What makes Chinesepod Chinesepod?

January 02, 2011, 03:13 PM posted in General Discussion

You know you've got it bad when you fake toilet breaks for a chance to jump on Chinesepod!...

Here I am in the middle of my vacation with family, and instead of enjoying the fun, food and festivities, I'm sneaking a post on cpod. SAD I know, yet also mysteriously intriguing! This brings me to my point...

For the past few months since I signed on to cpod, I have been drawn inexplicably to what is on offer here, something definitely something more than just language lessons, exercises and forums. I can't precisely put my finger on it, but I have noticed a few special features I respond well to. I'd like to share these observations, in the hope that cpod will promote them even more, and that my fellow poddies will also share your opinions for all to consider. Perhaps together we'll get to the bottom of what makes cpod cpod.

Here's my list to start things off:

1. The best environment to learn about a culture is one where many different cultures are interacting. You can for example grow up in traditional Chinese family like I did and know my bits and pieces about Chinese culture, but it is really when people outside of the culture points things out that we become aware, and we together actually 'learn'. Cpod has this environment.

2. It is eye (or ear) opening to hear John's switch between his Mandarin and English in quick succession. Then we get to hear the change in tones, spacing and voice emphasis. Somehow it is a lot more obvious when one person is doing it than when it happens between two person speaking the two languages. I especially notice his change in the use of appropriate mood particles - in Chinese he would use the appropriate particles 啊, 嘛, etc, and when in English he would do his American "uh-huh", "oh", etc. We can't really speak a language until we can 'grunt' with appropriate mood particles!

3. Jenny's wit is a joy to listen to. More than that, she does wit in both Mandarin and English, AND (the hardest bit) does it with originality in the two languages. The common mistake for bi-linguals is to think of something funny in one language and translate it into another, which usually comes off flat after translation. It is a challenge to show wit in any language. I enjoy learning from the way Jenny does it.

4. Jiaojie's clear intonation and pronunciations.

5. David's knowledge and enthisiasm for Chinese culture.

6. Jen's humour.

... aaarrghhh, too many in the team to list off the top of my head... anyway, moving one...

101. PODDIES! Gems, the lot of ya... luv youse all!

Of course not forgetting the most mysterious, inexplicable part of cpod: the proof that a smile can be transmitted through sound recordings. This of course Connie does all the time. Very powerful skill. Can Connie and Cpod package this up and sell - I'd pay BIG MONEY! Just hope it's not some 郑家女将家传神功 (Cheng family secret female warrior kung-fu) of some kind that can't be shared.

Anyway, I hope others will share in what you've observed as well, and I hope cpod staff will take what we say into consideration in future planning. Nothing like making a great service even better.

Better go. Hope everyone is having a great New Year. 新年快乐!

宏量 Hong Liang

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