Why can’t CPod produce more topically relevant lessons???

September 02, 2015, 11:05 AM posted in General Discussion

Why can’t CPod produce more topically relevant lessons???

I am a long-term CPod member and big fan. However, I’m increasingly disappointed that you don’t produce more lessons that are topically relevant to what is happening here in China.

Is it because CPod is now based in Taiwan?

However, many users like myself live in China and want to be able to discuss topics with Chinese friends and colleagues.

Last week we had the Athletics World Championships in Beijing. And this week we have the 70th Anniversary of the end of the Sino-Japanese War. Both are hot topics; hugely talked about on the street and on every newspaper and tv station.

Why can’t CPod produce lessons on these subjects, which everyone is talking about in China. In fact these are global events. Which I’m sure even CPod users who don’t live in China would be interested to learn lessons and vocabulary on these topics.

Currently if I want to find lessons or vocabulary on topical issues I have to use other material and online resources. But to be honest I would rather use CPod. And this would be one way to help you differentiate yourself from all the other online Chinese language services.

If CPod wants to retain its members and grow its brand—it needs to make sure its lessons are more topical and relevant. Giving users the chance to practice and use the language in our daily lives. Or at least be able to understand some of what is been talked about in China and the world.

The latest lesson “The Water Ghosts of Ghost Month” is a classic example of a lesson that might be topical (because it’s the ghost month) but is not relevant to most people. And people are not going to use that language to talk with their colleagues. What worse, is that the lesson doesn’t even mention 重阳节Chóng Yáng Jié, which is the name of the holiday. So you are not even educating users about the subject.

I realise not every lesson can topical­ but come on CPod—you can do better than this—and we (long term users and fans) expect more of you!

However, it’s not too late. You could still produce lessons on some of the recent events. But I hope in the future you can produce more topically relevant lessons, so that CPod users can join in the discussions of what is happening in China and the world.

The lessons don't have to be so complex as to exclude users. I would suggest a level of elementary to intermediate (or even upper intermediate) in some situations.

After all, the whole point of learning Chinese is to be able to use the language and talk with Chinese people. So help us please…

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September 02, 2015, 02:13 PM

I'm afraid if we had topical lessons on relevant issues in China then Cpod would be firewalled. It's happened before, and given the current climate in China it wouldn't be advisable to have frank discussions on the various goings on in China this past year, or in regard to any other period unless the subject matter and discussion conforms with China's relevant censorship laws.

Cpod has China based customers which I'm guessing they can't afford to lose, otherwise I'm sure they would be happy to present lessons on more topical issues from mainland China.

Do you really think Cpod wants to open a can of worms that is best left for discussion on other sites, of which there are plenty?

If you've been a customer of Cpod for as long as you say you have then your Mandarin ability should be good enough to peruse many of the local Chinese news and blog comments, which are both humorous and informative.

Please don't assume to speak for others when you make complaints, you only make yourself look arrogant.

An intro into topical internet lexicon used by Chinese internet users in comment sections and blog spaces>>>http://chinadigitaltimes.net/space/Grass-Mud_Horse_Lexicon:_Browse_by_Topic

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蓝狗 I wouldn’t be so arrogant, as to speak on behalf of CPod, unless you are an employee or their official PR spokesperson.

My so called "look arrogant" is not a complaint, but a suggestion as how to improve CPod.

It is based on talking with dozens of CP users and other learners of Chinese at Universities and language schools. The number one issue is always not having enough topically relevant subjects, situations and vocabulary. 

Even you in an earlier post suggested the following:


藍狗 says

Without lowering one's stripes to the lowest of the low such as Shanghaiist or Chinasmack, perhaps a weekly roundup of Chinese views on current affairs as expressed on social media. This would give poddies an opportunity to learn some slanguage and also provide foreign devils an insight into Chinese public opinion.

January 14, 2015 from Web. Reply


I think the above would be very controversial and there are already enough sites doing this around the world.

For my point of view, having "topically relevant" lessons does not mean being controversial. In fact, I come to CPod to learn Chinese, not for CPod’s political commentary or stance on China.

I just want to improve my (low level) Chinese and be able to use the language in daily conversations.

My “complaint" is a valid and practical suggestion of how to improve CPod. And how it can increase it’s brand differentiation and relevance over traditional learning methods (books, CDs) and other online services.

It would be interesting to hear what Fiona, Gwilym or some other official from CPod thinks of my reasonable, practical and easily implemented suggestion?

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One cannot just discuss topical issues in China without being "controversial". And what may I ask is controversial about speaking freely? Now there's a very relevant topical issue worth a lesson. Unfortunately, however, the only reason more frank topical issues regarding current affairs aren't discussed is business related. 

And, yes, you assume to speak for others who instead are quite satisfied with lesson topics and the new video format. Most topics are of a practical nature designed to help students converse in common situations. 

My only gripe is as I have suggested previously, and as you have pointed out above by quoting a previous comment of mine. 

I don't come here to practice often, and prefer to listen to radio and acquaint myself with issues of topical relevance from both sides of the Strait through social and mainstream media.

   "But I hope in the future you can produce more topically relevant lessons, so that CPod users can join in the discussions of what is happening in China and the world".

These are your words. You appear to be a hypocrite. On the one hand you want Cpod to to develop lessons on contemporary China and the world, but on the other you say doing so would be too "controversial", Which is it going to be mate? Because you can't have it both ways.

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Peace Dog.

Can we please get some more lessons on navigating bookstores? Also calling bookstores to see if our order has arrived/ making orders/ anything book store/book related.. I know there is a lesson talking about different kinds of books but some more in depth would be great. Another thing, what is this game "來“ not sure if thats the right character, but I was in this chinese bar the other night and everyone was playing it , its some game with a cup and dice?? Not sure if they play this in 中國/台灣 but they were here in 紐約市.  

Anyways, its nice to be important but its even more important to be nice.


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誰說我是個重要的人? 老子只是個臭皮匠而已。

吹牛:Liar's Dice。  




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哈哈,我說我啊! 老子在俚語是指著‘我’的意思。。我不過只是個臭皮匠。




天下皆知美之為,斯惡已。皆知善之為善,斯不善已。是以聖人處無為之事, 故有無相生,難易相成,長短相形,高下相傾,音聲相和,前後相隨。萬物作焉而不辭,生而不有, 為而不恃,功成而弗居。 夫唯不居,是以下去。



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請問你學習中文有多久了 我學了一年的中文差不多但是你的水平比我好 阿彌陀佛

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