Pinyin Practice

Mandarin Pronunciation Exercises and Learning Components
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Archive for August, 2009

Spell-checking for Chinese, Anyone?

August 15, 2009 By: Pei Category: Characters, Learning Chinese 5 Comments →

On the drive home today we were chatting about rules for turning in assignments. My wife, a French teacher, said one of her new rules is that she will not grade anything which has not been spell-checked. Decent rule for French. And I explained how students were always turning in papers with cuò zì (incorrect characters). Are there good checkers for cuò zì? And if so, are they still called spell-checkers?

Chinese Animations to Entertain and Motivate

August 12, 2009 By: Pei Category: Learning Chinese, listening Comments Off on Chinese Animations to Entertain and Motivate

Play is one of the most natural learning activities on the planet. The animator is playing with words and images in ways the real world cannot behave. Great animators have the largest blank-canvas playground in the universe. And the same playground is yours as a language learner – get out there and be creative with the language. Here are some Chinese animations or animators that might help encourage you. Jiāyóu!

Sun Haipeng’s Dragon Fist and Super Baozi. Well rendered 3D animation featuring a Chinese dumpling.

Méi Tóunáo hé Bù Gāoxìng. 沒頭腦和不高興。Old animations produced for television. Still charming and good for listening practice.

CRIENGLISH.com dialog demonstration videos. The sound effects on these make me laugh. But they are really quite good. Nicely recorded and animated.

Showgood.com. These flash animators have long been entertaining and making their way into Chinese classrooms across the US. Or was it just my classroom? They are good, even if sometimes overplayed.

Club Tuzki. Interactive flash animation and games too.

Big Ocean and Chinese Crabapple. Pretty with a nice little story too.

Practice Pronunciation (and writing) with VoiceThread #2

August 08, 2009 By: Pei Category: Learning Chinese, Pronunciation Comments Off on Practice Pronunciation (and writing) with VoiceThread #2

If you missed the first one. Take a look here for more information. Sign up and record your own reading.

12 Video Sites to Entertain and Practice Chinese

August 05, 2009 By: Pei Category: Learning Chinese, listening Comments Off on 12 Video Sites to Entertain and Practice Chinese

1. www.danwei.org – Ok, the first isn’t really a video site, but rather great video content.  More than just videos, but truly insightful, entertaining and educational content. I’m not sure if they are still actively producing videos, but check out their archives.

2. www.asizia.com – movies for download. They also have a collection of Japanese and Korean films. Not sure how legit this site is.

3. www.china-8.com – you will need to register to watch the videos on this site, or you can find many of them on their YouTube channel.

4. Yangyang Chinese School also has many videos on YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/sloppycheng). Tutoring is also available.

5. $ www.netflix.com – I’ve had netflix for a little while, maybe about a year now, and I have to say I am impressed with the selection and site functionality and mail turn-around time. Quite frankly, I don’t know how they are able to do this so quickly. I live in rural Iowa! (Netflix is a DVD rental site in the U.S.)

YouTube Style Sites

The remaining section are YouTube style video sharing sites with plenty of television clips and movies loaded. Actually, these sites seem to be more about tv/movies than individuals loading their own content – but that is there too. I can’t figure out why, but these sites seem to insist on opening more and more windows every time I click to play a video. Is it just me?

6. www.youku.com – one strategy on sites like these is to find English educational content. It might be easier to understand than others. A great way to practice your listening skills!

7. www.tudou.com

8. www.aeeboo.com

9. ku6.com

10. 6.cn. (Liù Jiàn Fáng)

Documentary videos

11. PBS Video. This link is a search on the word “Chinese.”

12. Snagfilms.com. Nice collection of professionally produced films.

Practice Pronunciation and Writing with VoiceThread

August 01, 2009 By: Pei Category: Characters, Learning Chinese, Pronunciation 1 Comment →

Voicethread.com offers a unique service for presentation and interaction with material and those interested in the material. Sign up on voicethread to participate in this activity (there is a free basic level).

Once you are signed up, come back here and record yourself reading the slides. Or if you are at a more advanced level, try recording a sentence with each word. Or if you want to practice writing, try writing the characters with the annotation tool. If you want your annotations to stick (fading is the default), click the center white circle before making your annotation on the image. Nifty, no?

I’ve provided a model for you to follow for this first one. Record your own reading and I will give you some feedback.