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Paying native Chinese to read & record texts


Jan Finster
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I wonder how I would go about finding native Chinese speakers to read & record text passages for me?

 

Where do I find such people?

How do I pay them (per 1000 words vs per time vs etc)?

What is a reasonable price?

 

Thank you :)

 

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Finding is quite easy. You can find language partners with good pronunciation and who are interested in recording material.

 

The problem is how to pay them. Alipay and wechat would be easiest for them to receive payment but we can't do that.

 

One way is if you personally know someone who has wechat, you give that person cash or whatever and then they pay the person in China on your behalf.

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30 minutes ago, Wurstmann said:

You could pay someone like him or him. Just search for Chinese on fiverr.

"$10 per 100 Chinese characters" is expensive in my book especially considering that on italki some tutors take 5$ per hour. 🤨 How many characters can you record in 1 hour?

38 minutes ago, Flickserve said:

The problem is how to pay them. Alipay and wechat would be easiest for them to receive payment but we can't do that.

 

Thanks! I can find a way to pay them, but I wonder what is a fair price?

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6 hours ago, Jan Finster said:

Thanks! I can find a way to pay them, but I wonder what is a fair price?

 

I would probably do what @Flickserve suggested. Find an on-line tutor, and pay the going rate for an hour of his or her time. You could even hire that same tutor to listen to you read through that material the next week and critique your performance. Work with you on parts where your reading fell short. 

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Jan,

 

Have you thought about finding someone in your local area? Or do you prefer working with someone online?

 

I have a lot of experience having Chinese people help me with my Chinese. But my experience has been that they are much more interested in doing an exchange (for free) than receiving money. If money is an issue with you, this could be a way for you to do this for free.

 

If you need any ideas on how to do an exchange with someone, please do not hesitate to ask.

 

 

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I usually use Fiverr for this type of thing.

 

I think the most important question is what are you using these recordings for? 

 

Is it to practise shadowing to improve your pronunciation? In that case it might work out best to get a tutor on italki to make a recording, then help you go over your pronunciation the following week. Rinse and repeat. 

 

Are you making a product where you need professional quality recordings to sell? In that case go with someone on fiverr and make sure you get the appropriate licenses. 

 

Be sure to check the speaker's accent. 

 

Finally,  a wordlist is entirely different to an article. If people charge per 100 characters/words, that's for sentences and articles. If you want 100 characters/words to be read like a wordlist one-by-one, there's usually a different price as this takes much more time. In fact here is a quote from one of the fiverr links from above:

 

Quote

If your script is a list of words/short phrases: contact us for pricing.

 

I also wouldn't expect someone who teaches for 1 hour on italki to give you 1 hour worth of recorded material either. It's a completely different job. A teacher gives input and feedback, explains grammatical points and most of the time lets the student do the talking (after all we want to practise Chinese, not listen to a lecture.) Recording articles for 1 hour with clear pronunciation and no mistakes is actually quite exhausting, physically and mentally. Just give it a try yourself and try to record 1 page from a book in your native language without making a mistake. 

 

Good luck and let us know how you get on! 

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2 hours ago, mackie1402 said:

also wouldn't expect someone who teaches for 1 hour on italki to give you 1 hour worth of recorded material either. 

 

 

That is quite true. You have to give them time for editing. I used to be quite generous in allowance time and not expect lots of recordings. Also, I asked the tutors who I had built up a number of lessons with rather than just ask them to do this as a first service.

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11 hours ago, mackie1402 said:

Is it to practise shadowing to improve your pronunciation? In that case it might work out best to get a tutor on italki to make a recording, then help you go over your pronunciation the following week. Rinse and repeat. 

 

Are you making a product where you need professional quality recordings to sell? In that case go with someone on fiverr and make sure you get the appropriate licenses. 

It is really just for my personal use. I am currently using Lingq and would love to add some content that is interesting to me.

 

11 hours ago, mackie1402 said:

I also wouldn't expect someone who teaches for 1 hour on italki to give you 1 hour worth of recorded material either. It's a completely different job. A teacher gives input and feedback, explains grammatical points and most of the time lets the student do the talking (after all we want to practise Chinese, not listen to a lecture.) Recording articles for 1 hour with clear pronunciation and no mistakes is actually quite exhausting, physically and mentally.

 

Of course I do not expect 1 hour of recording time for each 1 hour paid. 

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  • 2 years later...

Has anyone had any experience with this since I last posted it?

 

Would it be legal on Italki to have someone record things for 40-60 minutes instead of having class with them? This would be most convenient in terms of payment.

 

 

How likely/unlikely is it to have a native Chinese on Italki to actually read a medical text correctly to me? I do not mean medical textbooks, but something like wikipedia (e.g. https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/癌症) or Baidu (https://baike.baidu.com/item/癌/151056)? Are they actually able to read it to me or are such words/characters too specialised?

 

 

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On 1/24/2022 at 1:58 PM, Jan Finster said:

Would it be legal on Italki to have someone record things for 40-60 minutes instead of having class with them? This would be most convenient in terms of payment.

 

If you find a tutor who is willing to do that, iTalki won't care. I did that too, especially in the beginning and sometimes later too. Not for a complete one hour but I have recordings of different people reading a few pages at a time of WoT for me. I then listened to those over and over and did shadowing with them.

 

 

On 6/24/2019 at 8:54 PM, Jan Finster said:

"$10 per 100 Chinese characters" is expensive in my book especially considering that on italki some tutors take 5$ per hour. 🤨 How many characters can you record in 1 hour?

 

Theoretically 14 400 - 15 600 characters assuming you are reading for 60 minutes at the general news reading or speaking spead, which is about 240 - 260 characters per minute. 😂 Though probably less than that. If you're not a professional, I guess you're going to get tired of reading aloud at some point. I mostly reserved a 90 minute lesson, finished it at 60 minutes and asked the tutor to use the rest of the time to make the recordings for me.

 

One thing I found was that some people are really great at reading aloud, while for others it really isn't their forte. And you really don't know before you actually hear them read something. Completely unrelated to the accent or pronunciation. I guess I personally get somehow distracted and lose my focus while reading aloud, so I end up having unnatural pauses even when reading in my native language.

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On 1/24/2022 at 7:58 PM, Jan Finster said:

Has anyone had any experience with this since I last posted it?

 

Would it be legal on Italki to have someone record things for 40-60 minutes instead of having class with them? This would be most convenient in terms of payment.


yes. Doing some at the moment. The male tutor that I am using said he’s done it before for some other people as well. 
 

I deliberately found a male tutor (experience with speaking on the radio), asked him to speak slightly slower and exaggerate the tones slightly more compared to native speech for the recordings.

 

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I am going with Flickserve's recommendation and try Italki. Thanks again Flickserve :)

 

How do I tell the teacher what reading rate I like? I have no idea. I guess CCTV 4 news anchor speed or like this guy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-XTDxr06rs&ab_channel=梁文道和陈丹青) is fine, but how fast is this (words/min)? I also wonder how many words I can expect him to read in 1 hour (i.e. how long of a text can I send him)?

 

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On 1/26/2022 at 8:31 PM, Jan Finster said:

 

How do I tell the teacher what reading rate I like?

 

Do a test first of one paragraph. 

 

Honestly speaking, it involves a degree of trust as well and bring reasonable with allowing time for editing. 

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Just to keep you updated: I asked an Italki tutor to record the Wiki page on cancer (https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/癌症). 

 

He managed to record 3700 characters and the total duration was around 24 minutes (on a 1 hour paid session).

 

He made some mistakes, but marked them in the document.

 

His comment:  "There were too many medical terms in the article, many of which I've never heard before. I think these sentences are very difficult even for a Chinese people to understand, when they listen to the recording".

 

I am actually quite pleased with the result, but I wonder if I should try to find a tutor with a medical/nursing background (not sure how I can do this on Italki)...

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On 1/29/2022 at 6:56 PM, Jan Finster said:

I am actually quite pleased with the result, but I wonder if I should try to find a tutor with a medical/nursing background

 

Can find community tutors who are doctors. I have seen three.

 

I haven't seen nurses though. 

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