Vocabulary and study levels

June 11, 2009, 08:39 PM posted in General Discussion

Hi all, I have a question regarding the different lesson levels here at Chinese Pod. I've been listening a lot to the newbie and elementary shows and I can understand most of the dialogue, but there are always new words and expressions to learn from them. My question is, approximately how big a vocabulary do you need to be able to go on to the intermediate level? Thanks!

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June 11, 2009, 10:08 PM

Hi johanchristersson,

I'm in a similar boat. I went through about 200 newbies before moving to elementary and found that some elementary lessons had a lot of new vocab and some I already knew most of.

I finally decided to jump up to intermediate and continue to listen to newbie and elementary to keep up with any new vocab in those lessons.

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June 12, 2009, 01:30 AM

I think that if you wait to learn all of the vocabulary that might be introduced at one level before moving to the next, you will have a very long wait.  Rather, a better guage of whether you are ready for a level is if you can understand a lesson at that level within the time you have available to study.  BTW, I still listen to at least the dialog on all lesson levels, even though I can manage the advanced lessons.  I still pick up occasional vocabulary or cultural tidbits from even Newbie level lessons, or at least I have fun listening to Ken and Jenny's banter, if I don't.

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June 12, 2009, 02:40 AM

Hi there! Good question! Actually, there is not an exact number of vocabulary you need to know. Sentence structures are also a really important factor. I talked with Cpod guide teacher Vera, she said if you could understand most of the dialogue in newbie and elementary shows, you can give it a try to the intermediate lessons (start from the last page, not the latest lessons). Try several lessons to see how much you could understand! You can continue your study if you find it not so hard. But moving on doesn't mean you don't need to study newbie and elementary shows.


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June 12, 2009, 03:35 PM

Thanks for your replies, I had a moment the other day when I thought that I'm never going to be able to move on to a higher level, due to the new vocabulary introduced even in newbie at times. I guess that once you get to understand the bulk of the dialogue and only have to learn a few new words, like for instance the word for Dubai in yesterdays lesson, it is time. Because at the moment I can only pick out certain words and never get a clear picture of what they are talking about in intermediate.

Enjoy your weekends! :-) 

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July 14, 2009, 09:00 AM

Hi! I'm in the same situation. I found that if I find an intermediate lesson that is very interesting, I get more patience studying it. E.g. my friend and I like to go fishing. The intermediate lesson "go fishing" was actually a bit hard for me but I found it encouraging that I would have instant use of the language once I had learnt it.

Still, I listen to elementary lessons most of the time. The QW series on "lesson language" should help advance to the next level though.

Lycka till ^_^

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July 14, 2009, 11:54 AM

There are hard intermediates, and easy intermediates. I would avoid intermediates over 12-18 months old (except the really, really old ones, they are more like elementaries), as they are really hard. More recent ones are easier. I think the Lao Wang series is quite difficult (most series are hard for the level they are in, I think). A recent one I found easy was the Zombie one.

The best way is to just dive in and keep plugging away with a dictionary. You'll soon train your ear. You'll soon hear the same things over and over again, but with just a couple of different verbs and nouns slotted in.

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July 14, 2009, 06:12 PM

There are some rare transcripts available (http://chinesepod.com/community/groups/view/173). I found transcripts very useful when I started at  intermediate level. They were by goulnik but I don't know whether they are still available.

In many intermediate lessons some podders (including myself) have posted vocab lists. These make working you way through a podcast less time-expensive.