A new year is upon us! Best wishes for 2016 to all you from the Nincha Team, may it be purrfect in every way for you! As we usher in a new year, we’re happy to be welcoming a new feature on Ninchanese: there are now listening stages to go with Baimei’s Speaking Mode. It’s live now, so if you want to skip the rest of this post and go try it out directly, we won’t be offended. Just go see Baimei and pick the listening mode as you start a stage!
What are these new listening stages, you ask? In this mode, your mission is to type what you hear in Chinese characters.
The new listening stages are all about listening comprehension as listening and learning to understand native Chinese speakers is a big part of being able to speak Chinese.
Listening stages have several objectives:
- to train your ear to Chinese so you know how to recognize the sounds you’re hearing;
- to improve your understanding of Chinese by learning to match meanings and sounds
- last but not least, it aims at teaching you to type what you hear in Chinese.
What? I need to write in Chinese? But I’ve never done that before!
Take a deep breath. Writing in Chinese characters is easy. Especially on a computer and even more so on Ninchanese. You’ll be using Ninchanese’s built-in Input Method Editor (IME for short) to type in Chinese. Nothing to install so it’s 100% hassle-free. Our IME looks like this:
All you’ll need to do is type what you hear, and pick the corresponding Chinese characters. We walk you through how to use it here.
Once you’ve learned how to type in Chinese; you’ll have reached a big big step in your Chinese learning: that’s right you’ll be typing IN CHINESE. It’s a great feeling, trust us!
A great alternative for those that can’t/don’t have access to our voice recognition features
Perhaps you couldn’t use our voice recognition feature because you weren’t on Chrome, were on iOS or didn’t have a good microphone? Or maybe you didn’t want to use Baimei’s speaking in Chinese mode because you were at work, or in a public place where speaking out loud was frowned upon or just feeling shy? Good news, no more just passively listening to the dialogues for you! You still can, of course, but you now have a great alternative to that: these new listening stages mode!
Nincha learners that have access to the voice recognition feature, you get the best of both worlds as both modes are open to you!
A few bonus things you’ll be working on in these new listening stages
What’s great about this new mode, if we dare say so ourselves, is that it’ll help you practice and improve in many areas of Chinese comprehension and speaking. Without even realizing it, you’ll be:
– Learning to recognize sounds in Chinese; and then learning to distinguish similar sounds (is that a j, a q, a t I’m hearing? an x, an xh, a z, a zh? Did she say ba, bao, pao?
– Learning to select the right characters in an IME based on the meaning you’re looking for and learning to distinguish similar looking characters: it is 是 or 十 I’m looking for here?
– And last but not least, learn to read sentences in Chinese and see if you made any writing mistakes: does my sentence make any sentence?
Worried you’re going to have trouble understanding?
If you’re not used to hearing much Chinese, it can feel like a bit much at first, but that’s exactly why we’ve implemented this new mode: so you can practice actively listening and understanding spoken Chinese! You’ll be surprised at how quickly your ears will start tuning in to Chinese! Soon, Chinese sounds and tones will sound perfectly normal to you thanks to these new listening stages.
Our advice to get started?
Pick a stage with Baimei you liked (or the next one coming up for you) and get started! Nothing better than seeing and doing it yourself to get rolling
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, just take your time. Feel free to backtrack to earlier stages or to start from the top and work your way back up to your current level! It’ll be great practice and a wonderful refresher. Trust us, turning what you initially thought was just a jumble of Chinese sounds into a coherent and meaningful sentence in Mandarin Chinese that you UNDERSTAND will soon be a breeze for you with these listening stages.
Ready? Go give it a try and come back to tell us what you think of these new stages!