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Hello from the US

Actually, I’m usually in the US, but right now I’m in CHINA! I had been wanting to learn Mandarin for a long time. When I booked a cheap(ish) flight to Shanghai for vacation, I decided there was no time better to start learning! I’m only 3 months in, but I’m surprised how much I’ve been able to learn in that short time. I’ve been listening to newbie lessons during my commute. Sometimes I do the extra vocabulary and exercises. I also use another app to drill the basics and help with reading and writing. Also, I’ve had several sessions with a tutor. The conversational exchanges on ChinesePod have been a really great help as well as the cultural discussion about the conversations. After only 2 days here, I’ve been reminded of ChinesePod content several times and it helped me make sense of what was going on.

Mandarin used to seem almost impossible to learn, but now I’m very surprised with how much I’ve learned in 3 months. I’m excited to continue learning after I return home.

So far, my most used phrase is: 多小钱? and with the help of ChinesePod, I can actually understand the answer!


Hello! Even just knowing the numbers and a few basic phrases can be a great help. :slight_smile: Try making sense of characters and signs that you see a lot, it’s a great way to get you started. How long are you there for?


I’m only here for 10 days.
I’ve definitely been trying to read signs and eavesdropping. It’s pretty exciting to even understand bits and pieces!

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Welcome welcome! Are you both in the very beginning level? Did you try the 66 characters lessons? Even though the series is made for traditional characters, the beauty of the series is that a great majority of the characters taught are the same in both traditional and simplified system! You can get a feel of the difference between the two systems and not be scared off by having to decide to choose one over another.

And I saw that both have left comments in our lessons already! Thanks!!

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I just realized that I should have written 多少钱?… 少 not 小
Still learning lots! I just took the Newbie Level test on Chinese Pod again and I’ve gone from 25% to 82%, so something is working! Working with some materials I got from my tutor, I can also write close to 90 characters now.

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Great to know Mellyagain and thanks so much for sharing your progress! Allow me some questions here: do you mostly use our audio or video content? And how long it takes you to go through one of our lessons? And how often do you use the website? And how do you learn writing? Any specific program you would recommend to our other users? I generally refer students to Arch Chinese for the worksheet generating function, very practical and you can personalize the worksheets.

If you come across any questions and ideas, please do not hesitate to share with me. I’d love to hear from you!

Hi Elsha,
I prefer the audio content. I’m almost always listening while driving, so the video isn’t very useful to me. In fact, honestly, I feel like content created for video doesn’t work as well when I only listen to it.

I usually listen to a lesson a 3-4 times then move on to another one, bringing back previous ones from time to time. It kind of depends on how I liked the lesson. If it was too hard or too easy, or if I just don’t like the content, I’ll move on without repeating. There are so many to choose from, so for now, there’s no reason to stick with one that isn’t clicking for me! Sometimes I’ll do the exercises and quizzes later, if they exist. Those seem to only be on the website.

I don’t get to the website all that often. Usually, I use the Android app. That works best for me in the car.

I learn to write the characters using the textbook/workbook that my tutor uses with me. It’s a kid’s program, but that doesn’t bother me. It’s actually geared toward kids abroad who are from Chinese households. Among other things, it teaches the characters and strokes as it introduces characters. I do the exercises in the workbook, which includes the strokes, then write the characters several times in a notebook. I come back to the notebook every few days to write the more difficult ones a couple times. I also use Pleco to drill and quiz the characters from the book in reading, hearing, recalling, and writing. (The Arch Chinese materials look very good, too!) I also use the HelloChinese app to drill vocab and grammar, but not really much writing.

Hi Mellyagain,

Sorry for the late response and thanks for your sharing. Your feedback is really helpful for us to make improvements to our coming Audio Recap App. I hope you enjoy our Chinese lessons.