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Audio for DeFrancis's Intermediate Chinese


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I was about to start using John DeFrancis's Intermediate Chinese textbook after finishing his Beginning Chinese. For me the draw of the series is the abundance of audio paired with the textbooks. Unfortunately, it appears that the audio provided by Seton Hall University for the Intermediate Chinese is of very low quality, to the point where it is barely intelligible. It seems to me that others have used this textbook, so there must be some higher quality sources for the recordings. Does anyone know if that is the case?


Just to be clear, I am aware of the recordings on iTunes U linked here. The recordings for Beginning Chinese have been great (it's clear that they come from old tape recordings, but they're perfectly fine to listen to), but the intermediate ones are just awful. In the linked post in the "How to learn any language" forum, one commenter says that the Intermediate Chinese recordings were redone because the first digitization was of too poor quality; I have a hard time believing that the ones currently up are the improved version. If anyone has any tips, I would really appreciate it.

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Yes! Sorry, I should have included some examples in the original post. You're right that not everything is so bad.


The 1:00 minute mark in tape 2 gives an example (but that whole tape in particular is quite bad).

In-browser here, mp3

here. It's question 13 from chapter 1, page 16 in my copy, which starts out (sorry if the characters are off -- my focus has been on listening and speaking :))

Gāo Xiānshēng shuō wénshān huí měiguó yǐhòu tā juédé zěnmoyàng




As a later example, try the 30 second mark of tape 17 (right near the beginning). This is the dialogue from lesson 11, page 225. It starts out (again, apologies in advance if the characters are incorrect; the word mǎnyì is new to me at this point).

In-browser here, mp3


Gāo: Wénshān, huílái le.

Bái: Gāo Xiānshēng, huílái le.

Gāo: Zěnmoyàng, fángzi mǎnyì ba?


高:文山,回來了。 / 文山,回来了。

白:高先生,回來了。/ 高先生,回来了。

高:怎麼樣,房子滿意吧? / 怎么样,房子满意吧?


Actually, the sentence said next after the above by Bái Xiānshēng is especially difficult for me to hear (it starts off "Fángzi hěn hǎo"), but it's a little long and I don't know if it's worth transcribing the whole thing. Without characters or tone marks it goes "Didian hen anjing, erqie neijian wuzi xiatian yiding hen liangkuai. Hua Taitai ren ye hao. Ta hen yuanyi wo qu zhu."

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Not being a speaker of Chinese, I can't speak too much to how outdated it is, but I have really been enjoying the series. It's mostly audio-based, which I think is perfect. I just spend a lot of time listening and repeating, and I think it really helps with listening comprehension, pronunciation, and vocabulary/grammar retention. I also think it's very nicely paced in terms of reviewing old vocabulary so that it keeps coming up right when you might otherwise have forgotten it.

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