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艾墨本

Ninchanese - anyone tried it out yet?

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艾墨本

Hey all,

 

I noticed that Ninchanese.com has released their "advanced" material which goes through HSK 5.

 

I tried it while in beta for free and thought the whole site was well done and the grammar instructions were quite informative.

 

Are there any paying members out there? How well does it keep you going? Do you feel like you're learning more than if you didn't use the app? Any other thoughts on it?

 

I want to know if it's worth adding to the resources list stickied at the top of this forum.

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werewitt

I don't like it. It's cutesy and I used it a lot in late 2015, but I cannot say I learned anything on it. Their extremely sadistic approach (it might have improved since, in fact I know it did) to word reviews, Chinese to English, in particular. On those reviews they grade you on typing in exactly the English word that they have in their (CC-CEDICT i guess) dictionary. If you don't hit that word literally, the card goes into failed mode. Since then (and oh God it took me expressing my displeasure so many times!) they stopped requiring "to" for verbs(!) and started allowing for a single typo (as in you get one more attempt if software detects you might have one letter wrong). Plus if it detects you're typed pinyin for the word instead of a translation, you get one more try. The old system resulted in a f*ckton of unnecessary and boring reviews, so I stopped using it in early 2016.

 

These recent changes is somewhat a progress but I simply to not like their schoolmaster approach. I don't want some inflexible algorithm to grade my studies, I want to self-grade like in Anki.

 

PS I believe https://app.ninchanese.com/profile/2645 is my profile - I couldn't figure out how to get the link to my own profile, so I constructed it.
PPS I recall when I tried their World 5 I found a bunch of HSK2 and HSK3 words in it, so I doubt there's much HSK5 there at all.

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alexisrolland

Hi guys,

 

I have just registered to the forum because I felt I had to answer on this post. I've read werewitt point of view above and although I understand his frustration about the flashcard system (I do have it myself sometimes), I feel it's a bit over exaggerated. I don't share his opinion but different people learn languages in different ways so that's ok... As far as I'm concerned, Ninchanese literally changed my life and helped me to progress a lot. Above all it is helping me to:

  • Keep a good learning pace and regularity in my studies (which is critical when you're learning a language by yourself).
  • Get rid of the burden of designing my own method and exercises (I just need to follow their...).

I've registered to Ninchanese in autumn 2014, I have backed them up on Kickstarter and more than 2 years later I am still paying and using it (here is my profile). Although the flashcard system which is based on a spaced repetion algorithm is their strong point (I was ahead of my all classmates in terms of vocabulary when taking classes in 上海交通大学), it would be quite reductive to consider only this feature. The application is literally crafted with love and includes a good variety of features. The main ones which come to  my mind are:

  • Flashcards (which is the best I've found out there)
  • Grammar lessons
  • Build sentences (from English to Chinese, drag and dropping words in order)
  • Dialogues (with voice recognition, to practice reading and speaking)
  • Listening stages (you listen and write the corresponding sentences in 汉字)
  • Ninchallenges (duels of flashcards... which is fun!)

Right now I am at stage 4 which I believe is the equivalent of HSK4. I have barely started world 5 so I would not be able to give an opinion on it but I would definitely recommend Ninchanese to every beginners. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best method I have found or at least the one which suits me the most. I usually recommend it to all my friends and colleagues when they arrive in China. I truly think it's an essential resource to whoever wants to learn Chinese. It would be a pity to not share it with a broader audience and I'd like their website to grow (because I neeeed it ha ha!). They also have an Android app which I haven't tried since I have an iPhone but I know an iOS one is in the pipes and I can't wait for it!

 

Finally and to be completely honest, I would say Ninchanese by itself is probably not enough to learn Chinese but it works well in combination with regular classes or private lessons. These guys have a small team but they have their users at heart and deserve some kudos... My 2 cents.

 

Alexis

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werewitt
21 hours ago, alexisrolland said:

stage 4 which I believe is the equivalent of HSK4.

You've been misinformed. Check a dozen or two of Ninchanese world 4 words on HSK lists, it's more like HSK3. Or just my luck :D Although given you have 1700 "unlocked" words on your profile, I suppose they do not follow HSK.

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艾墨本
On 5/29/2017 at 2:35 PM, alexisrolland said:

I've read werewitt point of view above and although I understand his frustration about the flashcard system (I do have it myself sometimes), I feel it's a bit over exaggerated.

Yes. Werewitt has a tendency of doing so. I'm glad his post motivated you to respond, so something good came out of it.

 

That they were successful in designing a program that made you feel that you no longer had to look elsewhere is great!

 

How good was the voice recognition section? Did it help you improve and fine tune your pronunciation? Was it accurate?

 

I hope more people feel motivated to speak on their experience at Ninchanese. 

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werewitt
1 hour ago, 艾墨本 said:

I'm glad his post motivated you to respond

That's the point hey. A mutual admiration society produces very little useful output :D 

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alexisrolland
Quote

How good was the voice recognition section? Did it help you improve and fine tune your pronunciation? Was it accurate?

 

To be honest I have difficulties assessing my pronunciation on my on... and when you ask Chinese people you know what it's like ha ha. They always tell you it's soooo goood ;-)

When you are doing the voice recognition exercises, it would tell you when you mispronounce a word but it's difficult to do trials and error to correct yourself because you would have to do the whole dialogue again...

 

I feel like where this exercise helped me the most is:

- reading at a sustainable pace

- repeating at a sustainable pace too, even if pronunciation is not perfect (because if you repeat to slow you fail)

 

I can tell that I've been scoring better when doing and redoing the dialogues over and over again so I'm thinking it's useful!

Cheers

 

Aelxis

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Renauki

I am a High School student who's been taking Chinese at school for two years as well as practicing a lot on my own. 

I use Ninchanese often and found it is one of, if not the best resource for vocabulary. (For me that is)

It's significantly more entertaining, engaging, and effective in comparison to many other vocabulary apps/websites. 

Granted it is not the only resource I use, but it is definitely one worth having. I particularly like the thoroughness of the 

dictionary entries. It has characters, stroke order, sentence examples, English definition, character decomposition, related words, and the option for 

either traditional or simplified characters. 

The site is easy to navigate and the community itself is so supportive and helpful. It's rare I see such communication between the developers and the

audience it's intended for. Problems are addressed in a very timely matter. 

Also, I'm not really sure how many users keep up with their blog but it is also a great resource and has really helped me stay motivated, which can be 

difficult with a language as daunting as Chinese. 

So to answer your initial question, yes, I believe it is worth adding to the resources list. 

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艾墨本

Thank you. After playing with it some more, I've decided I will add it. That it is easily accessible without a VPN in China and offers the APK directly on the site is an added bonus. Unfortunately, it doesn't work in iOS.

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DernierVirage
On 5/30/2017 at 11:27 AM, werewitt said:

That's the point hey. A mutual admiration society produces very little useful output

 

True, but you could try being a bit less abrasive.

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