trevelyan on September 18, 2014 (0) | reply

Are you using an iOS device that doesn't support the flash player? If that's the case, you won't be able to play the shows through the site, but you can still get them. Just grab the most recent 200 shows or so from the iTunes podcast directory:

trevelyan on September 18, 2014 (0) | reply

We used to have a calendar where people could bookmark lessons for "publication" into their account individually. And I can look at adding it back (the functionality is still there) but it was not very widely used and I would be surprised if even one in a hundred people even knew that it existed....

What happens now is that we add all of our lessons to people's accounts by default, scheduled by their original date of publication. Lessons get tagged as "studied" as people use them so there is some way of sorting the material people have looked at from the archive of stuff they haven't seen yet. If this is what you need, try clicking on the "banner" link at the top of the lesson archive page. It will show you a list of all lessons in your account, with simple tags (studied/unstudied/all) you can use to navigate through materials you have and have not seen.

Are there better ways of doing things? We're very open to suggestions. One of the big usability problems is actually making it obvious how things work. We've had more complicated setups, but they've always involved putting a lot more explanatory text on the site that no-one reads. When we added a more limited set of lessons to accounts on account creation and required people to manually add levels and shows, we would start getting emails with questions about where all the lessons were, for instance.

As far as the question of implicit structure goes, we are putting together a more structured set of lessons for people who know absolutely nothing -- i.e. "your first ten lessons" somewhat along the lines of the intro series we have for Cantonese. The pedagogical problem with making other lessons hierarchical is that the more anyone knows, the less a one-size-fits-all course makes sense. This is why we bias towards rough levels with 10-minute lessons that people can push through at their own pace and skip if they find them too easy. Suggestions on features and things we can do to improve the site are always useful though, and -- as promised -- we are always happy to refund anyone who isn't happy with the way things work for them.

trevelyan on September 4, 2014 (0) | reply

You mean for indicating time? You can often avoid it in colloquial speech, but it goes at the end of the clause that indicates the period in question.

trevelyan on September 3, 2014 (0) | reply

The speaker is just answering the question -- it's proper Chinese. As far as dialogues go, normally the actors improvise around a set idea. Where things are non-native or non-standard they will either be commented on in the podcast, or pointed out in the transcript.


trevelyan on August 31, 2014 (0) | reply

That works, but the more common way at least in northern China is for wait staff to ask if you have 忌口 (ji4kou3) when they take your order. This can mean an allergy, but it can also involve dietary prohibitions, such as if you don't eat eggs or pork or anything.

If the wait staff doesn't understand the 过敏 bit you can tell them you have 忌口 and go into detail that way.... That said, I'd be careful with any restaurant that is going to handle shellfish as kitchens tend to reuse pots and pans and it is not unlikely there will be cross contamination.
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