speak chinese like a native

Accents, Tones, and Learning to Write

Posted by sneasel013 February 25, 2009 in the Group General Discussion .

Hey all, I would just like to start off by saying that I love the site. I am on a 7 day trial but I am fairly certain that I will get a subscription.

I have several questions that I need answered, however.

1) What accent does Jenny speak in? I have read that learning a southern accent is better because they use less "er"s then northerners do. But I don't think there is a difference. How much of a gap is there between accents? (within Mandarin, I'm not talking about other dialects)

2) In the dialogue/vocab sections the pinyin does mark tones. However, I am still confused. I know how to read pinyin and tones, but, for example, the site lists zaoshang as zǎoshang. Zao is obviously tone 3, but what is shang? Is it just tone 1 or no tone?

3) I have seen a lot of good sites in regards to hanzi (Skritter, nciku, etc). I would really like to learn to read and write in Mandarin, also. Does anyone have any advice on how to use Chinesepod in conjunction with other sites or courses to do this? I've tried Skritter but it's hard at first because they throw characters at you and don't show you the characters beforehand. There is some overlap with Chinesepod but not always. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you so much!

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