Add Word Function
I have two ideas I want to discuss in this post. First is the "Add Word" function in the Vocabulary part of the website. I think when you click this button, the "Convert Tone Marks" should be in that window that pops up for when you are writing the pinyin.
The second is the ability for users to make their own lesson sets and share them with other people (to be honest, I don't know if you can already do this or not).
SF_RachelAugust 13, 2012, 10:26 PM
darkstar94 -- I also would be very happy to see a "Convert Tone Marks" option when manually adding vocab, thanks for bringing it up. Since I have always transferred all my vocab to an external SRS system which fairly automatically converts tone marks, it's only a minor annoyance to me, but if I used the CPod flashcarding function it would drive me pretty bonkers.
On the topic of user-generated lesson sets, there actually used to be such a function, though it the functionality seemed a bit spotty. I know that when I first transitioned to Intermediate from Elementary I used a lesson set someone else had created of "Easies" -- entry-level Intermediate lessons -- there were very helpful.
Maybe that functionality was taken away when ChinesePod introduced courses, either because it doesn't seem like people were using the function, or because it ran the risk of cannibalizing the courses or even competing with the classes.
On a related note, just yesterday I discovered a function where users can actually create vocabulary decks to share with other users. I personally can't imagine a scenario yet where I would use it, but it is intriguing. Maybe in BST or Media lessons, where users often will post their own suggested supplementary vocab in the comments. Although again, the value of that is minimized if the vocab doesn't include tone marks.
To add tone marks I do it really painstakingly, I use the "Convert Tone Marks" function when you write comments so I have to copy and paste. I'm surprised not many people use the CPod vocab function, I find it quite good, but that's maybe because I haven't tried anything else.
The only real downside with the ChinesePod flashcards is the lack of SRS. It's not a complaint -- I just love SRS to the point that for me there's little point in flashcarding without it. But I do really appreciate CPod enabling me to add words manually to my personal vocab list -- I put words I acquire from other sources into my workflow starting with ChinesePod. As you said, it is a great way to centralize and organize.
SRS is short for "spaced repetition system" The basis of Anki, Skritter, Pleco, and other software. It means a variable schedule for reviewing items that adapts to the users previous learning success. I have also been surprised that CPod has never attempted even a rudimentary SRS for its flashcards, but maybe it is a much bigger programming challenge than I can appreciate. Credit to CPod for making it possible to export vocabulary to Pleco.
darkstar94 -- what podster said! :-)
If it weren't for SRS, then I would probably prefer to do my flashcarding with actual paper index cards. I find handwriting the cards out would have a non-trivial learning value itself.
I still, quite sentimenally, have my two shoeboxes full of cards from when I was studying German several years ago.
Totally agree with podster about being grateful for CPod supporting export in such a variety of formats, and the option to export by tag rather than the whole list.
rootAugust 13, 2012, 11:03 PM
I second (third?) this motion! Many a vocab section is missing words I thought were key from listening to the lesson... Although I don't actually use the vocab on the site for review, it would be help to organize it when I transfer it to other apps.
Yeah I sometimes have that problem, so if I discover a word that isn't in the supplementary part, then I use the glossary and fine that word and click and save. I think they tend to miss out words in the high level classes cause I guess they assume you would already know them.
rootAugust 19, 2012, 10:15 AM
Heh, instead of convert tone marks I think we can just have the auto pinyin generation, no? I think for most words there should be a simple dictionary to generate standard pronunciation...
Yeah that would be good, except for words that aren't in the dictionary and have 多音字 in the word or something. I really just want something that saves me from copy and pasting. Inputing the tones yourself is a good way to remember anyway I guess.
True, for dual pronunciation words we should be able to change the auto-generated pinyin. Something like the pinyin field should be filled out automatically as soon as focus leaves the Hanzi field, but then allow you to change the pinyin as much as you want. But I imagine this would happen 1-2% of the time, saving you a lot a lot of typing and copy/pasting...
Regarding typing pinyin, it is very very helpful, and should be a standard part of everyday review (at least for my level), just typing it once is not enough i find...