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I am currently studying for the HSK1 exam, I can read the vast majority of the required vocab and know the pinyin for most of the words but I am having a lot of trouble understanding the audio on the mock exam audio tracks.

Ideally, I would love a website that plays me a short sentence and test my transcription ability, but I can not find any services that offer this.

Does something like this exist? Or is there something else I can use to practise my (very basic) listening skills?

  • If you have MacOSX you can see my profile to see how your computer can speak Mandarin and Cantonese. I have not done the same for Windows but you could also visit jukuu.com and use translate.google.com for their audio after grabbing valid sentences from jukuu.com. Also search this site for the word resource; there is a big wiki with the answer. – Tommie C. Sep 17 '14 at 13:33
  • For anyone else looking i found an awesome memrise course for listening: memrise.com/course/135995/hsk-1-test-by-audio – t123 Sep 29 '14 at 22:04
  • To date with somebody, it sure helps best. – hardywang Oct 21 '14 at 19:41
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http://www.sexymandarin.com is suitable for beginners… I haven't got anything good for exam preparation but if u wanna learn it in depth it's better to find a native speaker and listen to him speaking

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There are many websites like PopupChinese or ChinesePod as well as textbooks or HSK practice exams with companion CDs that have beginner appropriate dialogues. One big list of listening materials is here: http://resources.hackingchinese.com/t/Listening. With the online sites you often need to pay additional money for a premium membership in order to download Mandarin only audio dialogues files to your computer (the dialogue only files are better for listening practices than the typical full lessons interspersed with English you can listen to free online). Once you have a bunch of Chinese audio on your computer it is easy to practice by launching an audio dialogue file (I'd recommend using something like Audacity over a normal mp3 player since it makes it easy to highlight a region of the audio you are having difficulty with and have it play over and over again and also to export snippets to separate files for inclusion into your SRS flashcards) and see if you can transcribe it (you can then often check a dialogue transcript to see if you are correct). Besides actively listening to dialogues and practice it is good to passively listen to Mandarin dialogues in the background as you do other things in order to improve your listening skills.

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Well, you could do what I did... Watch DVDs with the subtitles off, then watch them again with the subtitles on. It kind of depends on the DVD though -- some have inaccuracies in the subtitles themselves. Also, some DVDs have the subtitles encoded right onto the images. In that case you'll need to resort to looking away or holding up something to block your view of the bottom of the screen the first time.

It's also a lot more interesting than typical test-prep resources.

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I am a big fan of 闲人马大姐. This might be very hard for beginners though.

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