browse occasionally.

I wish more people would give opinions like this. What is on you "short list" if you had to choose 5-8 sources. I'm Pleco, TCB, HelloChinese, Skritter, Grammar Wiki, (maybe add Hanzi Grids and CTA)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DanielG

Nice idea!  Here is my short list: 

1. Pleco flashcards/dictionary - every time I come across vocabulary I want to learn, I add it to my vocabulary category to review.  When I come across a grammatical structure I want to practice, or if I am having trouble with a certain word, I add a sentence to my sentence category. Full of example sentences, even in the free version.

2. Integrated Chinese.  I've also used the New Practical Reader series, but I find the grammar and usage explanations and examples in Integrated Chinese to be much clearer and more useful.

3. DuChinese  This app is just incredibly well done, and offers a great supply of supplementary graded reading/listening material.  I don't like the subscription model, but they offer plenty of free lessons that are available for a limited period of time.

4. Hello HSK level 3 and 4.  I've mentioned this earlier in this thread - it is an app to practice for the HSK, and is full of well designed exercises.  I particularly like the listening exercises, which give you an opportunity to both practice listening and to check your comprehension.  All exercises can be unlocked without paying real money.

5. HelloTalk  This app makes it really easy to find someone just to chat with.  You can send audio messages, which allows you to listen repeatedly to what someone said, and lets you take time to formulate what you want to say.   If you find this slows down the conversation too much, you can make a free call within the app,

6. Inkspot. This is a great free/cheap app to practice writing characters.  It also has includes useful character info. I only wish it had a smaller footprint.

7. Hacking Chinese.  An essential companion to studying Chinese on one's own.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

Wonder if a new topic would be good, My Short List or something. It might clog this one up if a lot of people join in here, don't know what do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DanielG

Perhaps - but on the other hand, there is nothing definitive about the OP's "short list" in the first post.  In fact, I disagree with quite a few of 艾墨本's

preferences, for example: HelloChinese over ChineseSkill, NPCR over Integrated Chinese, not including DuChinese, Hello HSK 3, HelloTalk etc.  There are a lot of resources available, and if a list is not quasi-encyclopedic, it is bound to be pretty subjective, so listing other people's preferences can help even that out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
character
1 hour ago, Shelley said:

Wonder if a new topic would be good, My Short List or something. It might clog this one up if a lot of people join in here, don't know what do you think?

Good idea.  I think the admins could also rename this topic to " 艾墨本 's Short List of Resources for Studying Chinese" to avoid confusion/tension since he is exercising editorial control. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
艾墨本
16 hours ago, Shelley said:

Wonder if a new topic would be good

 

15 hours ago, DanielG said:

Perhaps - but on the other hand, there is nothing definitive about the OP's "short list" in the first post.  In fact, I disagree with quite a few of 艾墨本's

preferences

 

14 hours ago, character said:

Good idea.  I think the admins could also rename this topic to " 艾墨本 's Short List of Resources for Studying Chinese" to avoid confusion/tension since he is exercising editorial control. 

 

 

I think ya'll are missing my intentions with this thread. The information in the first post is far from my preferences. The reason this is a thread is to encourage people to discuss resources, their pros and cons, and which resources someone aiming to learn Chinese should use. I do not think a new thread should be started to discuss your preferences, rather, I hope that you will share your preferences and discuss/debate which resources should be on a short list.

 

Personally, I don't like NCPC and much prefer Jump High (汉语纵横)as a textbook. NCPC is too dry for me but many people on these forums seem to prefer NCPC. If you don't think it should be NCPC, please state why not and what it should be and why it should be something else.

 

Of course, every resource has pros and cons but the goal is to put the resources with the most "pros" on to the front page.

 

If you simply want an extensive resource list, then go to hacking chinese, which is something I state at the top of the first post. 

 

Yes, this list is subjective, but the subject to judge the resource list is the community on these forums. 

 

I consider myself a logical person and am open to suggestions, assuming a strong case for it is made. "I like x because it has more options" is not a strong case. A strong case will answer many questions. For example: Why is Du Chinese good? Should it join TCB on the list or should it replace it? How do the two differ? How is it better/worse than TCB? What is your experience with it?

 

That said, sharing "your list" is a great way to continue moving the conversation forward from a quantitative perspective as we can see if many people are choosing a specific resource. If there is a specific resource you do not think belongs, should it just be removed or replaced. I also think this list is too long, currently. So if you have some ideas of ways to trim it down, let me know.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
character
6 hours ago, 艾墨本 said:

I think ya'll are missing my intentions with this thread. The information in the first post is far from my preferences. The reason this is a thread is to encourage people to discuss resources, their pros and cons, and which resources someone aiming to learn Chinese should use. I do not think a new thread should be started to discuss your preferences, rather, I hope that you will share your preferences and discuss/debate which resources should be on a short list.

 

Personally, I don't like NCPC and much prefer Jump High (汉语纵横)as a textbook. NCPC is too dry for me but many people on these forums seem to prefer NCPC. If you don't think it should be NCPC, please state why not and what it should be and why it should be something else.

 

[...]

 

6 hours ago, 艾墨本 said:

I consider myself a logical person and am open to suggestions, assuming a strong case for it is made. "I like x because it has more options" is not a strong case. A strong case will answer many questions. For example: Why is Du Chinese good? Should it join TCB on the list or should it replace it? How do the two differ? How is it better/worse than TCB? What is your experience with it?

 

[...]

 

I also think this list is too long, currently. So if you have some ideas of ways to trim it down, let me know.

(emphasis added)

 

My point is you are exercising editorial control/gatekeeping the short list. Its position as a highlighted, definitive short list of resources seems to be causing tension.  You also don't want others to create their own lists.  Unlike the graded reader thread, where everyone including me adds new graded reader series as new posts, you want to keep the short list as something people can use separate from the rest of its thread. 

 

Since different people have different learning styles and getting attention for specific resources will keep coming up in the current situation, I suggest creating a subforum for short lists of resources people have found especially useful and moving this list in there.  You could continue to manage your list as you want and others can create their own lists.  Learners might have a better chance of finding a set of resources which best match their learning style, access to resources, etc.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
furiop

My short list. Note: I'm italian and I need to choose resources that use italian or an easier english...

 

 + Textbook: HSK Standard course (1..3) with workbook *** BUT *** also with pdf files with answers and transcripts that we can download easily fron purpleculture (pay) and - in a not easy way - from BLCUP (free).
Why?: quick & short, with clear goals, amusing, very very close to HSK tests (each chapter of the workbook is an HSK test - remember that answers are not into the book!). I used also "Great Wall" course: very rich of media, but only if used in a classroom with a teacher. [I used also a 1980 course (Manuel de chinos fondamental...), but it's only the ancestor of today courses.]

 

Flashcards: Quizlet (free or payed version). Wjy?: A lot of free flashcards, easy import/export integration with spreadshets (Excel for me). Now also with graded study. Web version can slow chinese TTS. Compared with Anki, Quizlet is more "open" for me.

 

Dictionary app: Pleco (for the life!) with payed version for Strokes, Italian dictionary, Etymological Outlier dictionary (first draft version, but I use also chinese-characters.org), and dictionaries that I created from xls (-->csv import). Also Hanping Pro is a well done dictionary, but Pleco is 1) more complete 2) it's more rich off add-in, for me.

 

Writing characters app: Inkstone (https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/52390-inkstone-my-free-open-source-chinese-writing-app/ free/pay)  the version is not completely mature, but very vell done (android for now)... and portable... (also paper and pencil are portable, but there is'nt auto-correction).

 

I' using also a paper dictionary: BLCUP "A Dictionary of 5000 Graded Words for New HSK (Levels 1, 2 & 3)" (150+150+300 words) whith * a lot * of usage examples, with different grammatical uses of the word (and an mp3 cd for *all* sentences: a little conversation course!). Very well done for HSK tests. I use it on the beach, or before sleeping for example: a single word, 7/8 phrases, a spot learning...

 

Edit: I dont kow if this list is off-topic, but it's my style of learning: perhaps some resource is valuable only for me, but it's a a little contribution to the discussion...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mlescano

I propose complementing this topic with a poll that allows multiple selection. With names of voters shown. And every time a new resource is recommended by at least 3 people, add it to the poll.

 

My short list would be:

 

Universally recommended: Pleco. Get the Pro Bundle.

Writing: -Heisig + Anki

Speaking: -FluentForever's Mandarin pronunciation YouTube series and trainers. 

Reading: -Mandarin Companion and Chinese Breeze. After that just read whatever you like with Pleco.

Listening: -FluentU for beginners, Chinese TV dramas with Closed Captions + LaMP Player after that

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...