199. How AI Can Make Learning Chinese Easier

199. How AI Can Make Learning Chinese Easier

Podcast Duration: 00:28:52
How to use ChatGPT to learn Chinese || Podcast No.199

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Victor Chan on 京剧

I got to this lesson when chatGPT 4 has just come out, and I’ve been using chatGPT 3.5-Turbo for a few weeks.

→ ChatGPT is a pretty powerful language-learning companion. To give a taste of what it’s capable of, I tried the following prompt.

[My prompt]

Please act as a Mandarin Tutor and explain the following Chinese passages to me, with focus on generating a key vocab list, and explaining grammar points, as well as providing pinyin and English translation.


[ChatGPT 3.5-turbo’s response]

中国传统文化 (Zhōngguó chuántǒng wénhuà) – Traditional Chinese culture
生活需要 (shēnghuó xūyào) – living needs
创作活动 (chuàngzuò huódòng) – creative activities
创新探索 (chuàngxīn tànsuǒ) – innovation and exploration
慢慢形成 (mànmàn xíngchéng) – gradually formed
与 (yǔ) – and, with
紧紧联系 (jǐn jǐn liánxì) – closely linked
汉字 (hànzì) – Chinese characters
语言 (yǔyán) – language
音乐 (yīnyuè) – music
酒文化 (jiǔ wénhuà) – wine culture
各种各样 (gèzhǒng gèyàng) – various
非常丰富 (fēicháng fēngfù) – very rich
京剧 (jīngjù) – Beijing Opera
例子之一 (lìzi zhīyī) – one example
带有强烈的 (dàiyǒu qiángliè de) – with strong
中国特点 (Zhōngguó tèdiǎn) – Chinese characteristics
文化展现 (wénhuà zhǎnxiàn) – cultural display
让 (ràng) – let, make
世界各国 (shìjiè gèguó) – various countries in the world
看见 (kànjiàn) – see
了解 (liǎojiě) – understand
文化符号 (wénhuà fúhào) – cultural symbol

Grammar points:
– 是 (shì) is used to indicate that “China’s traditional culture is formed gradually” (中国传统文化是在中国人的生活需要、创作活动、创新探索中慢慢形成的).
– 与 (yǔ) is used to connect “living needs, creative activities, innovation and exploration” (生活需要、创作活动、创新探索) with “China’s traditional culture” (中国传统文化).
– 包括了 (bāokuò le) is used to mean “includes” in the sentence “It includes elements such as Chinese characters, language, music, wine culture, etc.” (它包括了中国的汉字、语言、音乐、酒文化等等元素).
– 也是 (yě shì) is used to mean “also is” in the sentence “It is also a cultural symbol that shows China’s culture and lets various countries in the world see and understand China” (也是让世界各国看见中国、了解中国的文化符号).

Zhōngguó chuántǒng wénhuà shì zài Zhōngguó rén de shēnghuó xūyào、chuàngzuò huódòng、chuàngxīn tànsuǒ zhōng mànmàn xíngchéng de, yǔ Zhōngguó rén de shēnghuó jǐn jǐn liánxì zài yīqǐ. Tā bāokuòle Zhōngguó de hànzì、yǔyán、yīnyuè、jiǔ wénhuà děng děng yuánsù, xíngshì gè zhǒng gè yàng, fēicháng fēngfù. Jīngjù yěshì chuántǒng wénhuà de lìzi zhīyī, dàiyǒu qiángliè de Zhōngguó tèdiǎn, shì Zhōngguó wénhuà zhǎnxiàn, yěshì ràng shìjiè gèguó kànjiàn Zhōngguó, liǎojiě Zhōngguó de wénhuà fúhào.

English translation:
China’s traditional culture is gradually formed through the living needs, creative activities, and innovation and exploration of the Chinese people, closely linked to their lives. It includes elements such as Chinese characters, language, music, wine culture, and more, with various forms and very rich content. Beijing Opera is also one example of traditional culture, with strong Chinese characteristics, showcasing Chinese culture and serving as a cultural symbol that allows various countries in the world to see and understand China.


And with chatGPT being a chat experience, you can continue the dialogue by asking for examples of how to use a phrase in sentences! 😍

[My prompt]

Please give me 5 examples showing how to use this phrase: 中国传统文化 in the context of spoken Chinese

[Chat GPT’s reply]

Sure, here are 5 examples of how to use the phrase “中国传统文化” in the context of spoken Chinese:

1. 我们应该学习和传承中国传统文化,保护我们的文化遗产。(Wǒmen yīnggāi xuéxí hé chuánchéng Zhōngguó chuántǒng wénhuà, bǎohù wǒmen de wénhuà yíchǎn.) – We should learn and inherit Chinese traditional culture, and protect our cultural heritage.

2. 中国的传统文化非常丰富,旅游者可以去各地了解不同的文化元素。(Zhōngguó de chuántǒng wénhuà fēicháng fēngfù, lǚyóuzhě kěyǐ qù gèdì liǎojiě bùtóng de wénhuà yuánsù.) – China’s traditional culture is very rich, and tourists can go to different places to learn about various cultural elements.

3. 中国传统文化中有很多优美的歌曲和音乐,我很喜欢听古筝和二胡演奏的音乐。(Zhōngguó chuántǒng wénhuà zhōng yǒu hěnduō yōuměi de gēqǔ hé yīnyuè, wǒ hěn xǐhuan tīng gǔzhēng hé èrhú yǎnzòu de yīnyuè.) – Chinese traditional culture has many beautiful songs and music, and I love listening to music played on guzheng and erhu.

4. 中国传统文化的代表之一是京剧,它是中国文化的瑰宝,也是世界文化遗产。(Zhōngguó chuántǒng wénhuà de dàibiǎo zhī yī shì jīngjù, tā shì Zhōngguó wénhuà de guībǎo, yěshì shìjiè wénhuà yíchǎn.) – One of the representatives of Chinese traditional culture is Beijing Opera, which is a treasure of Chinese culture and a world cultural heritage.

5. 中国传统文化中的礼仪和道德观念,对我们的行为和思想都有很大的影响。(Zhōngguó chuántǒng wénhuà zhōng de lǐyí hé dàodé guānniàn, duì wǒmen de xíngwéi hé sīxiǎng dōu yǒu hěn dà de yǐngxiǎng.) – The etiquette and moral concepts in Chinese traditional culture have a great influence on our behavior and thoughts.


Dan Snoddy by Community

Hi all! I finished the Insanity Challenge a few days ago and have started moving on in the levels. The method is definitely helping me remember words that I continuously used to forget. Relying on the components and scenes to recall obviously helps, but the course has me so focused on building up my base of characters and words that I’m also putting extra effort into the Traverse reviews. I have my pad and pen beside me and I’m writing down every character before I reveal the answer. My handwriting is atrocious, but it doesn’t matter!


Dallin Richardson on Casting Call ch- 20/55

That’s great encouragement, thanks! I have to admit I was skeptical initially of this method but I can’t argue with the results now that I’m 33 characters in.


Teodor Ruokolainen on Level 67 Complete

Wow, 2000 characters and upper intermediate complete. Just feels like yesterday that I learned character number 1000. It’s pretty funny, just the other day I watched a video from the channel ABChinese where he did an experiment of how many characters you need to able to read Chinese. He tested a fellow native speaker on text comprehension if only the X most common characters were visible. He first started at 1000 and decreased to see how greatly comprehension was affected.

What was funny is that he originally meant to start at 2000 characters, but found out that the experiment would have been way too easy. Almost any text he tried was 99% comprehensible.

And now I know 2000 characters. Of course vocabulary is still the main struggle for comprehension, but that will sort itself out with immersion.

I finished this course at a good time since I will go on vacation next week. It will be a good time to wind down a bit and only focus on flashcard reviews, coupled with some immersion when I have the time. After that I’ll see you in the advanced course!


ほし Tosha on Habit Building Bootcamp: What Next?

This is indeed my second favorite part of this course. 🤗
Started this course this month, March 2023. I take notes. Though I’m yet to apply all I’ve learned so far, my progress in Chinese this month alone has surpassed my on and off learning since 2017 combined.
Not sure how it happened so swiftly. I just know that my learning pattern, attitude, daily life… have changed for good and improved. I’d proudly crown this month my most productive, fulfilling and organized month ever!
I specially owe this to 2 geniuses, Luke and Phil! You guys are wicked outstanding! Thank you for the eye-opening, motivating, and inspiring sessions – stuff school would never teach. Truly a life-changing encounter and I bless God for making me meet MB💝💝


Jack Wyldeck on Vocab Unlocked from 服: 衣服 – 说服

Can you explain ‘我服了你’。I hear this in daily Chinese all the time and even when I ask Chinese people what it is, they can’t really explain it.