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艾墨本

A Short List of Resources for Studying Chinese

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DavyJonesLocker
2 minutes ago, agewisdom said:

I think TCB subscription would be a better way to go, rather than the graded readers. At least there's more value for money from my point of view

 

 

Each to their own of course. I suppose it depends on if you like a lengthy story or short articles. With the TCB you have a lot more variety. I preferred Mandarin companion stories simply that they were much more interesting. Shame there are intermediate levels .Traditional Chinese graded Readers  seem to take the view that a learner of the language is automatically interested in Chinese society years ago . Also imo there is too much wallowing in self pity with many graded readers, especially the series I mention above. Yeah "life is hard and you're poor".... we get it.  

 

As for cost, well, I used to think like that but as I see it it's less then the cost of one lesson with a teacher. In fact when I go to the coffee shop to read a story the coffee and bite to eat cost me more that the book here in Beijing. 

 

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agewisdom
3 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Each to their own of course. I suppose it depends on if you like a lengthy story or short articles. With the TCB you have a lot more variety. I preferred Mandarin companion stories simply that they were much more interesting. Shame there are intermediate levels .Traditional Chinese graded Readers  seem to take the view that a learner of the language is automatically interested in Chinese society years ago . Also imo there is too much wallowing in self pity with many graded readers, especially the series I mention above. Yeah "life is hard and you're poor".... we get it.  

 

Good to hear from your perspective. I should look into trying out a few of these companion stories in the future. Usually coming from an old school mentality, I would prefer to have a book on hand rather than in PLECO. Dictionaries on the other hand seems almost to go hand-in-hand with mobiles :)

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DavyJonesLocker
5 minutes ago, agewisdom said:

Usually coming from an old school mentality, I would prefer to have a book on hand rather than in PLECO. 

 

Absolutely don't get me wrong. I have hundreds of English books and novels on my book shelves and not one eBook. I have some wonderful old (and expensive) first print editions of novels.  Never had a Kindle. I quite dislike ebooks actually. 

 

There is only one reason I used ebooks, that is to learn Chinese. Word look up is much easier. I don't particularly enjoy any graded reader. When I can get to a comfortable level of reading i.e 10k words I'll stop using ebooks. 

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agewisdom
10 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

There is only one reason I used ebooks, that is to learn Chinese. Word look up is much easier. I don't particularly enjoy any graded reader. When I can get to a comfortable level of reading i.e 10k words I'll stop using ebooks. 

 

Actually come to think about it, how do you look up words in Chinese? I mean when the character is in a hard copy, do use write out the whole character or use radicals? Or PLECO OCR? I wonder whether PLECO OCR works well? I never managed to use the still version and my hand is to shaky to use the live version. :(

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DavyJonesLocker

@agewisdom

I just write it in Pleco. Id never try identify  the  radical as I often don't know what the correct radical is. Odd as it may sound, despite putting a bit of effort in, I have never found identifying radicals much use, well for anything!

 

I use pleco OCR sometimes if I am totally confused as it has the advantage of being able to identify a two three character word. It's especially helpful with idioms, phrases etc

 

The effectiveness is hit or miss. With the still version (photo first then load in pleco) I find using the flash on the phone helpful or fiddle with the camera settings. Further I think is often better to keep the phone further away from the text and then zoom in, rather than up close.

I never really had luck with a live version, too shakey to hold the book and phone at the same time. 

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furiop
2 hours ago, agewisdom said:

MHO, I think TCB subscription would be a better way

As a student, Pleco is OK, 'cause we can use the power of Pleco,TCB also is very usefusl. So Decipher is excellent.

In Android can be useful also DuShu: we can hide known words/characters and make tests on text we read. Texts can be uploaded (txt and epub) or pasted. A translation is possible in PRO version, only in english, via Google translate. 

Furio P.

DuShu.png

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agewisdom
1 hour ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I never really had luck with a live version, too shakey to hold the book and phone at the same time. 

True... Them shaky hands man... :(

 

29 minutes ago, furiop said:

In Android can be useful also DuShu: we can hide known words/characters and make tests on text we read.

Many thanks. Will look into this once I reach the intermediate stage 😀

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furiop
2 hours ago, agewisdom said:

Will look into this once I reach the intermediate stage 😀

In free version are incorporated files from HSK1 to 6(!). Sentences comes from Tatoeba. For 1th Hsk level there are 670 sentences 

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mikelove

@DavyJonesLocker - all correct, even the criticisms 🙂 We have a TON more of these coming, but unlike with flashcards this is not the fault of programmer navel-gazing but rather of *publisher* navel-gazing so we can't even really provide progress updates. (one portion of this is a set and it's a set we'd really like to launch all of that set once and we don't have the data files for all of them yet)

 

FWIW, we do also offer "Selections from Chairman's Bao" readers if you like TCB but don't like subscriptions. (you can also access TCB subscription articles from within our Web Reader, I believe, and of course can copy-and-paste them into our Clip Reader even in our free app, or if you're on Android you can Pleco Screen Reader them in Chrome without even switching apps)

 

Re OCR: have you tried our experimental 'New OCR' yet? (option in Settings / OCR) Requires a very new device to work well, but if you have one of those we think it greatly improves matters shaky-hands-wise.

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Tomsima

@mikelove
jjust tried the new ocr and it works great on my phone, so much quicker at getting characters…great job as always, thanks

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agewisdom
7 hours ago, mikelove said:

Re OCR: have you tried our experimental 'New OCR' yet? (option in Settings / OCR) Requires a very new device to work well, but if you have one of those we think it greatly improves matters shaky-hands-wise.

 

Well, what you'd know. The New OCR works much better. The suggested words doesn't erratically change too much, too fast and is much steadier. I think I'm going to use the OCR much more frequently going forward.  :)

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DavyJonesLocker
9 hours ago, mikelove said:

@DavyJonesLocker - all correct, even the criticisms 🙂

 

Indeed, my criticism is of the actual graded reader themselves not pleco. Naturally you have to stick to the original publish text. For learners of Chinese I still recommend buying them but only through  in Pleco due to ease of use. Less frequent or out of date words can  be quickly checked and move on. No need to add to Flashcards if not desired. I suggested adding the graded readers to the list of resources at the top of the thread as the hard copy version in my view is not worth buying due to the inclusion of pinyin above the hanzi. The blue card they include is far too off putting and fiddly. 

 

While I'm here , one thing worth noting is that with these graded readers there are often words noted by the  authors  (I.e that pops up by pressing the blue  plus sign), do  not appear in pleco. I'm not sure if this is something you can easily add in to your pleco dictionary. 

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mikelove

@Tomsima / @agewisdom - thanks! We're really happy with it, but unfortunately we came up with it entirely too soon + have been quietly waiting until we get to the point where our minimum system requirements allow us to make it our only OCR instead of an off-by-default experimental thing.

 

@DavyJonesLocker - we're working on a 'glossary' feature that will essentially allow books to bring their own private dictionaries (thus letting us do away with those +'s entirely), it's just not ready yet.

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furiop
4 hours ago, mikelove said:

we're working on a 'glossary' feature that will essentially allow books to bring their own private dictionaries

 

I love Pleco and I actively participate to the Pleco forum.

Anyway also other apps (in android) incorporate some smart ideas. 

 

A glossary related only to a single file or ebook is present in DuShu (Vocabulary). Ok, only in english and using only CC-CEDict definitions: it is not Pleco.

Other interesting features are exercices or flashcards on words we read every n (example n=10) sentences, info about the number and the HSK level (or frequency) .

The ideas are excellent.

 

So other apps, like Inkstone  can - like skritter - help to write hanzi, analyzing the way we write characters.

 

Not all can be present in a single app.

The better way is to facilitate the interconnection between some apps: a Nash collaborative game.

Screenshot_20181204-234732.png

Screenshot_20181204-233231.png

Screenshot_20181204-234953.png

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tylerwood377

thanks for these courses

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matteo

Hi all, 

 

can anyone suggest a good way to practice speaking? 

me and my partner are at HSK level 5ish (or getting there anyways) and practice between ourselves, but we are running a bit short on ideas. 

One thing that was working well was quickly reading the HSK4 reading material and then explain it in mandarin in our own words, and the one listening would have to reply to the questions based on it. Unfortunately we've exhausted all HSK4 mocks and HSK5 readings are too hard for us to do that. 

We do have a friend tutoring us and we practice speaking with her but it's only an hour or so a week, we need to put in more time than that...and we can't move to China for at least another year yet :P

 

Any suggestions? 

On the side, I'd also be keen on ideas on something fun to listen to!

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Flickserve
1 hour ago, matteo said:

We do have a friend tutoring us and we practice speaking with her but it's only an hour or so a week

 

Try the hellotalk app for language partners. State in your profile you are only interested in real time conversations. That will filter out some, but not all, of those who only want to text message a “foreigner”. Use some Chinese in your profile.

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艾墨本

I've updated/deleted a lot of information:

 

Added: HelloTalk, Ink Stone

 

Removed: Skritter, Popup Chinese, Zhonga (doesn't exist anymore)

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xinoxanu

@艾墨本 I'm curious about the reason behind removing Skritter. Sure we are paying a lot of money for crappy development, but the original product out there works just fine, so I think it's still a valid choice. For a long time I've been considering moving to Pleco or Anki, but I always go back to Skritter because I seem to learn and retain words better with its SRS sytem, and the stats are useful as well.

 

I'm wondering if someone in this situation did succeed in making the move to other SRS systems, flashcard apps and the like, so please do tell... 

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