Busy ChinesePod

I’ve been doing work for “Version 3” of ChinesePod for quite a while now, but it was sort of not public so I couldn’t really say anything. Now the fabulous news is coming to light. Ken and Hank are blogging about it. The latest is: Brand new look. So if I’ve told you “I’m really busy at work” recently, this is why. (Also because new hire Adsotrans Dave is wreaking havoc in the office and stealing my pens.)

In other fascinating CPod news, blogger Frank Fradella interviewed me on his blog. Reading it is free!


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. It looks like it’s only getting better and better. I’m super stoked about the multiple membership levels. I’m one of the moochers (I know, I know) but I think I’ll try out a lower level of membership for sure.

  2. 嘻嘻,采访者把“恭喜”这个词儿错认为“东西”!不过这个访问很不错啊!

  3. Did he call you a “Thing” because you got married? Is that the new slang the kids are using? Or just a typo?

  4. FABULOUS!!!! Welcome aboard Ken and Hank!!!! Happy to have you here!!!

  5. Hey John, maybe in some future podcast or somewhere you could explain why 淘淘 used ‘儿’ in her sentence, 这个词儿错认为. I understand after reading the sentence what she said, but I’m totally unfamiliar with that usage/pattern. Is it just to make 词 two-syllables and the phrase roll off the tongue better? I think I’ll go over to Cpod and ask Amber, she knows everything!

    Nobody seems to have commented that the chinesepod blog changed styles without even a hitch. 🙂 Heh, I just hexed the rest of the upgrades. Go break some legs. Oh I mean break a leg. Or maybe just a toe.

  6. Frank has some crazy Chinese slang. I can’t even pretend to fathom its depths.

  7. Lantian,

    It’s just normal 儿化音, that thing the northerners do.

  8. Hello John,

    I’m Daniel, a member at Cpod. Recently, I was told in an email from Cpod that traditional characters will be discontinued from pdf lesson in the near future. If you have the time, would you drop a few of your thoughts here concerning simplified vs traditional rather than simplified with traditional.

    So that you know a bit where I am coming from. If Cpod drops traditional, I will be extremely disheartened, disappointed, and frankly, saddened.



  9. Daniel,

    Rest assured, there is a Chinesepod faction with EXTREMELY strong and positive feelings about traditional characters – even if occasionally frustrated (what’s up with the traditional version of 龙…). The good news is that we’ve infiltrated the academic team. I don’t want to give up fanti and I know that John doesn’t either.

    A lot of people have written in over the last few days asking for more traditional support. This is fantastic from my perspective since John and I have been fighting the “good fight” internally to push or full fanti support in V3. Deadlines are tight and we may not be able to launch with full traditional support, but losing traditional support in the long term is an over-my-dead-body issue for me personally. I know it may be apochryphal for someone in mainland China to admit this, but I think that traditional Chinese characters are much more beautiful and cool than their simplified counterparts. Besides, you can’t read original Chinese documents more than 60 years old without decent competence in fanti, which makes it a necessity for anyone doing historical research.



  10. Trevelyan,
    In Europe when you want to do historical research or look for the ethymology of a word, you need to know ancient Greek and Latin.
    It’s already the same in China with the unsimplified characteres.
    At first, in the sixties it was normal to keep a certain distance but after 30 years it now seems daft.
    It’s like fighting against mondialisation or Internet.

  11. ERR – I had a friend tell me to stop texting with the 儿 b/c it wasn’t supposed to be done in writing. Maybe it’s a subtle southern brainwashing thing, or I was just writing gibberish and this was a round-about hint.

    Chinese Language … waz’up?’s

    -Say second tones, write fourth tones
    -Say 儿, don’t write it
    -Don’t say 儿, say 儿
    -Simplified, traditional
    – others??

  12. Xuexiansheng Says: March 16, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    John and travelyan,

    I’ll be subscribing to Cpod soon, I’ve been mooching off you guys for too long (I know, I know). I hope you keep up the traditional character support. I learned traditional for my 1st year at Uni and found it invaluable for my 2nd year in when I studied in mainland China. Keep up the good work on Cpod and Sinosplice!


  13. Colleen was to the first to inform me that traditional was in danger, then see wrote again and mentioned that there was one person on the team that fought for traditional and succeeded in maintaining traditional. If I may put one and one together, Dave, you must be THE MAN. Thanks you!

    I started learning Mandarin in 93′ and until I discovered Cpod just this past January, I intentionally stayed away from the dictator’s cultural enriching script. Cpod highly contributed in breaking down this wall. One of the ways Cpod did this is having both forms on the transcripts. I am able to read the traditional then learn the simplified by mere comparison. The advanced lessons are frustrating for me simply because of the lack of traditional on the transcripts.

    Anyways, my hat goes off to you Dave and John. You’re doing amazing work and your work is greatly appreciated. I can’t help but feel a pang of envy.


  14. @kmk

    How do you explain the use of traditional characters in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, some in Japanese, and in pockets of Chinese people across the globe?

    After reading your comment again, would you explain yourself a bit more. Your point is a bit cryptic.

  15. […] excited about this game). They told me March 15th. Well, this past week at ChinesePod was really busy, working hard to implement all kinds of new […]

  16. Daniel,

    Traditional characters were in a lot more danger at ChinesePod half a year ago than they are now. There are definitely “anti-fanti” forces at ChinesePod, but the main issue is practicality. Since Dave has joined the team, he’s come up with some practical ways to offer more fanti support. The result is that traditional support stays, and everybody wins.

  17. Daniel,
    Obviously, you should get fresh first hand information from Singapore.
    The beautiful Singapore is like Madonna, they both can smell the “trendy” wind when it’s coming.

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