Chinese

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Revision as of 21:37, 5 October 2007 by Fong (Talk | contribs) (Software)

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Mandarin Language

Mandarin is the official language used in the People's Republic of China and Taiwan. It is the mostly widely spoken language on the planet with over 1 billion speakers! My name is Chris, and I'll be your guide. I've been learning Mandarin for a couple years now and on this page you'll find all the resources you'll need to learn this wonderful language.

Software

  • ZDT - This is an open source chinese learning application created by myself. It's free and I use it for all my Chinese learning. It has flashcards with multiple modes, a chinese text annotator, and dictionary. Practice your writing by viewing the stroke order animations and print out writing sheets to practice with. Available for Windows, Linux, and OS X.
  • PlecoDict - If you have a Palm or Windows CE device, this is the program to get. It's definitely not free (price ranges from $60-$120 depending on the dictionaries you want) but it's great. The dictionaries are great and using it with the handwriting recognition is awesome. Version 2.0 (not out yet) promises some nice new features as well.

Podcasts

  • ChinesePod - This is a really professionally produced podcast. It has different podcasts for every level ranging from Newbie to Advanced. Each lesson is about 15-18 minutes long, and it's really convenient load one up on my iPhone and listen on the way to work. The podcasts themselves are always free, but they also have several subscription services which offer transcripts and a host of supplementary material.

Other Resources

  • Chinese Usage Dictionary - Really great site. Has very detailed explanations of common Chinese phrases. Lots of example sentences for you to practice with.
  • Basic Chinese Grammar - Like the title says, has clear explanations of many Chinese grammar points.
  • Rutgers Multi-Media Chinese Teaching System - If you want to do some self-learning, try this site. Four different levels with eighty total lessons. Each lessons includes dialogs (with actual speech), grammar points, vocab and exercises.
  • The most common Chinese characters - They say you'll be fluent in Chinese after knowing between 2000-3000 characters. Well here's a list (ordered by frequency) to see what characters you know.