The jump between Elementary and Intermediate lessons is certainly a step up and whilst the lessons are challenging, they aren't unreasonably so.
But I've noticed something with the lesson comments: a significantly higher proportion of these are now written in Chinese. I'm unable to read any of these, let alone write them. How have people made this jump? Have I been focussing too much on listening to the audio lessons that I'm missing out on being able to read/write such comments?
BEBCJuly 25, 2010, 10:29 PM
I don't rely on CPod as a single resource, Bill. There are lots of other excellent resources to be found. As for writing and reading, I studied the first two volumes of "Read Chinese: A beginning text in the chinese character" (Far Eastern Publications) and am now studying the third volume, which will bring the number of characters I know to well over a thousand. These books have plenty of systematic repetition, an advantage which you don't get on this site - memorise one character from a lesson here and you may not see it again for weeks or months.
The MDGB online dictionary/translation facility is something which a lot of people here use.
I've found exactly the same thing. That I can "memorize" the characters for one lesson in order to complete the exercises, but won't see many of them again. In the past I've adopted an either/or approach. Either ChinesePod or something else. Perhaps I need to do both to keep my reading/listening/speaking abilities at equal levels.
xiaophilJuly 26, 2010, 02:23 AM
Congrats on making it to the next level. If you want to follow conversations better, you can try a pop-up translator such as this one if you use Firefox. (Other browsers also have pop-up translators, but Firefox has more choices.) Some people consider using a pop-up translator a crutch, but I personally don't as long as you pay attention to the character and translation at the same time and only use it when necessary.
I consider pop-up translators a crutch... A crutch is a very useful tool and if you do not have your full strength it can be the difference between sitting on your couch all day and getting out and participating in the world! It is not meant to be used forever, but can actually help you get strong enough to cast it aside. Hooray for crutches!
If a pop-up translator helps you participate in conversations you couldn't otherwise and motivate you to keep going rather than giving up on characters I say go for it!
I've found it is far too easy to slip in to the habit of just using the popup translator (or worse Google Translate) to read the comments without giving much thought to the Chinese. The answer may lie in more disciplined use of the crutch. Might give it another go, thanks.