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Speed of Elementary Lessons


I have a suggestion for the Elementary (and possibly Newbie) lessons.

I know most of the words, but when I hear a new lesson on my phone, the speakers talk so fast that it all just runs together in my head. I was thinking that since you repeat the dialogue three times, could you make the first time a little slower than the second or third time? That way I could pick out some of the words and try to understand it, and then I could still hear it at the quicker pace on the repetitions.


Thanks for your feedback. Many users like hearing Chinese spoken at a natural speed (although it is already spoken at a slower rate to help learning). However, we already provide sentence by sentence Chinese spoken by a native, so if you really want to drill that sentence, we recommend you try that.

Alternatively, you can listen to ChinesePod with your RSS feed and slow the entire show to 0.5x. We will look at adding this feature in our new apps also.


Aside from what’s already been suggested, the new Elementary video lessons have a new feature where you can watch the video at 0.5x speed. You’ll have to use the website to get this feature, but I thought you might find it useful.

You can test it here:


This is very unprofessional. The dialogue, they speak so fast that it´s impossible to follow for elementary level. It is for native chinese.


Sorry for being so forward, but dare I say that wanting a slower speed is perhaps a sign of laziness. And here’s why…

We have the pinyin guide; so pronunciation can be learned. We have the lesson; so the sentences are presented in a clear and slow way. We have the written dialogue; so we can read, and re-read it. There are all the others tools cpod gives us as well. To higher or lesser degrees, they all require some form of work and mental power. The audio dialogue is no different.

Every new dialogue we hear should be intelligible, at least in part. That’s what learning new language is. Using the tools cpod provides and using them up to a point where we can understand and repeat the dialogue at natural speed, is not always easy, but is real language learning.

Other courses offer slow dialogue. They may be easier, but progress is painfully slow and they are completely impractical for real world use.

Natural speed dialogue may not be the easiest to initially understand and master, but is the most useful and best way of learning.