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Ninchanese

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JeroenB

I just signed up to see what it's like. It's a little too cute and gamified for my tastes, but I guess I'll keep using it to give it a serious try.

 

Anyway, what I came here to say that I got a "ying yang bonus". If you're targeting serious learners of Chinese you should really correct this to "yin yang".

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rossg

I really do like the concept of the site but I have a few hopefully constructive critiques:

- I don't like text-to-speech (particularly for Chinese)

- There's no override button while learning. If I accidentally typed something incorrectly but I knew the answer it's still marked as wrong

- I don't like typing the pinyin with tones. I'd much rather be prompted with characters and have to write characters (it requires pinyin to type it anyway and it's just more fun to type in Chinese). Or be prompted in English and write the Chinese character. Upon submitting my answer the audio would play and pinyin/tone would be revealed (with the option to turn off pinyin altogether in the settings). Alternatively, give a few options in the settings.

- I did a "challenge" and the other player didn't do anything, so I ended up sitting there waiting forever before I finally quit. 

- Too much english reading for me. It makes it hard to get "in the zone"

- Having to manually press "next" a lot was a bit of a pain. Either remove this or let spacebar serve as a hotkey

- I didn't see an option to test out of the early modes. I know I can just move on to the next ones, but this doesn't give me satisfaction. I want my progress to be displayed visually so I can feel good about myself lol. I want to test out of the elementary level and have the elementary level say "conquered!" above it or something.

- I have an iphone

Anyway, I really like the interface and think it has a lot of potential. t feels like its trying to copy duolingo, but, in my opinion, it needs to either differentiate itself even more or simply produce a better product than duolingo or HelloChinese. If it were up to me, I would integrate some type of long storyline to go along with the cat and introduce vocabulary that way then allow level ups from reviewing vocabulary and permutations of storyline dialogues. For instance, the first lesson could include a dialogue of the cat introducing itself and saying something like "你好。我叫 x 。你喜欢猫吗?“ Right now, all vocabulary seems arbitrarily introduced and hard to learn. Also, you can never go wrong with boss fights when gamifying something :P

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Ninchanese
On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

I really do like the concept of the site but I have a few hopefully constructive critiques:

 

I’m glad you tried the app and appreciate you took some of your time to do a constructive review of us. I agree with most of your points, and we know we still have areas where we can improve the app. Let me answer your remarks and let you know what I’m thinking about them. :wink:

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

I don't like text-to-speech (particularly for Chinese)

 

That’s something we want to work more on. We are still adding content and changing it regularly so, while we are planning on adding more voices in the future, we are holding off on doing that for the time being. We released a few months ago world 5 that aims at the upper-intermediate / advanced Chinese learners (+/- HSK 5 and working in China). We are also actively working on the last world on Ninchanese that will be designed at even higher level Chinese learners (+/- HSK6 and up).

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

- There's no override button while learning. If I accidentally typed something incorrectly but I knew the answer it's still marked as wrong

 

I’m not sure how to answer here. Some users told us that too and so we implement a typo detector. For example, if we ask you the Pinyin of 名字, and accidentally you type mingzu, the app will say, “ooops, did you make a typo? One last chance!” Did you encounter that?
 
Also, you may have seen, the app has quite a lot of content and it could be that you answered by a definition in English for a word that we did not have (or was it just a typo?). If you believe we can improve a word’s associated meanings, let us know by going to the “send feedback link” and we’ll add a definition (if relevant). We really encourage our users to tell us where we can improve the content. We have already improved thousand of words in our database and we’re still improving our content (and that’s a good sign. :)
 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

I don't like typing the pinyin with tones.

 

It’s not mandatory to type with tones. You can, of course, do so if you want to. For example, let’s take an easy word like 你好, you can type either Nihao or Ni3hao3 but a partially entered pinyin with tone, like Nihao3, won’t work.  This is explained in the first stages of the app (that’s why reading the story is important :) )
 
I personally work on the speaking parts of Ninchanese when it comes to learning and perfecting my tones. There is no better way to learn tones than by speaking and listening like a Chinese child will do, listen and repeat. It’s quite hard to be always good when it comes to speaking Chinese and that’s why the speaking part is an important part of our method. You know how the saying goes “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”
 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

I'd much rather be prompted with characters and have to write characters (it requires pinyin to type it anyway and it's just more fun to type in Chinese). Or be prompted in English and write the Chinese character. Upon submitting my answer the audio would play and pinyin/tone would be revealed (with the option to turn off pinyin altogether in the settings). Alternatively, give a few options in the settings.

 

You’ll be glad to hear I have something for you here. Go to a Speaking stage and you’ll see you are offered two options: 1. Speaking and 2. writing. The latter works exactly like you described it. :)

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

- I did a "challenge" and the other player didn't do anything, so I ended up sitting there waiting forever before I finally quit. 

 

Oh, it’s too bad you did not have a Ninchallenger to play online with you at the same time. We know that can happen, so the Ninchallenges were designed to work either live if you have a player ready to play against you, or asynchronously, where each player has a few days to answer. Once your opponent has played, then it's your turn to answer.  The app will find one for you soon as someone from your level is starting a Ninchallenge. Or alternatively, you can try selecting a user from the leaderboard and challenging them to play. Beware, there are really good Ninchallengers out there :D!

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

- Too much english reading for me. It makes it hard to get "in the zone"

- Having to manually press "next" a lot was a bit of a pain. Either remove this or let spacebar serve as a hotkey

 

I believe you’re speaking about the story that introduces each stage in the story mode? The story introduces Chinese concepts and quite a lot of Chinese cultural points, as well as a little story. I understand you feel there’s too much English reading going on there. We've seen that some of our users like it and some don’t like reading that much (I can be that kind of user too sometimes) and want to focus on the learning. A skip button is a good idea, and something we’ll think about adding.

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

- I didn't see an option to test out of the early modes. I know I can just move on to the next ones, but this doesn't give me satisfaction. I want my progress to be displayed visually so I can feel good about myself lol. I want to test out of the elementary level and have the elementary level say "conquered!" above it or something.

 

Very true and I definitely get your desire to see the “elementary level” be conquered if you’re past that level. That’d be awesome and definitely something we’re planning on doing. 

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

- I have an iphone

 

Having an iOS app for Ninchanese is something we plan to do also but I can’t give you an exact ETA. In the meantime, here’s a workaround:  I generally advise our iPhone users to open the web app on their phone and then select “add to home screen”. This’ll add a shortcut on your phone’s homescreen and force the page in “app” mode. As we worked hard to have a responsive web app that works great on mobile and tablets too, the experience will be almost the same as having the Android app for the time being. :)

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

Anyway, I really like the interface and think it has a lot of potential.

 

Thank you! I’m the designer so I’m glad you like the interface and thinking Ninchanese has a lot of potentials. :) It’s really important for us to create an app that is effective and are not BS exercise.

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

t feels like its trying to copy duolingo, but, in my opinion, it needs to either differentiate itself even more or simply produce a better product than duolingo or HelloChinese.

 

Hello or ChineseSkill are also great apps to learn Chinese but I think we do things quite differently in Ninchanese and have found that some learners prefer Ninchanese as it suits more their way of learning. 

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

If it were up to me, I would integrate some type of long storyline to go along with the cat and introduce vocabulary that way then allow level ups from reviewing vocabulary and permutations of storyline dialogues. For instance, the first lesson could include a dialogue of the cat introducing itself and saying something like "你好。我叫 x 。你喜欢猫吗?“ Right now, all vocabulary seems arbitrarily introduced and hard to learn.

 

Start world 1, stage 1, and you’ll get straight to that :D.

 

On 10/11/2017 at 4:18 PM, rossg said:

Also, you can never go wrong with boss fights when gamifying something :P

 

That’s completely in our plans in fact and that could be a lot of fun. This may also tie in with the placement tests you mentioned earlier. :)

 

I hope I answered your feedback and you’ll continue to try Ninchanese. If you have any more comments or Chinese questions during your learning, don’t hesitate to ask them directly from the app and to keep giving us feedback to improve Ninchanese. :) Our users are our Bosses on Ninchanese and we always do our best to satisfy them. Again, thank you for your feedback, it helps us to know where to go and what to tackle next.

 

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rossg

Thanks for the reponse. I'm excited to see what the future holds for Ninchanese!

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Ninchanese

Hi Guys!

 

I wanted to share the good news. We've just launched the final part of the HSK5 world on Ninchanese . It has been a crazy amount of work as you can imagine!
 

That's more than a hundred new stages to do full of vocabulary, grammar, and dialogues to learn and train your Chinese at an advanced level.

 

The goal of this course is for you to be able to read newspapers and magazines, enjoy Chinese films and plays and give a full-length speech in Chinese. Discover the curriculum of the HSK world 5 here.

 

In numbers:

103 new stages, composed of:

  • 42 new vocabulary stages: 597 new words to learn
  • 35 new grammar stages: 1193 new sentences to discover
  • 17 new grammar lessons to read
  • 34 new dialogue stages: 886 new sentences to say

Modern, day to day content: to talk about technology, the news, economics, your favorite artist, to debate and share your opinion, to understand culture and social etiquette, and a lot more. One area this world particularly focuses on is working in a Chinese environment and doing International business.

I hope you'll like it and that will be useful to you!


World 5 - Part 2 Link:
https://app.ninchanese.com/world/World5-II

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XiaoXi

Is there recorded Chinese native speaker audio for all Chinese words and characters?

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