Tag Archives: china

Welcome to Zon!

Sponsored by the Office of the Chinese Language Council International and the Michigan State University, Zon is a browser based “multiplayer, online learning environment designed to teach Chinese language and culture through gameplay”.

I personally don’t like very much this kind of educational games, I always find difficult to engage and loose interest after a few minutes. However, it looks like Zon has some interesting features, like the fact that almost everything can be spoken out.

The player can interact with almost anything, people (players and non-players) and objects, chat, get definitions and cultural or practical information. There are mini-games where you can earn cash. You can trade (and I hope can exercise the fine art of bargaining).

All in all it looks like a good idea but I am not into it, and it is sluggish…

Post-quake mourning, what about you ?

It looks like there has been a lot of excitement in the micro-blogosphere recently since Robert Scoble relayed instructions the Chinese government sent to the Chinese web-sites requiring them to shutdown all entertainment channels during the 3 days national mourning in memoriam the victims of the recent earthquake.

A lot of people commented, criticizing the Chinese government and talking about violation of free speech and human rights, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, on your own terms you are free and have free speech. What do YOU intend to do to commemorate the confirmed death of more than 35,800 people (expecting 50,000) or to help the 5 million people who do not have a home anymore ?

Elliot Ng on CNReviews.com also responded to these comments and I think he made a great work are explaining the lack of understanding that most westerners have towards Chinese people, read on

Learning Chinese

By the way, I started learning Chinese some months ago, bought some books, took some lessons and finally had the idea to look on the Internet for some resources.

And I found an absolutely fantastic podcast called ChinesePod.com, there you can download free daily podcasts and, if you want to go further, pay your subscription to get access to other resources like transcripts or exercises.

They have 4 different difficulty levels (newbie, elementary, intermediate, and advanced) and the podcasts are meant to address everyday life and business in China in a very practical way.

If you are learning Chinese or have ever planned to do so, just give it a try: ChinesePod.com