It would be great if my page could gain some traction because I’m sure that other Mandarin learners have an abundance of resources that they could share with me and everyone else. Though I can’t comment as to how, there is no doubt that technological improvements the last several decades have changed language learning processes. I doubt that revolutionized would be the right word, but changed definitely. Here are some of the purely technological things that you may want to check out (I use Chrome).
First off, get a good pinyin input. It will make you more willing to type in Chinese. There’s been a few times that I’ve watched friends use the input inherent to Windows. Friends shouldn’t let friends do that. Google’s Pinyin Input is my choice, Sogou worked well when I used that before as well. Pinyin Joe is my go to site whenever I have any questions about inputs.
There are also several Chrome Extensions that I know of, please share any that you know of with me as well.
A good text annotator will be very helpful if you are trying to read authentic texts or those slightly above your level. Check out the PeraPera annotator extension or the Zhongwen annotator extension for this.
Simplified and Traditional Characters
There are also good resources for those wishing to go from Simplified to Traditional or vice versa. The New Tong Wen Tang extension will instantaneously convert characters between the two.
For learning to read Traditional Characters I recommend using these flashcards or some sort of spaced repetition software like Anki to drill yourself on the “new” characters. But they aren’t really new. My number one advice for learning traditional characters is to just read whatever you can in simplified. You will recognize and remember many of the traditional characters simply by collocation with other characters that you know. Find the right balance for you and go with it. Writing is another story altogether.
Youku has an abundance of material that you can search for and use, but that may not be available in the US. Download the Unblock Youku extension to unlock these (as well as certain NFL games on PPTV that CBS may be too lame to show. Some games also have Chinese commentary, and you can avoid Phil Simms and Joe Buck while still enjoying the game)
What are your favorites? Please let me know…