Chinese Learning Software

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Re: Chinese Learning Software

Postby Buttercup » 03 Mar 2010, 21:36

ironlady wrote:
I've probably said before, I've learned more from RS by stripping out the mp3 files, inserting the English (available on RS web site for English programs) into the "lyrics" field on my iPod for each utterance, and playing them on shuffle setting. At least then you get the randomness and you definitely know what's being said. The usefulness of the language can be debated (IRL I rarely comment on the fact that a boy is sitting on an airplane, or that two children are jumping) but it's easier to get the frequent aural repetition with an ability to check the precise meaning that way. But after using the product for awhile, both ways, I'm still unable to have any kind of meaningful exchange, and I'm a pretty experienced language learner.



That's an interesting fiddle, from both a learning /teaching and a publishing aspect.
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Re: Chinese Learning Software

Postby ironlady » 04 Mar 2010, 04:50

I've posted about it on my Chinese teaching blog (now largely abandoned...who knows in the future?) I call it "audio flashcards". Of course generally you don't "steal" audio files to do it, but rather just record L1...L2...L1 (or vice versa) using Audacity or an mp3 recorder. Great for the gym or walking the dog.
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Re: Chinese Learning Software

Postby normZurawski » 05 Mar 2010, 00:43

ironlady wrote:I've probably said before, I've learned more from RS by stripping out the mp3 files, inserting the English (available on RS web site for English programs) into the "lyrics" field on my iPod for each utterance, and playing them on shuffle setting.


Interesting. Were you able to do this with the raw RS data or did you need to play it with the RS app and do a sound capture?

There must be a collection of audio flashcards in mp3 format available for purchase somewhere no?
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Re: Chinese Learning Software

Postby ironlady » 05 Mar 2010, 07:49

The audio clips are in raw mp3 format in separate directories for each lesson on the CD...but the only trick is that they are not named in any meaningful way. So if you're working with a truly unknown language, it's a real challenge to match up the target language with its English meaning (and even sometimes with its written equivalent, which is also on the CD as a text file). But of course all that arduous matching is review of the words and phrases...not the best input but at least it's input and fairly comprehensible when you get all done.
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Re: Chinese Learning Software

Postby normZurawski » 05 Mar 2010, 22:45

ironlady wrote:The audio clips are in raw mp3 format in separate directories for each lesson on the CD...but the only trick is that they are not named in any meaningful way. So if you're working with a truly unknown language, it's a real challenge to match up the target language with its English meaning (and even sometimes with its written equivalent, which is also on the CD as a text file). But of course all that arduous matching is review of the words and phrases...not the best input but at least it's input and fairly comprehensible when you get all done.


Hmmm, the stuff I have seems to be archived in rsd files. Perhaps they have started hiding the content to prevent you from doing exactly that.

"The process" is valuable though, I agree.
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Re: Chinese Learning Software

Postby normZurawski » 11 Mar 2010, 00:05

To add to this discussion as I play around with more pieces of software...

The Flashcard Touch app for the iPhone was useless.

I have started using Audacity (free), which is a way to extract pieces of an mp3 and slice it up into (say) flashcards. So if you want to pull out individual sentences or slices of discussion, you can make a new mp3 out of it and add it to your audio flashcard rotation.

I've found the audio flashcard idea excellent help. To that end I paid for the bulk downloads at ChineseLearnOnline.com to get all 7 levels. I would guess each level has about 250 flashcards up through level 5. Not sure what 6/7 offer as the format seems to have changed somewhere along the line. Anyway, that gives you a solid block of flashcards to start (and grow) with.

I finally got so frustrated with the Pimsleur stuff I deleted it all. I don't know if it was discussed here but it's flat-out awful, IMO.

The more I use stuff and learn the language the more I think the iPhone was the single most useful piece in the puzzle. That and earbuds that don't hurt (skull candy is a favorite of mine).
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Re: Chinese Learning Software

Postby spitzig » 29 Mar 2010, 03:25

I used Supermemo(software) for flashcards for a while. It has some problems with Chinese, though. I've recently started using Anki. It also has an online version, so you can use it with an Iphone. It's originally made for learning Japanese. It even has a plugin that integrates the audio with the pinyin. The plugin uses an online Chinese-English dictionary, too.
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