Why do I blog about learning Chinese online
1. Education 2.0 – Here I call it Chinese 2.0, but what I mean to do is to give you the image that Web2.0 is not just the social networks and the entertainment with videos, images etc, it is influencing every part of your life.
2. Language barrier of Chinese Internet – It is the key issue. I list the resources which might help you understand more about Chinese web. Learning Chinese is not easy, but with the aid of Internet technology, it could be something interesting.
The Nine resources for learning Chinese online
ChinesePod.com (Universe) – A Shanghai based company run by my friend Ken Carroll. We have it covered many times, and it was ranked by TIME the TOP10 Podcast 2006, definitely my favorite. Here is a comment left by one of my readers: “I am so impressed by ChinesePod and it is for me such a pleasure to find you any day, any time on my PC. Started learning Chinese after my retirement from the UN (economist in a section mainly concerned with environmental protection), have passed the first degree HSK -and, in spite of my age (just 90) feel I am making great progress with you. Many, many thanks to you all”, by Siri Kalnins.
ChineseLearnOnline.com (Universe) – Founded by Adam, a Canada-based startup which is also using Podcast for teaching Chinese. The users can learn Mandarin Chinese with its audio Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The users are able to subscribe to the lessons from any resource such as iTunes, Yahoo etc, or listen to them directly from main site. It is now also offering a Premium subscription services.
Chinese-Tools.com – This site is offering quite a range of resources for learning Chinese, including Online mandarin courses, Chinese dictionary, Chinese calligraphy studio, Chinese name translation, Chinese songs, Chinese poems, Chinese editor, Chinese annotation tool, Chinese dictionary, converters for pinyin, Unicode, traditional and simplified Chinese, tools to build Chinese websites, etc.
HelloMandarin.com – Hello! Mandarin not only offers courseware, learning materials and textbook in the student zone, but also offers Live Class by Real Teachers in Beijing through their high technical Internet classroom system. It says that their classroom system is a professional teaching system including video, audio, whiteboard, data sharing, pointer tools, pen tools for Chinese characters writing, presentation or textbook screen and the other functions for education, NOT just a general MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger or Skype and other free chat tools. Students who have broadband Internet and a headset can take Chinese class face to face, absolutely like in a traditional classroom, with real professional Chinese teachers from Beijing 24/7.
Hanyu.com.cn – sponsored by the Office of Chinese Language Council International of P.R China & EastChina Normal University (ECNU). They offer the E-Class for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced learners, and also do a so-called Hanyu WebRadio which broadcast some teaching programs such as Easy Chinese, Chinese Pop Songs and Chinese Music.
Zhongwen.com – This site is cool one particularly for the guys want to know more about Chinese characters. It contains the complete text of Amazon’s (sometimes) best-selling and (frequently) best-reviewed Chinese Characters: A Genealogy and Dictionary using a character tree system.
Miktamchinese.com – The official website of The Miktam of Chinese International Inc. A superb site recently discovered by my friend Marjolein. Her two daughters are now enrolled in a school that teaches the “Chinese Character Canon (CCC)”. The site describes the CCC as a superior teaching material for learning Chinese characters. It says that “Chinese Character Canon” is a poem composed of 4,000 characters which covers 99% of modern Chinese and covers 50 fields of knowledge, like a mini-encyclopedia. After learning this book within a short period of time(6-12month), learners will be able to master all regularly used Chinese characters while enjoying the rich cultural background and stories behind each sentence. CCC has been selected by the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese as the designated Chinese textbook for overseas Chinese.
Finally, if you want to input Chinese online, dont forget the GownFull, the online Ajax-based IME.
Which one is the best? I am afraid I have to leave this question to you since I am a Chinese native speaker. Are there only 9 online resources? Of course there are many more out there. If you happen to know any site also good at it, you are definitely welcome to mention it in a comment.