Saturday, April 08, 2006

Using Chinese Podcasts

Up until now I’ve mostly used the ChinesePod podcasts as background noise while I was doing other stuff on the computer. I only really half listened to them and so didn’t get all that much out of them.

However my situation at work has temporarily changed so that at least two days a week I now have a half hour drive to where I’m working and a half hour drive home again. A perfect opportunity to properly listen to the podcasts. I don’t actually own an MP3 player so I have burned the first five podcasts onto a CD so I can listen to them in the car. I’m not sure how much I will get out of doing this. I still think flash cards are by far the best way of learning Chinese, however I do think that it is important that I hear as much Chinese spoken correctly as possible. I find that the more I hear a word or phrase spoken the more it gets burned into my brain and the easier it is to speak (without concentrating) using the correct tone. Of course this only works if I understand what is being said. I have seen advice here and there on the internet telling people to listen to as much spoken Chinese as possible even if they don’t understand a word of it. The idea seems to be to get used to hearing the sound of the language, however I personally think this is a complete wast of time that could be spent better memorising a few new words.

I’m not really sure what is the best way to go about this, so initially I’m going to listen to each podcast completely three times and then move onto the next one. The only reason I have for doing it this way is that I read somewhere ( I can’t remember where ) that someone else did it this way, and it is as good a plan as any. So far I am up to podcast number two.

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