CLO User 133's blog

Lesson 044 Updated

There's been a minor update to Lesson 044. Thanks to Anthony for pointing it out to me. I had originally translated "Yǒu, yīgè érzi háiyǒu liǎnggè nǚér" (from Lesson 11) as "I have one son and one daughter" when it should in fact have been "I have a son and two daughters." This has since been updated in the audio and the word for word transcript.

As well, thanks to Andrea (yet again) for pointing out the rules for the pronunciation of yī. When it precedes a falling tone, the tone changes to yì. So all the "yīzhī" references in the transcripts have since been changed to "yìzhī." It's a very fine difference between the two if you listen to the speakers, but it's worth noting nonetheless.

Thanks again for all those who send comments as it really helps me fine tune this program for you.

Premium notes reorganized

I'm happy to say that the shift from PDF to web content is now complete.  The notes and questions that were formerly available in PDF format have now been separated into the Vocabulary and Notes links.  There have been a few questions as to why this shift was necessary so I'll address them briefly here.  As always, I welcome your comments!

  1. The main attraction to the PDF format was being able to print the notes and take them with you.  This can now be accomplished by the "Print this Page" link at the bottom of every page.
  2. The PDF notes were regarded as being too "busy" since they included Simplified and Traditional Characters.  However, research from you the users has indicated that most of you are either interested in on or the other (or neither!) as far as Chinese characters go, so this content has now been separated in the Vocabulary section into Pinyin, Simplified and Traditional versions.
  3. Since these notes were meant to help you review the material, I am now making extensive use of the "Mouse-over" feature to allow you to test your retention before moving the mouse pointer over the words to reveal the answer.

It's very important for me that as I move forward, I don't take any steps back, so if there's something I'm missing here, please let me know.  As well, since this site now contains well over 350 pages of content that were mostly individually typed, please let me know if you spot any typos or mistakes.

The video links have been moved into the Vocabulary sections of each lesson (where applicable) to allow you to follow along with the transcript while watching the video.

If you have any other suggestions on what I can do to improve your learning experience, please continue to send in your comments and feedback as it's been extremely useful so far.

There are more goodies planned for December so stay tuned to this blog for all the latest site developments.

Test your Pronunciation tool

I've added a "Test your Pronunciation" box to the Tone and Pinyin Practices 2 to 4.  You can record yourself reading the text, then compare your pronunciation with the speakers.  Please test it out for me and let me know if you find it useful.  If so, I can add it next to the Review audio summaries for all lessons.

Lessons 3 to 22 Pinyin notes updated

I am constantly reevaluating the teaching style being used in the course and what best meets the needs of our listeners.  Many of the techniques I am employing here are different from that used in other courses.  However at some point, some consistency has to be used to make it easier for people to combine this course with other forms of study they may have.

When a new word is introduced, I try to break down the parts and the meaning to help you understand and remember it.  To go along with this, when I first started creating Pinyin notes, I purposely separated each character to make it easier to distinguish the separate tones that created each word.  However, this style differs from standard Pinyin which combines characters to create words with multiple syllables just like in English.  I have since been convinced from feedback that it is better to stick with the standards used in other courses, so I've updated the dialogue transcripts from Lessons 3 to 22 by rearranging the Pinyin into words that are easier to read.  The lessons after that have already been doing this, so hopefully this keeps things more consistent.

On a similar note, there are many instances where when characters are combined, their tones change.  Many second syllables often adopt a neutral tone in daily usage.  However, I have been keeping their original tone marks to help you understand the breakdown of each word.  Here too though, I have since been convinced by listeners (Thanks Andrea!) that it is better to keep the style employed by others and mark neutral tones as being such if that's how they are generally pronounced.  I won't change earlier transcripts for this part, but will try and employ this new style from hereon.

None of this should matter if you follow our recommendation of listening to the speakers and repeating after them exactly as they do.  The transcripts, Pinyin, tone marks etc. should supplement this method of learning and not replace it.

I hope you can see that your comments are very valuable to me, so keep them coming.

Lessons 21 to 30 Complete transcripts converted

Phew! I'm proud to say that we have finally completed the conversion of all our PDF Complete word for word transcripts from PDF format to the new "interactive" web version. It was a painstaking process but well worth it. We will now change our focus towards converting the Premium lesson notes from Lessons 5 to 30 to this new format as well. Hopefully that process will be smoother (and quicker!).

We are constantly on the lookout for new ideas to improve your user experience, so if you have any, don't hesitate to let us know. Most of the tools on this site have come from your suggestions so don't stop! There is a long "to do" list that we are working on right now. While the new Course schedule shows us taking a break during the holiday season, we will be using that time to catch up on updating some of the existing resources and coming up with new ones. As always, stay tuned to this blog to find out what's new and exciting here at

Podcast Updates

From now on, the latest Podcast update will continue to be released among the Podcast lessons in the General site.  However, since most of them refer to features and promotions that are later discontinued, they will subsequently be removed from the General site and archived here.

Lesson 26 updated

The audio for Lesson 26 was updated with a very small change.  In the original lesson, we said that zhù had a meaning of "to rent" or "to stay."  However the former definition is incorrect so that reference was removed.  The word for word transcript was also updated to reflect this change.

Course Schedule

We've created a calendar for Level 1 (Lessons 1 to 60) and the start of Level 2 (Lessons 60+). You may view it here. Note that there will be some time off during the holiday break as well as between Levels 1 and 2. Use this time to catch up on your review, or take some time off from learning Chinese. :-) If any changes are made to this schedule they will be posted in this blog.

Course Schedule

Complete Transcripts 13-20 updated

The Complete word for word transcripts for Lessons 13 to 20 have been updated from PDF to interactive format.  "Interactive" is the new buzzword we're using for the online versions that allow you to mouseover Chinese words to get their English meanings.  There are 10 lessons left (21 to 30) to convert to this format.  We'll then move to converting all the Premium Lesson notes.  Phew!

If you notice any glitches along the way (typos, outdated links etc.) please let us know!  Thanks.

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