Learning new words is useless if you do not use them. One way to use them is to be a premium member at Chinesepod and get access to the really very useful vocabulary. If you are not a premium member I recommend you become one! That is very helpful. Another way is to form your own study group. Since it in many cases is hard to get hold of live Chinese people that can help you drill I recommend to use any chat program. When i started to study I summoned some friends to join me in a chat and there we practiced our Chinese. The best is to find people on the same level as you are. Newbie, elementary etc. By writing the sentences you practice your Chinese and get feedback from the others. By drilling this over and over you will for sure be better in constructing sentences. Practice makes perfectionJ If you are more advanced and also like to practice your oral Chinese you just use a voice chat forum. Many Chinese like to use QQ from Tencent. There are around 250 million accounts on QQ so you probably find some Chinese there to speak with;-) A lot of Chinese like to exchange Chinese practice for some English practice so this is a good exchange.
So, if you feel like expanding your Chinese skills, summon your friend in a game or chat and start writing Chinese messages. I especially like to play games and use the chat functions doing that and write in Chinese. Having fun and learn at the same time, isn’t that a dreamJ. In my early days I actually did play a Chinese version of warcraft3 with other students. Amazing how much Chinese you can pick up that way. Since the characters in the game also speaks Chinese it adds an extra dimension. Today you can also use voice functions so you can also speak.
Another way to test your Chinese is to use the build in functions in Windows for voice control. It supports Chinese. There are freeware on the net to use. You can then open e.g. word and speak directly in your mic and see what Chinese characters get typed in your document. I must admit that right now the quality of those features are not good enough to hold and academic level but still they are good.
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