User Comments - matthewg
Posted on: A Qing Wen to Our ListenersMarch 11, 2012, 06:44 PM
I agree that 请问 is my favorite Chinesepod podcast. The grammar-related shows fill in gaps in learning that you don't easily getnfrom the lessons. I would recommend the following topics:
1) More basic grammar shows reinforcing basic topics like complements, 离合词， and the dreaded 把。
2）Basic business dinner toasts in China.
3) Good topics or classic sayings to inlude in opening remarks of speeches or meetings with Chinese participants.
4) Chengyu and other colloquial phrases. When in China, every time that I drop a 乱七八糟 or 不得了， my hosts roar with approval.
Keep up the great work!
Posted on: Playing MahjongMarch 10, 2012, 03:40 PM
I agree that this format is terrific! I was able to comprehend much more easily when I could see Jenny and John speak (and I agree that the camera angle needs to be adjusted so that the mic doesn't block John's mouth). I also found the pop-up vocabulary word subtitles to be extremely useful during the lesson. They eliminated the stress that occurs when you miss a phrase ( which usually makes me miss the next whole sentence). They also give visual reinforcement to the real-time vocabulary learning process which greatly eases the ability to 记住. For me, perhaps the best proof of the effectiveness of the format is that I actually understand the game of Mahjong much better now. With the audio-only format, it is likely that I would have listened to the lesson a few times with little understanding of the game and little long-term retention of the terminology.
Please keep these coming!
Posted on: Four Uses of the Complement 起来 (qilai)September 25, 2011, 04:54 PM
In the "easier said than done" example, "说起来" and "做起来＂look similar to English gerunds (that is, 起来 seems to change a verb into a noun phrase). Is this the case? Can 起来 always be used this way? for instance, are the following sentences correct?
Posted on: How Did You Learn Chinese?April 10, 2011, 01:44 AM
My thoughts are (based upon my own progress and mistakes):
1) Don't neglect Hanzi (汉字）. There are so many words that have the same Pinyin pronunciation (e.g., shi4 has almost 40 Hanzi characters with over 100 definitions). Learn to read and you'll build connections (e.g., the 地 in 地方 is the same as the 地 in 地铁）。 I really regret not learning the written language as I studied the spoken language. Now that I'm doing both simultaneously, my progress is much more rapid.
2) Get the Pleco dictionary with the document reader and the handwriting plug ins!
3) Go to China and spend some time on the streets alone (with taxi drivers, hotel clerks, etc.). The locals are eager to help.
4) Write a diary. Use Google Translate and mdbg.net to help you.
5) Use the Chinesepod guided plan (the weekly phone calls push you to not slack off - even in a tough week).
6) If you can get CCTV4, watch cartoons (动画）and soap operas. They have the simplest vocabulary.
That's what's working for me.
Posted on: What's in a name?January 30, 2011, 05:18 AM
My first name is Matthew and my company gave me a really bad Chinese first name for my first business card. Over lunch with my Chinesepod tutor (Helen) in Shanghai, she suggested that I use 迈豪 （mai4hao2) for Matthew. I used it for a while and got tired of explaining my name by saying "豪迈的迈， 豪迈的豪“。 One of my co-workers suggested that I simply reverse the characters to "豪迈“ which means "Brave or Heroic". Now there is no explanation needed and many people have commented that I have a great name but I'm still not sure that it's true. I'd welcome opinions from you all.
Posted on: A Tour of the OfficeMay 04, 2010, 04:55 PM
I like the longer, easier format. Much faster paced than an Elli (no reading the dialog 3 times and word-by-word dissection). Not so much esoteric vocabulary that it makes retention difficult. More like this would be fine with me. There's always the higher-level lessons if one needs a bigger challenge.
Posted on: Defining a Dashboard and Upcoming Lessons!April 18, 2010, 04:55 PM
I just found the counseling sessions. It's not intuitive. However, if you click on Community, and then Groups, then, at the bottom of the page you will see a class with your user name that has your historical conversations with your teacher.