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doumeizhen

Best of Chinese Study Tools, Studying Chinese Online and Off

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bogleg

I think the easiest way to get up and running is to just do a Software Update and upgrade to OS X 10.4.6. That comes with Java 5 automatically.

If for some reason that's not possible, send me a PM. I can give you some alternative instructions.

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doumeizhen

Hi Horas, I have added your two links to the best of list. Thanks for the suggestions. I only played a little bit, and they already look very promising.

Is there any particular use you would recommend them for that I would only discover through hours of laborious playing? :wink: The list is pretty long and I like to keep a suggestion as to what they might best be used for.

Thanks!

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gato

Just a note that this should be a "best of" study tool list. The list is getting a bit long. Maybe some filtering should done at this point. For example, limit the number of dictionaries listed to just 3 or 4.

unicode.org is blocked in China, by the way, and therefore probably not the best choice for an online dictionary.

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doumeizhen

I couldn't agree more Gato, and will start whiddling away on it soon. The thing is, for some of the categories like dictionaries, some are really suitable for certain things (hence the ranking) and I will work on refining the little phrases behind them to make this clearer. For instance, I would not want to stick anyone with the guoyucidian, while at the same time, I would hate to use something that is very simple. But you are right.

Thanks for pointing out the unicode thing. I've had a couple of cups of coffee today so maybe I will get some work done on it tonight.

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gato

Cool. See if you can use the "

  • " tag to creat bullet lists. I think it makes for a cleaner looking list.
    It is hard to pick the best because each has its pluses and minuses.

    The best beginner dictionary seems to be
http://hmarty.free.fr/hanzi/
However, it doesn't have example sentences, which dict.cn has:
http://bj.dict.cn/search/?q=%C2%D2

http://www.fzepc.com/chinapoem/showword.asp is a decent dictionary for classical Chinese but its presentation is poor. iciba.com created by the Jinshan Ciba people is much cleaner
http://www.iciba.com/search?lang=utf-8&s=%E4%B9%B1&d=PWDCCAC
iciba, however, does not have radical lookup, which fzepc.com does.

between
http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php?dss=1&wdqchi=%E4%B9%B1&wdqchim=3
and http://www.zhongwen.com/
I like zhongwen.com for its cleaner presentation and its unique "etymology" trees. However, zhongwen.com is organized by traditional characters and only adds simplified as an annotation. This may be a negative for many learners.

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roddy

Under vocab / flashcards, can we add . . .

The HSK Vocab Database - this is one of my many not quite finished projects which litter the internet, but I think it's still pretty useful. I'm not sure there's anything else available which would let you, for example, generate a list of all HSK vocab of 3 syllables with the tone pattern 1-4-3 (there's two, 工艺品, 东道主). That might seem obscure, but if you want to generate stuff for pronunciation drills it's great.

I wish I had more time to work on that. I promise that when I finish this batch of translation and website stuff I have to do I'm going to update that database. I'm not going to sit around watching downloaded TV shows and eating bacon-fried dumplings. No siree.

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Madot

I've been reading this discussion with interest since my present Chinese course at TAFE (N.S.W. Australia) is less than satisfactory in terms of materials and I'm trying to get ready for BLCU in September. I have discovered one set of materials which seems to me to be the very best I've ever seen as an introductory language course in any of the languages I've ever either studied or taught. But no one has mentioned it.

I am refering to INTEGRATED CHINESE by Yao, Liu et al., published by Cheng & Tsui, Boston. It comprises a textbook, workbook, character workbook and CDs with the vocabulary, dialogues and all sorts of listening comprehension exercises on them.

I was wondering if the reason it hasn't been mentioned is its REALLY high price, or if there is something bad about it which I haven't recognised. I'm finding that the extensive practice is really helping me remember and learn and the explanations are very clear and useful. Does anyone have anything to say about this book?

Mado

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kudra
I am refering to INTEGRATED CHINESE by Yao' date=' Liu et al., published by Cheng & Tsui, Boston. It comprises a textbook, workbook, character workbook and CDs with the vocabulary, dialogues and all sorts of listening comprehension exercises on them.

...

I was wondering if the reason it hasn't been mentioned is its REALLY high price, or if there is something bad about it which I haven't recognised.

...

Does anyone have anything to say about this book?

[/quote']

I doubt there is anything bad about it. Why?

You have to follow a link or 2, but it is mentioned in the link of post 5 of this thread:

http://www.chinese-forums.com/showpost.php?p=67505&postcount=5

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/8091-texts-used-in-us-university-programs

Integrated Chinese is used at several top US university/college programs.

I haven't used it.

It is too bad there is no cheap way to try out the different texts and approaches so that a self study student could fine tune his/her personal curriculum. The point of compliling the list of materials used at US universities and colleges was to leverage the periodic evaluation that goes on by the faculty and students. This doesn't help fine tune materials for personal learning styles, and it may depend idiosyncratically on the faculty involved, but it's a starting point.

What you could do, is try to explain what kind of a learner you are, study habits, etc., then tell us why IC works for you. Then the next beginner that comes along, who recognizes matching personal characteristics can buy a book with some confidence.

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owen

Hey doumeizhen, I am also a macuser and it seems that very few of the things in the listening work on my Powerbook G4. Do you have any tips for a fellow mac user.

Any tips regarding the use of amule (or any other mac equivalent to emule) to acces the veryCD library would be welcome as well. Perhaps i should be posting this elsewhere.

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doumeizhen

Hi Owen,

I have to authority, or sense, to judge your posting location, but this is part of compiling a universally functional list, so I think you are spot on.

1. Emule: I have no clue. Last time I check this wasn't available, but that was years ago it seems. I'd make this a new post!

2. In the listening category: I use Chinese-pod with itunes, and generally go through, download them, and drag them into my Chinese-pod playlist. To subscribe to the daily podcast, in itunes you can search for podcasts, and you should be able to find it there. I have never listened to the economic hour personally, as it has nothing to do with me, but the other Chinese TV and Radio I have used. Some problems you might be having is: lack of right player (install Real Player, Windows Media Player to solve this, both are available online for free), broken links, or slow loading speeds Generally I encounter the latests, and sometimes you just have to look around until you find one that is loading well.

As for me, this is what I use on my computer.

-ZDT (in list) as an offline reading aid. Are you on the latest version of OSX? If so, you should be fine. If you need to trouble-shoot, send a line to the developer. Not only brilliant, but helpful and useful too!

-Firefox with FoxLingo and text annotator

-Fire Messenger (multi-program messenger that you can use Chinese with, unlike Proteus)

-Mellel or Text for word processing. If you are using Word, you need the very latest or it will act like a monkey.

-Dashboard widgets

-Chinese Re-writer for converting texts between traditinal and simplified

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roddy

Any thoughts on a single, entry-level, introduction to Chinese pronunciation (and probably pinyin at the same time), preferably with sound files.

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kudra
Any thoughts on a single, entry-level, introduction to Chinese pronunciation (and probably pinyin at the same time), preferably with sound files.

This worked for me. Don't know if it's still around.

From the old Far Eastern Publibcation site before they got merged into Yale Univ. Press

INTRODUCTION TO CHINESE PRONUNCIATION AND THE PINYIN ROMANIZATION

Hugh M. Stimson

Introduces the sounds of standard Mandarin to the beginning student.

ISBN 0-88710-034-1

Pamphlet: $4.95

Audio tape: $9.95

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roddy

I was thinking something online that could be added to the study tool list though . . .

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roddy

Looks good for testing, but doesn't actually teach. There's a Wikipedia page which does a pretty good job, but it's got no audio and is perhaps a bit overwhelming, with everything on one big page. Plus,

The third tone (Falling-Rising or Low Tone) is symbolized by a caron/háček. Note, it is officially not a breve ( ˘ ), lacking a downward angle, although this misuse is somewhat common on the Internet.

Nobody really needs to know that . . .

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gato

I think a combination of these two sites is probably the best bet for a beginner.

http://www.stpinyin.com/pinyin/pinyin.htm

Start from Pinyin: Alphabet of Pinyin (with .wav audio)

http://treehouse.ofb.net/go/zh-cn/mandarin/pronunciation

Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation Guide (no audio)

These following sites are also helpful, but no single one is ideal for the beginner.

http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~pinyin/#intro

Chinese pronunciation guide from Harvard's Chinese program (potentially good, but maybe technologically a little out of date as I had trouble getting the RealAudio working).

http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/chin/pinyin1.html

Guide to Pronouncing Mandarin in Romanized Transcription (audio provided).

http://www.csulb.edu/~txie/pcr/soundsys/introtopinyin.htm

A Brief Introduction to Romanized spelling system of Chinese - Pinyin (.wav audio).

http://chinese.rutgers.edu/class_content_simplified_chinese/level1/class1-to-9/class1/intro.htm

Rutger University's Multi-Media Chinese Teaching System: Chinese Pronunciation (no audio for the pinyin guide, but audio is provided for other online lessons).

http://www.pinyinpractice.com/tones.htm

This site is good for practicing your pinyin.

http://www.sinosplice.com/lang/pronunciation/

Pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese (great discussion, but a little technical and not for the beginner).

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bashFish

The declan software (advertisement on main page) is really great! Excellent!!!

It's a pity, that the main programm (readwrite) even have a thousand characters but it's enough for beginning (beginners) :mrgreen:

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Konglong

Here are some software I've found useful. Let me know if you like them.

Stardict 2.4.8 (Dictionary Software)

http://stardict.sourceforge.net

It runs on Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Win32 systems. Very similar to some of Powerwords function, but this software is free. There are too many individual dictionary databases available to list. Traditional and Simplified. Can build custom dictionaries as well.

stardict-win32.png

_________________________________________

BabelPad (Unicode Text Editor for Windows)

http://www.babelstone.co.uk/Software/BabelPad.html

BabelPad is a Unicode text editor for Windows that supports the proper rendering of most complex scripts, and allows you to assign different fonts to different scripts in order to facilitate multi-script text editing. I love the quick switch to and from decimal and hex codes. Must easier than trying to do it in Wenlin.

Tools and Utilities

  • Unicode Character Map utility
  • Advanced Character Search utility
  • CJK Radical Lookup utility
  • CJK Pinyin Lookup utility
  • Yi Radical Lookup utility
  • Font Analysis utility
  • Unicode Summary utility
  • Unicode Version History utility
  • Document Analysis utility

*Please look at the site for more details.

_________________________________________

BabelMap (Unicode Character Map Utility)

http://www.babelstone.co.uk/Software/BabelMap.html

BabelMap is a character map utility for Windows (95 to Vista) that always supports the latest version of Unicode (currently version 5.0.0). It allows you to browse through the entire Unicode character repertoire or search for a particular character by name or codepoint. Characters can then be copied to the clipboard for use in any Unicode-aware application, or saved to file in any Unicode format (UTF-8, UTF-16, UTF-32, etc.).

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