技术 Technology

Another great web site to help learn a language

by 卡梅尔 on January 31, 2012

Sadly, it’s not working at the moment 🙁 If it was, I wouldn’t be writing this blog! But I trust it will come good.
I’m not good at thinking up mnemonics or hooks that help me remember characters and words. It has taken me many years to learn a lot of characters, but I have a long way to go. I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life learning so intensely as I have been doing. My research has shown me that some people, quite ordinary people, can learn way faster than I can! How, I asked myself is that possible. Mnemonics is the answer … and other hooks. That is, a hook that links something quite new to something that you know already. Well that’s all good and well to know, but how do you think up these hooks? I have been able to think of only a few, enough to know that’s the answer to learning a lot of stuff, but not enough to be any real use for me. The other day, out of pure frustration, I searched the internet (yet again, I do this often, especially for exactly this question) and this time I found it. A site where a community of learners have contributed their own hooks for remembering Chinese characters (and more!) This site calls these mnemonics and hooks “mems” and it is called memrise.com

Memrise.com is a wiki and is growing all the time. Needless to say it already has enough for me. I started on a course that taught me Survival Mandarin: menu words, place names and signs that occur in Shanghai. When I went to another course it kept my record and so the words I had learnt were already ticked off in the new course. It is a very good database in that sense. It has a scoring system too, and it gives points for getting words right, but the number of points depends on how long it is since you looked at a word. I’m not concerned about that though, I like the fact that it makes it easier to learn the characters.
I have a new goal. I want to learn 3000 characters in the next few weeks!!! I only hope the site starts working again soon 🙂

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Instant help from native Mandarin speakers!

by 卡梅尔 on October 18, 2011

A few weeks ago I posted about Lang-8. Well here’s another one. After a few weeks I am even more enthusiastic about an amazing web site to help anyone learn any language! Sounds too good to be true? But it’s not. Developed in Japan, it has similarities to face book, in that it is very social and you have lots of friends. But the whole purpose is to help each other learn. Most of my friends live in China and their native language is Mandarin. They are all learning English. We all type in sentences, stories or even essays, in the language we are learning, and people who natively speak that language correct it. So I correct their writing and they correct mine. In doing this we learn about each other, have conversations, but above all are always helping each other learn. It is a very friendly and supportive atmosphere. Just amazing.
My friends range in age from 7 years!!! to 47 and like me, unstated (older). Most of them are about 20 and attending university.
Apparently the largest group on the site is the Japanese and English language group. The native language of one of my friends is Urdu! His must be the smallest group. He lives in Pakistan and unfortunately for him, so far, no English speaking person learning Urdu has registered on the site. He is a good man, and it is very interesting to read his stories.
It is not necessary to reveal any details about yourself, you can be completely anonymous, but most people are quite open.
The site is designed like a diary. Entries are written in a journal, and each entry has 4 options as to who can see it. It can be viewed by anyone on the whole internet, only by people on Lang-8, only by friends, or kept private.
There is a way of giving up to 5 stars to people who correct your work and you can give thanks points for comments too.
You can always see how many entries people have made, how many corrections they’ve made, and it’s easy to see their public profile and send them messages.
To use the site costs nothing, but I can remember the advertising being a bit much. So I opted to pay about $5 a month or $45 a year I think. Not much for the help that I get!
Of course all this means I don’t need this blog anymore! Just kidding, it really means I can change the focus of this blog. I won’t have to write up my poor Chinese and wait for a kind person to find it. I can get instant feed back at Lang-8. From now on I will put onto this blog things or methods that I use to help me to learn Mandarin.
Things like Pimsleur, Skritter, even Google translate!! and there’s more, but one at a time.

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Lang-8.com – brilliant!

by 卡梅尔 on October 2, 2011

I have found a brilliant web site to help me learn Mandarin: Lang-8.com
On this site you can get native speakers of Mandarin, and most languages, to correct your written sentences. There are a lot of Mandarin speakers who are very enthusiastic about correcting my work. In return, I spend some time correcting their work. Mostly it is very easy, but occasionally there is a very deep and meaningful essay .. the writer wonders why no-one has corrected it!
It is a fun social site where everyone has something in common: an enthusiasm for learning a foreign language.
It is free if you want to put up with the advertising, but only $5 a month if you want no adds, and to support the site maker.

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这个好了!

by 卡梅尔 on September 8, 2010

在我的新博客我会写汉字!

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你好!

by 卡梅尔 on September 6, 2010

你好, 我决定建立一个博客

我的生词
建立    jiàn lì    creation; set up; construction; build; establish

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