You Can Learn Chinese

#5 Writing Characters: Is It Worth Your Time?

Episode Summary

Are kids books in Chinese good for us to learn Chinese? What about books with pinyin over Chinese characters? Should I spent time learning to hand write characters? And what about Stephen Colbert's Chinese pronunciation? Find the answers to all these questions in this episode! Special guest interview with Vanessa Dewey.

Episode Notes

In this episode, we talk about a number of common questions people have about reading and writing in Chinese. We challenge the conventional wisdom that kids books in Chinese are good things to read when you are learning Chinese (spoiler; they're not). You'll also learn why so many books in Chinese have pinyin over the top of the characters and how this can negatively impact our learning. We also address the question students face in our modern age: should I learn to hand write Chinese characters?

We'll talk about Stephen Colbert's Chinese pronunciation on The Late Show and John has an amazing tech tip on utilizing the text-to-speech feature native in practically all smart phones.

Guest interview is with Vanessa Dewey who moved to China because she wanted to learn Chinese. Ten years and two kids later, she shares her amusing experience towards fluency.

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Article referenced in this episode:
Pinyin over Characters: The Crippling Crutch

As always, sponsored by Mandarin Companion.