Saturday, 02 October 2010

Where are all the users of April Zhang's podcasts?


Why on earth have a blog on a blog? 
  • To share knowledge by means of a forum
  • To pool resources
  • To start a translation project of each podcast
  • To practice Chinese sharing our views on the given topics

April Zhang has been very busy supplying us with podcasts and transcripts.  Each of her podcast students then uses these texts to study and enrich their Mandarin skills in isolation.  This blog is first and foremost an attempt to create some contact between all of us using April's podcasts.  Due to the nature of the podcasts, we have all already learnt the basics of Mandarin Chinese, or else the podcasts would be useless to us.  Therefore, I think we can all help each other to get a greater benefit from the podcasts and change them into a powerful learning tool.

Compared to a standard textbook of Mandarin, we are still missing three or possibly four elements that would really turn the podcasts into a powerful learning tool.  These are

A  vocab lists
B  translations of the text
C  grammar

D  language exercises, practice

Lets pool our resources to our own benefit.  As far as vocab is concerned, I use a text reader such as ZDT to extract the vocabulary that's new to me and then export them into Teach2000 to learn.  These are 2 open source programmes that can be downloaded and used for free.  They work great.  Of course a little computer knowledge is required to get the data from the one ducument to the other.  This is what we can teach each other here.

I often stumble on sentences of which the precise translation is unclear or uncertain.  Using the blog we can all submit translations for cross checking or even work together on a translation for each podcast.  This will go hand in hand with clarifying points of grammar and structure.  As far as preparing excercises, I think this can develop at a later stage as this is extra work which will detract from the text.

Ultimately I would really appreciate fellow learners who would like to improve their skills by entering discussions on the theme introduced by April.

So, the invitation is open to all who would like to participate.

Kind regards

Wei Zhanning

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