Pinyin Practice

Mandarin Pronunciation Exercises and Learning Components
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Archive for the ‘Reviews’

3 Greate Ways to Create Flashcards

September 15, 2009 By: Pei Category: Characters, Learning Chinese, Reviews, website 2 Comments →

Flashcards are a staple for language learners. Carrying a flip book or rubberbanded stack of index cards with characters on one side and pronunciation and definition on the other is a great just-in-time study tool. But let’s get a bit more with the times and look to the web for help with creation – and your next test will be róngyì times ten!

1. Ediscio – Feature rich flash card system largely focused on the Leitner system of grouping known and unknown cards into stacks to practice at different intervals. Registration is required. You can download cardboxes and print if you want. Plenty of other features too, including graphical progress charts and graphs.

2. Ting – A flash application. I like flash.  All based off of PCR texts, but the database is downloadable and therefore customizable. Audio downloads are part of the system. Nice.

3. Vocab Chinese – A java application. Nice features including sentence level practice with audio files. Not really a flashcard application creation tool except that you can add your own items if you follow the procedure for doing so. Based on Integrated Chinese text series.

I didn’t look too hard for these. Anyone else have favorites?

5 Great Ways to Enter Pinyin on Your Blog

July 29, 2009 By: Pei Category: Reviews 2 Comments →

At some point, if you haven’t already, you will need to enter Pinyin on your blog or someone else’s blog. Here are some super sweet plugins and websites that will most certainly bāng your máng.

1. The Pinyin Tone Tool

pinyin tone tool

Visit this website to type pinyin into the textbox with numbers representing the tones 1-5 immediately following each syllabus. Click convert and copy/paste the results.  Could that be any more simple?! Well, sure it can…

2. Pinyin Tone Tool Plugin (Firefox) – this is super slick as it is always available, without having to visit another site. Only problem I’ve discovered is it doesn’t work with WordPress’ visual WYSIWIG editor. Might be true for any tinyMCE text area. To use it, you still type in the tone numbers, highlight the text to convert and click the plugin’s PIN button on the browser.

3. Chinese-Tools Pinyin Editor

Chinese-Tools Pinyin Editor

A quick, as you type, conversion tool. If you make many mistakes it can be a little frustrating as you need to delete the entire final and re-enter. Solution: make fewer mistakes. And for those who like visual keyboards, or have trouble remembering the numbers of the tones, you can click on the correct toned letter beneath the entry box. Copy and paste the results.

4. Somemilk’s Pinyin Tones WordPress Plugin – If you host your own WordPress blog, and are troubled by visiting other sites or installing yet another Firefox plugin, this might be the solution for you. With this WordPress plugin, you enclose all pinyin within [pinyin] [/pinyin], and when you publish the enclosed is converted on the site like this: wǒ shì lǎoshī. Makes for easy fixing if there are errors.

5. MDBG Chinese Dictionary WordPress Plugin – Take Somemilk’s plugin and add a bit more with links to the MDBG dictionary. Not so much for the pinyin, but if you use [hanzi] [/hanzi], this tool can provide a quick answer to those who don’t understand. MDBG also has a converter tool on their site you can use if you are not using WordPress.