Monday, November 11, 2013

A few of my favorite things!

Chinese learning resources, that is!

Peggy Teaches Chinese is awesome. She's actually from Taiwan, so she speaks with a Taiwanese accent and uses a few idioms local to Taiwan. Plus, she uses traditional (written) Chinese in her videos, as opposed to the simplified version that mainland China uses. I haven't watched many of Peggy's culture videos yet, only the beginner Chinese lessons. I've already learned a lot. Because our future daughter is from Taiwan, learning from a Taiwanese speaker is very useful and rather hard to find.

I love this dictionary. It allows you to switch between traditional and simplified Chinese characters, has audio for each of the words, and tells you what level of proficiency testing that word falls under. That way you know if you're learning a common word vs a highly specialized or rare word.

I use Yabla to help correct my pronunciation of various sounds in Chinese. It's especially helpful when you've been studying for awhile and start muddying the sounds together...

And, last but not least, I'm using LearnChineseEZ. I really like this resource. The native Chinese speaker is very clear in her enunciation so I can follow along with the Pinyin. The grammar starts off really easy, explains the grammar point, and then uses it in a few sample sentences. Then it adds more grammar and vocabulary words. You can switch between Standard Pinyin (the official spelling for Chinese characters, or Hanzi) and EZ Pinyin, which I believe is the website owner's creation to help make Pinyin easier. My only complaint about the website is that there is no Hanzi version of the lessons, only Pinyin. After awhile, I find Pinyin starts running together and I forget vocabulary. Hanzi is easier in the long run, much as Kanji is in Japanese.

*Legal Disclaimer: I am posting about LearnChineseEZ, in part, to gain access to the member's only lessons (so that I don't have to pay for them!). But I do highly recommend the website for a beginner to the Chinese language, regardless of the free content offer. I honestly believe this is a worthwhile resource and much of it is already free.

All of the above resources are free! I also found another free resource through my library but have not yet started it and therefore can't recommend it. I'm not sure how far free resources will take me, but I'll be using them as long as possible! I will probably have to purchase a resource at some point as I really need to move beyond absolute beginner level so that I can communicate more effectively with our future daughter.

1 comment:

Julie Fukuda said...

It sounds like you have found some good resources. I'm sure, when the time comes to use them, you will be ready. I wonder if your darling daughter-to-be is pouring over her English lessons with the same degree of expectation.