CLO User 133's blog

Update from Taiwan

There seems to be some problem listening and / or downloading podcasts at this point. I am in touch with my host to fix the problem ASAP.  (UPDATE: Problem fixed!)
Today's lesson (#109 for those of you keeping track), is the first recorded in Taiwan. You'll notice all kinds of different speakers in the next batch of lessons. Many of you have asked what the difference is between the Mandarin spoken in Taiwan versus that spoken in Mainland China. While the basics are the same, there is a distinctive Taiwanese "accent." I personally prefer this style for teaching since they tend to enunciate and emphasize the tones a lot more than their Mainland counterparts. The result is a more musical sound. In these early stages of learning, it's important to emphasize the differences in tones more to get the hang of it, so expect to hear more of the same over the next little while.

As always, your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

Pong Audio Forum

I apologize for the site being down the last several hours. Turns out the website had been hacked into which caused some problems. Hopefully everything is resolved now and perhaps this post will make amends by introducing a potentially very exciting addition to the ChineseLearnOnline service.
This service is currently in beta.  It's a regular forum with a twist.

1. It allows you to record audio messages using your computer microphone directly into your messages.

2. There is a tool to allow you to enter Pinyin tone marks into your text.

The idea here is for you to leave messages to each other (in Chinese of course) and perhaps even leave transcripts of what you're saying. I'm hoping this will give people a good chance to show off what Chinese they have learned to others, while getting a chance to know other listeners in the process.

You can try it out by going to the following website:

For now, click on the guest account which allows you to view, listen and post. Once the first round of testing is complete, I will be adding registration facilities.

Known Issues:

The website above launches a Java applet which requires the latest version of Java to be installed on your computer. I don't have enough test results from Mac platforms yet however on the PC side I have heard cases where Firefox seems to run it fine whereas Internet Explorer required the latest Java software to be installed. If you are in the latter case, you may need to download the the latest Java Environment from here:

I have also heard cases of users who were inside a firewalled network not being able to access this site so I apologize in advance if you're not able to access this site.

I appreciate any feedback you can provide me regarding what you think of this service. My initial idea is for this to be a place for listeners to share ideas and learning experiences with each other while of course being able to practice what you have learned. I will later be looking for users interested in helping moderate the service.


Vocabulary summary page

Greetings from hot and muggy Taiwan!

I've been in contact with some of you in recent while and I always find it fascinating to hear about your individual approaches to study and how you use the material provided in the Premium section, as well as what I can do to improve the presentation for your individual applications. As mentioned in the last podcast update, I'm now working on creating more resources that can be used offline. One approach is to go the PDF route, which I still plan to do.

In the meantime though I've created a couple of pages that you may find interesting. They provide a listing of all the dialogue lines in various formats. The formatting has intentionally been reduced to a minimum to allow easy cut and pasting. Please let me know what you think of this format and whether it is something you find useful or not. If you have suggestions for other ways it can be presented that would help you out, do let me know as well.

These pages show content for all lessons if you are logged in, or lessons 1 to 4 if you aren't.

Pinyin only

Simplified only

Traditional only

Simplified, Pinyin plus English translation

Traditional, Pinyin plus English translation

Music section Update

I'm proud to inform you that (what was formerly) the Music page has now graduated into the Music blog. This means that rather than me posting here anytime there is a new song, you can now subscribe to the music feed. To celebrate, I've added a new song that ties into my course quite well.

Flashcards updated

The Flashcards are now up to date to lesson 100.  My favorite modes are English and Audio since you can't cheat on those. ;-)

Tone and Pinyin Practice Updated

The Tone and Pinyin practice page has undergone a makeover to make it sleeker and easier to use. All the translations are now up to date. I've also added three new items - The Old Man, The Monk and City Gate.  Enjoy!

Adam's Asia schedule

I will be traveling through different parts of Asia in the next month. I would love to meet any listeners in the area for a cup of coffee. Please contact me if interested.

Taiwan (Various parts): May 29-June 24, July 2-5
Hong Kong: Monday, June 25
Bangkok, Thailand: Tuesday, June 26 - Friday, June 29
Singapore: Friday, July 6

The Pig Song

Here's a song for you pig lovers out there. It's by a singer called Xiang Xiang who is famous for her "funny" and "off beat" tracks. Enjoy!

Simplified Traditional

New song

I've added a new song "Black matches White" by Fan Wei Qi to the newly renovated music page. The singer wrote this song for her boyfriend. She considers herself very pale and so represents the "white" while her boyfriend being quite tanned (apparently his nickname in real life is "black man") represents the "black" side. So in her song she states that "black matches white" just like in their relationship and to not mind what others say.

This reminded me of my own personal experience living in Taiwan. Being of Indian origin myself, I am considered "brown" in North America but in Taiwan they have no word for brown skinned people so I'm considered "black" there. I suppose this song could apply to me and my relationship with a Taiwanese girl.

Simplified Traditional

Site access problems

I apologize for any site access problems you may be having in the last day or so. They are being investigated and I hope they can be resolved shortly.

UPDATE: Looks like everything should be back to normal now. (Yay!)

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