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Resources for learning Mandarin Chinese

What's a good resource to continue learning spoken Mandarin Chinese? e.g. video/audio scenarios + audio flashcards. Audio flashcards are an absolute must! Paid resources are fine. I want a course with structure, dialogues that build on previous ones, repetition and building of vocabulary, etc.

For the past year, I haven't been on any disciplined study schedule (terrible I know) but just practicing with local friends and listening to Chinese podcasts. I practice about an hour for 4 times per week with friends. I always get complements on my accent, and I have learned a bunch of words and how to do basic things, but I still am speaking and listening at a very basic level. Most of my communication comes from body language. I more or less say the same things every week with maybe a new word here and there. Yeah pretty good, but I want to take it up a notch.

I tried the New Practical Chinese reader and Integrated Chinese books, and I didn't like either of them due to the reading aspect. I can't read and correctly reproduce the sounds. Sure, I know Pinyin and I can get close, but I'd rather learn through imitating natural speakers. I need to hear the rhythm and intricacies of the spoken language.

I have checked out Chinesepod, and it seemed great except for a lack of audio flash cards. Reviewing flashcards is so golden, it's ridiculous, and I would really like a site with audio flash cards.

Money is not a concern although I cannot currently travel to China. Even if I did though, I would still need to acquire learning resources. I have been speaking for 3 years, I can speak and listen at a basic level. I could understand the Newbie and Elementary level at Chinesepod, little of the intermediate, and not a thing above that.

Thanks!

marked as duplicate by Alenanno Apr 7 '12 at 17:28

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  • Hello RunHard. A topic for Mandarin Chinese-related resources has been created, and for this reason, most questions regarding resources are off topic. Feel free to use it and add new resources. :) – Alenanno Apr 7 '12 at 17:28
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    I saw that and noticed there was no posting of anything but free resources. Sorry but learning chinese is only free if your time is worthless. I would like to discuss paid resources as well. – MaxRunFast Apr 8 '12 at 1:14
  • I didn't decide that alone. There is a Meta question where people voted. You can vote there too and post an answer. – Alenanno Apr 8 '12 at 9:44