Livemocha: @miltownkid thanks! we are happy to fix any errors. can you identify the course/unit/lesson number?
I could try to express myself in 140 characters on Twitter, but I thought this could be useful information for them and anyone following my Chinese lessons because I plan on having you use Livemocha in the future (for pronunciation practice).
The two problems I have with the speaking exercises are:
- The pinyin spacing
- No traditional Characters (although I should learn simplified 😛 )
The Pinyin Spacing
The first problem is the pinyin spacing. I’m going to use the Grocery Shopping reading as an example:
Jīn wǎn wǒ yào qù shāng diàn mǎi xiē píng guǒ hé shēng cài。Gòu wù lán tài chén le yú shì wǒ huàn chéng yī liàng gòu wù chē。Diàn yuán zhèng zài wèi gù kè chēng xiāng jiāo。 Míng tiān qǐng bāng wǒ cóng shāng diàn mǎi liǎng hé níu nǎi ba。 Wǒ bǎ yī hé jī dàn hé yī hú níu nǎi dǎ fān dào dì shàng le。 Diàn yuán bāng wǒ shōu shi gān jìng bìng bāng wǒ ná le xīn dě。
Another problem I noticed after previewing my post is that the pinyin must be in some funky encoding. I retyped it up all sexy. 🙂 (Unicode FTW!) (Note: I got a few tones wrong but it’s late and it’s for illustrative purposes only. 😉 )
Jīn wǎn wǒ yào qù shāng diàn mǎi xiě píng guǒ hé shēng cāi . Guò wù lán tài chén le yú shì wǒ huàn chéng yī liàng guò wù chē . Diàn yuán zhèng zài wèi gù kè chēng xiāng jiāo . Míng tiān qǐng bāng wǒ cóng shāng diàn mǎi liǎng hé niú nǎi ba. Wo bǎ yī hé jī dàn hé yī hú niú nǎi dǎ fān dào dì shàng le. Diàn yuán bāng wǒ shōu shi gān jìng bìng bāng wǒ ná le xīn de.
The problem with listing it like that is (in my opinion) it makes it unnecessarily harder to read. With each and every sound spaced like that your mind has to figure out where the words are. Removing the spaces makes it SO much easier to read. Like this:
Jīnwǎn wǒ yào qù shāngdiàn mǎi xiě píngguǒ hé shēngcāi . Guòwùlán tài chénle yúshì wǒ huànchéng yī liàng guòwùchē . Diànyuán zhèngzài wèi gùkè chēng xiāngjiāo . Míngtiān qǐng bāng wǒ cóng shāngdiàn mǎi liǎng hé niúnǎi ba. Wo bǎ yī hé jīdàn hé yī hú niúnǎi dǎfān dào dìshàngle. Diànyuán bāng wǒ shōushi gānjìng bìng bāng wǒ nále xīnde.
That’s WAY easier to read AND it makes it easier to look up unfamiliar words (like guowulan, I didn’t know that one!)
Why not have them? Google will the work for you. Watch. 🙂
Took me like 37.8 seconds.
Why Can’t We Make Our Own Readings?
You know what would be really sweet? If I could just make my own readings! Then it would be in the encoding that I wanted, with no spaces the way I like it and… Yeah, that would be sweet. I also didn’t see any “simple” reading for beginners. Like (again, in my opinion) there should be a reading of just the initials and finals for pinyin (or some basic combination of them). Also, there should be some readings that focus on tone practice (I think).
That’s it. 🙂 I’ll take a look at your flashcard system, but it’s going to have to be PRETTY sexy to pull me away from Anki (or anything else that uses a spaced repetition algorithm.)