The Chairman’s Bao Review.

Posted on Posted in Chinese Learning

Right, So last two months ago I said that this website would be updated more often and it was not. So here we go, I thought I would start with a fantastic piece of Chinese learning software that I use everyday in my quest for Chinese fluency.

It is called The Chairman’s Bao and it looks a little like this.

The app is basically like a daily newspaper mixed into a graded reading platform. There are 7 different levels HSK 1 through to 6+ all of which are incredible useful.

A huge problem that native English speaker have when learning Chinese is the mind-bending world of reading. The Chairman’s Bao in a way helps to solve this. For example let’s take a look at today’s hsk1 article.

“Dancing Chef Makes 300 Bowls of Noodles Everyday” Let’s take a look at the first line. 成都的一个拉面哥成了网红, this translates roughly as ‘Chengdu Pulled Noodle worker becomes internet celebrity.’ The line is incredibly difficult to read if you don’t know any written Chinese. When I first started learning the language, I would constantly be banging my head against the wall as I needed to look up every single character.

This is where TCB’s magic really works. For example the word 网红 means internet celebrity, that’s not something that you’ll find in many textbooks as it’s quite colloquial and if you touch the word it gives you the translation.

Okay, not here, but usually it works great.

I’ll use this app in conjunction with Pleco Chinese dictionary to really maximise my understanding of complex Chinese.

I found that just reading the content didn’t help it sink it. So now, everyday I try to copy out an article, which usually takes me around 40 minute. It might sound boring and difficult but after starting copying these out about 6 months ago I now have no problems with Chinese grammar (well maybe not no problems).

The varied nature of the content makes learning fun and provides a great insight into Chinese culture at the same time.

You can download The Chairman Bao here.

It’s a paid app at $10 a month, but I would probably pay double that for this application. It it definitely one of my top 3 Chinese learning apps. Do check it out.

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