I was trying to teach my friend Chinese, and I found this website http://www.chinese-tools.com which has all the nifty tools to learn Chinese. I’m quite amazed actually! Here’s a brief description of the most important tools that they offer.
Learn Chinese:- Click here if you are total beginner. Here they will tell you about the phonetic way to read Chinese, as well as sound out the tones. Click on the lessons for a structured way to learn. It has the audio also, so that’s fantastic. See, the best part about this website is that they have all 3 types, meaning they have the Han yu pin yin (the phonetics), the chinese characters, and the English translations, all on the same page. I went to a few other websites, and strangely, they mostly provide han yu pin yin, supposedly because beginners would have no clue how to recognise the chinese characters anyway. But still, I feel it’s better to have the characters there, then at least you will begin to gain some familiarity, rather than not see them at all.
The Phrasebook:- Click here for a list of sentences based on various themes like Travel and Food.
The Vocabulary list:- Self explanatory…
The Chinese Annotation Tool:- The best find for me in my opinion. Type some Chinese words or sentences here and they will give you a breakdown of each individual word’s meaning as well as phonetics. It’s a godsend to me, because my problem is that I often can’t read the words, but with the phonetic help beside the words plus dictionary, I will be able to read them, as well as understand them! I can paste in stuff from the Chinese newspapers and finally understand them! I know Chinese experts out there will probably snigger at me, but coming from a non-chinese speaking family, I think I’m quite good already.
Now I just need to find a reader that will read out Chinese passages aloud to me!