Introduce yourself

June 11, 2010, 12:26 AM posted in General Discussion
Nǐ hǎo, This group has five members, but two are lurkers. Lurkers are welcome, but it would be even nicer if you introduced yourselves. :-) It would be great if this group became a little community. You might include roughly how much Mandarin you already know so we all have some idea of how much Mandarin we can use in our posts without discouraging members. It would be even better if members took the time to write their messages in both Mandarin (first) and then English (I'm assuming everyone knows English.) Also, anything that helped or is helping you to learn Mandarin is appreciated.
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June 11, 2010, 12:33 AM

Oops!  I thought I was posting to Senior Newbies.

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June 11, 2010, 01:52 AM

Where's the Senior newbies group?  I think I'm in between a newbie and an elementary speaker.  I haven't entirely mastered the different newbie lessons, but I find the elementary ones more interesting and they offer more things to learn.  Sometimes I'm also just lost when it comes to grammar and different structures.  So that's where I'm at for the moment:)   

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You are way ahead of me! Go to Groups and look down the list until you come to Senior Newbies. It is also in the box of New groups. You don't actually have to be a senior to join, but the intent is for a community of older learners tackling Mandarin for the first time.

I am generally very good at grammar, but am not far enough into Mandarin to give any help with grammar in this language.

One of our members told us about a book that helps in learning the simplified characters: Learning Chinese Characters by Alison and Laurence Matthews. I got it yesterday, and it is great. All of a sudden the characters' structures make sense. This is a wonderful supplement to Chinese Pod.

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June 12, 2010, 12:25 AM

Hi All:

I'm a newbie too, but have been studying long enough to be using the newbie lessons only for continued exposure to the basics.

I'm ready now to sink full time into the elementary training. I have taken several elementary lessons, and find that I can take these pretty well.

I'm starting to develop a "feel" for the language. What were just noises to me a few months ago in the newbie world, now shine thru to me in the elementary lessons as what really are parts of the philosophy, that is the Chinese language. Anyone who hasn't been "struck" by the fact that Chinese structure is philosophical in nature probably isnot ready to advance past the newbie stage.

I can put together a few basic sentences, but there is SO much left to learn because I can't really say that I have even the most basic grip on the Mandarin language. So, I'm joining up to enhance my training, grow stronger, and perhaps become a real Mandarin speaker some day.

Glad to be aboard!

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I am well into the Intermediate lessons, but I am unaware of any 'philosophy' to the structure of the Chinese language. In fact, I really have no idea what that could mean. There are just sounds, which are combined to form words, which are further combined to form phrases and sentences, just like any language.

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June 12, 2010, 03:15 PM

Hi to you and Ali.  My name is Dave,   I have been married to a Chinese girl in China for more than a year. I have traveled extensively in China.   She has taught me much Chinese, but dosen't speak much english. So I am like you regarding enhancing my mandrin. There is much to learn and I thought I would start in newbee. look forward to learning with you. 

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June 12, 2010, 03:31 PM

Ni hao!  I have been teaching myself Mandarin for a couple of years but my progress has been very slow.  I think CPod will be useful but I'm struggling with how to use it.  When I go through a lesson I understand it but when I go back to it a week later it's all new to me again.  Does everyone go through lessons once and retain them (if so I'll never learn this!) or is there some system of review and reinforcement that I'm missing? Anyway, hello to all and I'm looking forward to being part of the group.

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June 12, 2010, 10:42 PM

Hi coloradomike:

My own system is to read the transcripts to see the words (vital) and then listen to a recording for a couple days until I can build - not remember - build -the sentences in the dialog.

After that, I keep that lesson in with the new ones, and continue to "wheel" the lessons randomly, skipping quickly thru those I have mastered, just as a review, until I "chance" upon a new one. Then it's time to invest another couple days to master the new lesson.

This keeps things exciting and interesting - and I am learning FAST.

I don't pretend to have stumbled upon any secret, but it works for me, so maybe it will help you.

Anyway, good luck with the studies.



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Hi Mason,

Thanks for sharing your system. I will give it a try.



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June 13, 2010, 08:19 AM

Ni hao!  I'm Chris.  I got interested in Chinese, as I would eventually like to work there.  I'm currently listening to the podcasts on my commutes to and from work.  I haven't been on chinesepod that long, I am taking the approach I listen to all the newbie lessons, and repeat the whole cycle instead of trying to "master" one lesson.  I figure this is more realistic to the real world. I find then I pick up the common elements through all the conversations.  What do others do?

I do want to get on to learning chinese characters.  Any advice on the best way to learn them?

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Ni3 hao3 Chris,

hs14a in Senior Newbies recommended Learning Chinese Characters by Alison and Laurence Matthews, available at I got it a couple of days ago, and I second his recommendation. Now the structure of the characters makes sense, and their 'story' method is making it a lot easier to remember the characters.

I like your idea of listening to many of the Newbie lessons without trying to master any of them in the beginning. Chinese Pod is a great way to pick up the rhythm of the language, the pronunciation and meaning of sentences. The Matthews' book is better for learning the characters. Trying to learn it all when you are just beginning is overwhelming.

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Hi, Xanafield: I found 2 books by the Matthews' on Amazon: "Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters: A Revolutionary New Way to Learn and Remember the 800 Most Basic Chinese Characters [Paperback]";


"The First 100 Chinese Characters: Simplified Character Edition: The Quick and Easy Method to Learn the 100 Most Basic Chinese Characters (Tuttle Language Library)".

Can you please tell me which one you recommend?

Xie xie.

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well definitely the 800 one! I am using it very successfully and it comes highly recommended from a lot of students here.

good luck!

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June 29, 2010, 01:24 PM

ah! Am I the Lurker in Chief?  Maybe...


I am an aussie who has been living in Tokyo for almost 20 years now.  I taught myself Japanese to a reasonable level and have now decided on a new challenge, Chinese.

I am a professional language teacher and I really appreciate the well structured chinese pod lessons.  If  I had had Japanese pod 20 years ago I would have progressed a lot farther with that language a lot quicker!

anyway, I look forward to your comments or questions.


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Welcome, wo_aishi!

It's great to know that you're finding ChinesePod lessons useful. You've come to the right place to take on this challenge; we're all here to help you along the way!

If you're interested, as a language educator yourself, you can read about ChinesePod's pedagogical approach here (scroll down the page):