Basic Mandarin with Pinyin & Audio [Course Forum}

(JHLewis) #1

Hey folks,

This is the Course Forum for

Please list any corrections, suggestions for new levels, and other comments here

Course Background: I’m a fellow Mandarin learner, and am using this course as part of my studies- so it is geared towards entry level Mandarin speakers. Being a traveler and teacher I decided to create this course to help others who are trying to learn enough Mandarin to get by in their first few weeks of travel (since I noticed there aren’t too many good courses out there for beginners looking to build a foundation). I include Traditional and Simplified characters so people wanting to become familiar with either type can start absorbing, but this course is designed primarily for those who’s short term goal is speaking.

I am looking for someone who is interested in contributing to this course- especially audio samples.

Feel free to reach out to me here and I will do my best to reply.


-J Harvey

(Rainbow Meow Face) #3

Hi, I like the course. The only thing I would suggest is running the audio files through a prog to get them all to similar decibel levels. :slight_smile: (Currently some are very quiet while some are loud. :P) I know mp3gain can be used for mp3’s but not sure what works for the type of file memrise takes. :slight_smile:

(JHLewis) #4

Thanks, and agreed about the volume levels. I wish I had time to make all those adjustments, but I really only have time to add new levels at this point. I could add you as a contributor if you are interested in helping make some of those changes though…

(Rainbow Meow Face) #5

I have zero experience creating memrise stuff (I’ve not actually even used memrise for studying even much till recently.) If I had access to the files (if they’re mp3’s?) I could batch normalize the volumes in mp3gain, but someone a bit less derp than me would have to do the swapping the files in for the course. (I’m fairly certain I’d break everything. :stuck_out_tongue: (And I also don’t really have the time. D:))
Though at that point really that’s only like 5mins of having mp3gain process things and it’d take you longer to send them than it would to mp3gain them. :stuck_out_tongue:
I’ll stick this link here in case someone non-derp enough to do the actual changes wants to tackle it. Since the mp3gain part is the so-easy-a-derp-can-do-it part. >_< :stuck_out_tongue: <-mp3gain youtube guide from sourceforge.

(JHLewis) #6

I totally understand. So far I haven’t found a way to add batches of words with audio, so Ive been doing everything one by one. Most of the files only exist on memrise, and not on my computer since much of it has been developed with native speakers using the the audio record feature built into memrise

Anyway, if you’d like to help, that would be very cool, but if you don’t want to risk breaking it I totally understand.

Or… if you want to just make a list of the words you find where audio is the worst… clickings, and very high or low volume, I will eventually get to it… Ive been developing an app for the past few years and finally about to launch, so my time is very limited, but I’m still committed to building this course so I can speak the language, and help others trying to do so for free.



(Rainbow Meow Face) #7

One thing I did notice earlier, and just double-checked with my bf (comes from a Mandarin speaking family):
The sound files for " búxiè 不謝 / 不谢 " and " búshì 不 是 " seem to be uploaded the wrong way around (i.e. when given a sound test for búshì 不 是 the soundfile is actually the búxiè 不謝 / 不谢 one, and vice versa.)

(Rainbow Meow Face) #8

Just found an error in how it’s processing the answer for one of the “click the segments” tests (not sure what the actual term is for it. (I’m on phone version when this occurs.)

It gives you two different options to select for the space/blank i.e _ however it seems to want you to select a very specific one of those, as it ended up marking me incorrect with the one I chose, then proceeded to show me the exact same thing as the “correct” answer.

Entry is: dào __ zěnme zǒu 到_怎麼走 / 到_怎么走 How do I get to __? (lit. Arrive (place) how walk?

(Rainbow Meow Face) #9

Is meee again.
Was just checking the lists for the rest of the lessons and spotted a few things that may need correcting.
(Obviously if you’re currently living there and have live people advising you, then my info may be outdated due to bf’s family no longer being there the past few decades.)

Level 14:
" tā 他 she / he / other person (note: the word “it” is pronounced the same, but has a different character = 它"
" tāmen 它们 they"
Technically there is another tā specific to females which is 她, so there is 他們 & 她們 the “they” listed in the lesson would not be for people.
他 is (from yabla and pleco:
“he or him.
(used for either sex when the sex is unknown or unimportant),
(used before sb’s name for emphasis),
(used as a meaningless mock object)”

“wǒ yào chī 我要吃 I need to eat”
As far as I know from my study materials and bf, yào would be “want” in this statement rather than need (I had him look at it too and he concurs.)

飯 fàn is: food, cuisine, cooked rice, meal

Minor one, I know you normally use traditional chars or both, but the entry for “buy” mǎi is using only simplified 买 (trad is 買).

少 shǎo also means “few”. (on the duo shao type questions I try to think of it as “how few” cause that makes more sense to me. :stuck_out_tongue: Not sure what a Mandarin teacher would say though. I’m just a noob with some books+apps+a bf lol.)

Level 15:

“măi 買 / 卖 to sell”
pinyin for sell is actually mài, and traditional char is 賣 (the one on there is actually the trad for buy.) I hope that sell one displays ok for you, it’s very squished on this post, but if you stick it in yabla etc you’ll see it. :slight_smile:

This one I’m not certain on, but I don’t think “zhī 知 to know” gets used by itself. Bf said not as far as he knows. " 知道 zhī dào " is the “know” I have so far involving zhī.

(This is just stuff I noticed, I don’t know -everything- on some of the later ones, as different teaching methods use vastly different orders so some I learned a word early on in didn’t touch the word till way later and vice versa.)

(Rainbow Meow Face) #10

Me again, found more issues.

In level 9 and 15, the wrong accent is being used to represent the dipping tone.
some examples being:
yŏu is there instead of yǒu
jiŭ instead of jiǔ
mĭ instead of mǐ

At first I thought perhaps it wouldn’t matter in practice for the sessions, but very quickly I encountered it wanting me to tell it “wine” and I had the option of jiǔ and selected that, but of course it wanted the incorrect accent of jiŭ. So the level isn’t workable without remembering it wants the wrong accent version of it. Obviously it will also create issues in general reviews that pull from all levels either way. (I’m guessing someone else made that level?)

(JHLewis) #11

i fixed this kind of issue on most of the early levels to the extent I could… but this one instance is actually memrise messing up. its marking you wrong for choosing the wrong space most likely even though there is no way to differentiate the spaces adn both should be marked correct. memrise is really slow on fixing these course specific bugs. I can try remaking the question at some point and seeing if it makes any difference…

(JHLewis) #12

good find… those are newer levels that havent had as much editing attention. I will ask the native speaker who edits this to look at it… trouble is, we are working to launch an app soon and its really intense… major time crunch and money crunch all at the same time haha… i can add you as an editor if you like and give you a basic tutorial on how to edit items in a course sometime?

(JHLewis) #13

good find. Actually those are variations found in major Chinese dictionaries… but unfortunately they cause errors here… ill fix those now.

(JHLewis) #14

ok those levels should be fixed now

(Rainbow Meow Face) #15

Yay :slight_smile: I’m glad you were able to figure out which lessons I meant btw, the browser on pc numbers them one off from the android app. :open_mouth: (I only just noticed this.)

(JHLewis) #16

thanks for helping me fix this course! will be adding the sound to the second verb level next week.

(Rainbow Meow Face) #17

Poking my way through Numbers 2 now (I hate numbers, and I am using multiple apps, so once I finish numbers I ignore them in each app. :P)

Anyway, there is a missing hanzi in one of them so far:

wǔ wàn bā qiān liù bǎi jiǔ shí qī
五万八千六百九十 5,8697; (5x1,0000) + (8x1000) + (6x100) +(9x10)+7
It is obviously missing the 7’s 七. :slight_smile: Not sure if typo or issue with length or something.

Found one more:
sān bǎi sì shí­ wǔ wàn èr qiān qī bǎi bā shí jiǔ
三百四十五万二千七百十九 345,2789
It is missing the 80’s 8 hanzi.

(JHLewis) #18

issue fixed!