speak chinese like a native

Create Your Own "Vocabulary Picture of the Day" Post

Posted by calkins October 8, 2008 in the Group General Discussion .

Tags: chicken chimichanga, vocabulary picture of the day, create post

For anyone interested in creating vocabulary picture posts, similar to the ones I've been posting.  Here are instructions...if you have any questions about anything, please send me a PM here.

1.  Go to an old vocabulary post (click this one to use as a template) and copy the original post.

2.  Create a new post (go to the Community page here and click on Write your own post! on the right side of your browser window).

3.  Paste into the Post box.  Select the group in Add this Post to a Group drop-down menu.

4.  Insert your photo/picture at the top of the Post box.  The photo must reside on a website's server, either yours or one like Flickr, Picasso, etc.  You also need to manually fix the aspect ratio of the photo - it should not exceed 425 pixels wide.

5.  After you have selected your vocabulary, go to MDBG to get hanzi and pinyin information.  Either translate from Chinese or English in the box here at MDBG.

6.  Copy from MDBG to add the Title and Tags to your post.

7.  Paste the pinyin and hanzi into the Post box, over the existing pinyin and hanzi.  If the hanzi has traditional and simplified, include both.

8.  Add a link from the simplified hanzi to nciku.  Go to nciku here and paste the hanzi into the translation box and press Search.  This will take you to the definition page.  Copy that URL, then paste it as the link for the hanzi, back in the Post box.

9.  Go back to MDBG, where you got your original translation.  In the Simplified Chinese column, click on the hanzi.  This will take you to a page where you can get detailed info on the hanzi.  In the Char column, click on the brush icon (the gray brush).  A popup window will display the character details.  You will see an animated character displaying the stroke order - right click on that and select Copy Image Location or similar.

10.  Go back to your post.  Click on the existing animated character.  Select the Insert/Edit Image icon (the tree) - select the Image URL and paste the animated gif you just copied.  If you have multiple characters, repeat steps 9 and 10.

11.  Click on the Translation (rollover) button.  Select the Insert/Edit Link icon (the chain link).  In the Title box, type in the English translation.  Note that you may need to do this twice.  You'll know when it worked when the button turns blue and/or you rollover the button and can see the translation.

12.  For example sentences, I get them in various locations, but nciku is a good source.  So go back to the nciku page you had open before.  Select one or two of the sentences that you like.

You will often need to get the pinyin for the sentences, so you can paste the hanzi into MDBG to get it.  Or you can use a pinyin annotator like the one ZDT has.  There are others out there as well.

To get the sentence in traditional hanzi, paste it into this web tool here.

13.  If you want to add any CPod related lessons, go here and paste either your hanzi or English into the search box.  Copy and paste the text and URL into your post.

14.  Last but not least, adding vocabulary audio.  To do this, you need to first Save as Draft.  After you click Save as Draft, look for your post in the Manage Posts section to the right of your browser window.  Click on the pencil icon to the right of that Draft.  This will take you back to your post where you can now insert audio.

I get most of my audio files from here.  Search for your vocabulary and you will usually get a few audio files (men and women).  It's often difficult to find audio for more obsure vocabulary.  Anyway, copy the URL of the .wav file you want to use.

Now it gets a bit tricky.  Within your post, you'll see a little Quicktime icon in front of Female and Male.  Click on the icon in front of Female to add her voice.  Click the film strip icon.  In the General tab, paste the .wav URL into the File/URL box.  Now click on the Advanced tab.  Uncheck Auto play.  Click on Update to accept.  Repeat if you want to add a man's voice.


Once everything looks good, click the Publish to Conversations button.

This may seem complicated and time consuming, but after you've done it a couple of times, it's pretty easy and fast.  And a good way to get to know some vocabulary and grammar.

Of course, you're more than welcome to simply post a photo or picture with the vocabulary...no need for all the extras.

I look forward to seeing some new vocabulary pictures soon!

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