Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Mandarin Chinese Resources

  Tags: Resources | Mandarin
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
21 messages over 3 pages: 13  Next >>
Crush
Tetraglot
Senior Member
ChinaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5736 days ago

1622 posts - 2299 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Mandarin, Esperanto
Studies: Basque

 
 Message 9 of 21
09 December 2013 at 11:32pm | IP Logged 
I actually wasn't too impressed by the Assimil Chinese course. The first few weeks are painfully slow () and it never really speeds up.

I've also gone through the FSI course, it's probably more comprehensive than most other courses but can be pretty dated at times and some of the government talk for me personally was super boring and hard to get through. At the very least, the pronunciation part of the course is excellent. I worked through each unit a tape at a time, ie i'd get one tape down before moving on to the next. The units were longer than the Spanish course.

I'm also about to finish NPCR 4 and have enjoyed it. I've been using the series as more of a reader, most of the grammar isn't new, though there's usually some new vocabulary.

The thing i've found with most courses outside of FSI is that they don't have very clear grammar explanations, maybe it's a little hard to divide Mandarin into grammar bits as i'm used to them (cases, declensions/conjugations, tenses, etc.). Most books i've used teach structures, for example "gen1 ... yi4 qi3" or "xiang4 ... yi2 yang4".
3 persons have voted this message useful



tlanguell
Newbie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3910 days ago

24 posts - 54 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Vietnamese

 
 Message 10 of 21
12 December 2013 at 4:03pm | IP Logged 
nj24 wrote:
Thanks for all of the recommendations!

tlanguell wrote:
I used MT, FSI and ChinesePod to learn Mandarin. FSI has some
outdated scripts like
ordering movie tickets from a Party office and sending telegraphs but helped me with
its
Resource Modules like classroom expressions and food and travel vocab.


I definitely know what you mean about outdated scripts. That came up a bit with the FSI
Spanish course, but I was
using so many other resources that it didn't bother me too much.

How have you used the FSI course? Do you try to memorize the dialogues word for word? I
have not really looked
past the pronunciation modules yet.

BaronBill wrote:
I am really enjoying MT (Michel Thomas) as well and find it to be a
great introduction to the
language. I am also using Pimsleur, Teach Yourself, and Practice Makes Perfect's
"Interactive Beginning Chinese".

Additionally, I have found Chinesepod101 podcasts to be fun to listen to and very
helpful


My library has a copy of the Michel Thomas tapes. I will take a look at them. I've
always hesitated with using MT
because I've heard that it doesn't feature native speakers? Is that true? Have you
found this a drawback with the
Mandarin tapes? Feel free to add your opinion too, tlanguell.

Do you recommend buying a subscription to Chinesepod101?

Ninibo wrote:
I really liked the New Pracical Chinese Reader, I think it gives you
quite a good base to go on to
readers.


Thanks, Ninibo! I'll see if my library has a copy I can take a look at.

Sunja wrote:
I'm really enjoying Assimil "Chinese With Ease".


Wow, this Assimil course sounds very good and might be just what I'm looking for. I
might wait and see how I do
with the free courses first, though. As you said, it is a bit of money to spend, and I
don't really like to spend
money on a language until I've gotten to a more advanced beginner/intermediate level.
What level would you say
the first book takes you to? Do you think someone could jump in with the second book
without a problem if
they'd been working with other courses?

Sunja wrote:
In addition to ChinesePod, there's PopUp Chinese
I've read that ChinesePod is good for slang and everyday expressions, whereas PopUp
focusses mostly on
preparing for the individual HSK exams. I read that at Chinese-Forums.com, another
excellent ressource for
recommendations and advice. There are a lot more learners than here.

Once you master some vocabulary, you can try the Chinese Breeze series. Unlike some
beginning readers like
Susan You Mafan, the Chinese Breeze readers come with MP3 CDs and there are individual
levels based on how
many words you know. Level 1 is 300 characters, for example.


Thanks for these. I'll take a look at PopUp Chinese. I have been looking for a solid
podcast, though it doesn't
seem there are as many quality free ones as those I have been able to use with Spanish.

Yes, I've stumbled across Chinese Forums when searching for Chinese resources on the
internet. I've been
thinking about joining.

Again, thanks for all your help!


I started with MT and ChinesePod while living in Bangkok, then added FSI and YouTube
vids while in Wuxi, China. Re. FSI I did a lot of passive listening with some speaking
but I didn't memorize it word for word. I printed the Resource Modules and did the
drills in the Numbers, Classroom Expressions, Time and Date Modules and that help me a
lot. I'm now using FSI Vietnamese, YouTube vids and LaoShu's FLR to study Vietnamese.
Lastly I've just added The Rough Guide's Phrase Book to my phone because it has a good
2-way dictionary.
2 persons have voted this message useful



nj24
Diglot
Groupie
United States
Joined 4534 days ago

56 posts - 106 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Italian, French

 
 Message 11 of 21
13 December 2013 at 7:29pm | IP Logged 
Thanks again for all of the recommendations & suggestions!

My library seems to only have a copy of Michel Thomas' Perfect Mandarin Chinese, which is apparently the next
program after Total Mandarin Chinese. I'm not sure what level it is. Has anyone used this one? I might try it after I've
made headway through Pimsleur and a bit of the FSI and DeFrancis courses.

Looks like no one has used the DeFrancis course. I'm going to try it out & see how it goes. It seems very similar to
the FSI course so I'll see which one I like better, but I like the fact that there are intermediate and advanced levels in
DeFrancis. Anyhow know how far FSI usually takes you?
1 person has voted this message useful



Snowflake
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5830 days ago

1032 posts - 1233 votes 
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 12 of 21
13 December 2013 at 10:36pm | IP Logged 
In it's time, DeFrancis was the standard material used in universities. That's one of the reasons why it is so complete.
1 person has voted this message useful



ihoop
Newbie
United States
Joined 4481 days ago

29 posts - 66 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Mandarin

 
 Message 13 of 21
15 December 2013 at 10:30am | IP Logged 
I can personally strongly recommend the FSI Mandarin course. I have almost completed
module 8 and am getting ready to do the last module. While it does seem a bit dated at
times, it is still an incredibly effective course. I would even go as far to say that
FSI has given me the ability to express most of my thoughts in Chinese, though in not
nearly as eloquent a way as I would in English.   The biggest shortcoming you will find
going through FSI is lack of some very common vocabulary that is really needed for daily
interaction with Chinese speakers.    As long as you supplement FSI with lots of input
and some other vocabulary study you should be in great shape.   Best of luck

-Ian
3 persons have voted this message useful



nj24
Diglot
Groupie
United States
Joined 4534 days ago

56 posts - 106 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Italian, French

 
 Message 14 of 21
16 December 2013 at 7:40am | IP Logged 
Thanks, Ian! That's encouraging to know. Do you read Mandarin as well? I'm curious what course you would
recommend to supplement FSI in order to learn how to read Mandarin characters.
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 4145 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 15 of 21
16 December 2013 at 9:49am | IP Logged 
Quote:
Recently I heard about the John DeFrancis Mandarin course and that sounded really promising, especially since all of the audio is available online.


I happen to own a copy (given by someone who stopped studying Chinese) of the first two books of the series. I haven't used them a lot yet because I've been focussing on simplified characters. However they are very good books. You may like the series if you take relish in lots and lots of repetitive drills. You may think that the books look outdated because the language seems (just my impression) slightly antiquated, plus the physical layout is very bare: no fancy illustrations or photographs, no colours, just (beautifully written) characters, characters and more characters. Though I'm aware that there is an audio version and that it's available somewhere online, my impression is that the book is definitely character-centric, i.e. it is telling that each lesson starts with a list of characters to learn (plus a few words using those characters), then there's a dialogue using the new vocab, and then drills and more drills.

Overall, I do like the particular, somewhat austere, character-based approach taken in this series, but you may want to complete it with some fancier resources (after all, these books were conceived in a pre-internet distant past).
2 persons have voted this message useful



tlanguell
Newbie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3910 days ago

24 posts - 54 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Vietnamese

 
 Message 16 of 21
17 December 2013 at 8:40am | IP Logged 
ihoop wrote:
I can personally strongly recommend the FSI Mandarin course. I have
almost completed
module 8 and am getting ready to do the last module. While it does seem a bit dated at
times, it is still an incredibly effective course. I would even go as far to say that
FSI has given me the ability to express most of my thoughts in Chinese, though in not
nearly as eloquent a way as I would in English.   The biggest shortcoming you will find
going through FSI is lack of some very common vocabulary that is really needed for
daily
interaction with Chinese speakers.    As long as you supplement FSI with lots of input
and some other vocabulary study you should be in great shape.   Best of luck

-Ian


I agree with Ian FSI is great for learning Mandarin but lacks practical vocab. for
interacting with locals. The Resource Modules help to fill this gap but I suggest
supplementing FSI with other materials.


1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 21 messages over 3 pages: << Prev 13  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3125 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2024 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.