Really enjoying the whole learning process here on Chinese Pod, however I am concentrating solely on pinyin as a form of writing the language.
My question is, before I progress any further should I also try to write the characters for the patterns/podcasts I have already learned/learning or should that be taken in isolation at a later stage. What are peoples views on this?
markJuly 04, 2011, 01:50 PM
I would advise moving on from pinyin, at some point. If you want to communicate with Chinese people in writing, pinyin doesn't work very well, and your choice of reading material will be very limitted (just language course materials and kids books, basically).
However, learning to read and write Chinese will take years. So, set your expectations accordingly, and just make a little progress often.
jennyzhuJuly 04, 2011, 02:37 PM
I'd suggest incorporating characters into your study now. With tools like Skritter which is integrated to each lesson page on ChinesePod, writing isn't too inaccessible. Like Mark said, simply relying on pinyin won't work as the same character often has a multitude of meanings. You will soon hit a wall and find yourself having to pick up characters if you want to progress. Even if you don't learn how to write the characters, recognition will be very beneficial and useful.
irishkaiwenJuly 04, 2011, 03:57 PM
Thanks for taking the time to reply and the valuable advice!
That's it decided - charachters it is! bring it on!
Looked at skritter, looks very very good, will have to raid the piggy bank again!
A couple of years ago I did a sales presentation to wealthy fish farmer in Zhong1 Shan1. It turned out to be a no-sale but the fellow treated my colleague and me to lunch. Up to that point I had been put off trying to learn Chinese because of what I perceived to be the unfathomable complexity of the written language.
Anyway, over lunch we learned that the farmer was illiterate (and was proud of it) but he was still able to run and maintain his very successful business. So I decided I would start to learn to speak but not bother to learn to read and write and so bought the Pimsleur course, whose philosophy is similar.
I now realise that while ignoring the task of learning to read and write encouraged me to start learning to speak, it’s not a long term solution and I’ve just had to get on with it :-)
Chinesepod provides a great set of tools to further my learning, every single day, to speak and read and write.
irishkaiwenJuly 05, 2011, 10:14 AM
I have a basic sub at present so if I was to upgrade to premium do I get the Skritter integration free or do I still need to subscribe independantely to Skritter?