User Comments - ancalagon

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Posted on: Defining a Dashboard and Upcoming Lessons!
April 18, 2010, 12:23 PM

I don't want to be 'one of those guys' -- I really don't. But for me this latest change is a serious regression. The 'home' page of a week ago was simple, efficient and attractive. The 'dashboard' takes a step back in each category. I'm sure it's improved something or other, but hell if I can figure out what that something might be.

A modest proposal: Have five tabs at the top of the page (instead of the current four) -- both a 'home tab' (taking users to the simplistic home page of old) and a 'dashboard tab'.

Really this smacks of change for the sake of change. And that is ALWAYS a bad move.



Posted on: The last news and features of 2009!
December 30, 2009, 01:48 PM

Thank you guys so much for clearing things up. Apologies if I was unnecessarily gruff in my previous post. 继续努力!新年快乐!

Posted on: The last news and features of 2009!
December 30, 2009, 04:06 AM


I say this with the utmost respect for you guys and your product: a truly horrendous job has been done at explaining how these vouchers work.

What you've written clashes completely with what suxiaoya wrote above. Under her description if someone buys me a 12-month premium subscription and I redeem it, my account is simply credited with the monetary value of that subscription (i.e. $239). I'm then at liberty to spend that $239 as I choose, whether on a lifetime supply of basic, a month of Executive, etc. In this way the 'type' of voucher is really just for show; it's the monetary value that matters.

But the way you just explained it once a voucher is redeemed your account automatically switches to whatever you've just redeemed. In this way, rather than being flexible, the vouchers (of a specific type) are completely inflexible. Indeed, by the way you've described it, if I'm an Executive subscriber and someone buys me a Basic gift voucher which I then redeem, my Executive subscription becomes monetized and I'm thrown into a Basic subscription.

Someone needs to take an hour or two and write up exactly how these things work with a good deal more precision and clarity than has heretofore been displayed. I had intended to make a voucher purchase but cannot now countenance doing so with so much murkiness as to how they work.



Posted on: The last news and features of 2009!
December 27, 2009, 11:10 AM


Thanks for the reply. Perhaps I'm not understanding your description of the process clearly, but are you saying that the addition of a received gift voucher to an account simply credits the account with however much money was on the voucher? In other words, if I buy someone, say, a 6 month Premium voucher, will their account be flagged for (a) a 6 month Premium voucher; or (b) the monetary value of a 6 month Premium value? The latter would obviously be ideal as it would give the recipient a great deal of added flexibility. Perhaps he decides he doesn't have the time to make full use of a premium subscription; he could parley the value of that 6 month Premium into a 12 month Basic, which would give him more bang for the buck.

Posted on: The last news and features of 2009!
December 27, 2009, 02:42 AM

A question: Is it possible to buy an e-voucher for a one-month Executive subscription?


Also, if one is given, say, a 12 month Premium e-voucher, but already has an active subscription of another time, can said one choose to sit on his voucher until the current subscription lapses and then use it?

Posted on: 次,遍,趟: Measuring Times
December 06, 2009, 01:18 PM

Xiaohu, you've made your point, you don't need to defend it against all assailants like some kind of Internet White Knight. Frankly you're coming across very much like the over-protective parent who demands something like Harry Potter be banned from her child's school lest his mind be poisoned with thoughts of dragons and magic.

The interplay between the three hosts was just as its been since Pete left. Love it or hate it, there was nothing different here. John and Lili acting flirty to each other. Having Connie translate sentences -- some few of which are silly, and some few of those (in this case just one of those) are a tad bit risque.

I promise you there are cases out there you'd be far better off pressing than this one. 真的是小题大做的。

Posted on: Executive Plan, Newbie Changes, and More
November 15, 2009, 11:59 AM

I signed up for the Executive free trial knowing that, while there was no way I could afford it at the time (working in China on a Chinese salary has its downsides), it was something I'd seriously consider down the road.

I'd just like to take the opportunity to sing the praises of both the program and, specifically, Helen. I came away from my ten-minute session feeling that if I did this everyday my Chinese would improve by leaps and bounds. As I mentioned earlier, I live and work in China -- but I have a very shy disposition which precludes me from engaging strangers in conversation at random. As such, I can go days at a time without really engaging in anything resembling a real Chinese conversation. The Executive calls allow one to have conversations that are both relaxed and informal (I really felt at ease talking with Helen), and yet pointed and edifying.

So again, thanks for offering this free trial. While there was nothing that could have been done to win in me a present customer, I think you guys won a future one.



Posted on: Nothing More Than Only and Just
October 17, 2009, 04:51 AM


I couldn't disagree more. While this lesson certainly has something to offer to those just starting to learn Chinese, I can tell you that I derived great benefit from it as an intermediate learner. While, certainly, I knew 只 and 就 before this lesson, I never knew precisely when to use one or the other. Learning that 只 must precede a verb is a big deal for me, and I'm grateful for having been taught it. Moreover I was scant aware of the existence of 光 -- at least, not by itself and with this particular meaning. Perhaps the above calls into question my 'intermediate' bonafides, but I think not. Again, great lesson guys.


A question while I have you on the proverbial line: In casual conversation I find myself almost always using 就 over 只 to convey 'only'. I think this is mostly because the jiu4 sound flows so much better than zhi3. My question then: Since 只 is subject to the 'must precede a verb' limitation whereas 就 is not, is there any situation in which you CANNOT just substitute 就 for 只? I realize of course there are situations in which 只 is going to sound more 地道, but any actual cases in which you absolutely positively cannot substitute?

Posted on: Nothing More Than Only and Just
October 17, 2009, 03:11 AM

Just want to commend John, Connie, and Lilianna. This is as good as, if not better than, Qing Wen has ever been. Please keep up the great work! 佩服!佩服!


Posted on: The Magic Word 把
April 18, 2009, 02:16 PM

Just want to commend you guys (Jenny, Connie, and Pete) for really taking Qing Wen to another level. The past few weeks have been SUCH a marked improvement.