Chinese Pod vs Du Chinese

I just subscribed to Du Chinese and I’m waiting on using Chinese Pod. I did not like that in Chinese Pod 1) I did not care for the english conversation/the podcast part 2) I felt the dialogues were relatively sparse.

As some people in this community might be aware of "scaffolding’ concept, ti would appear the Du Chinese app is a clear winner. You can 1) listen first 2) then read 3) the content is around a minute long consistently vs Chinese Pod’s content appearing to being much more variable 4) I think it obeys the principal of “narrowing” your content more than Chinese Pod which Skritter Olle has blogged about as I feel it’s several degrees more structured (the consistent minute long content appears to be just one part of that).

In fact I feel like it hits on more principles championed by SkritterOlle than any graded reader out there.

This would appear to segue nice into The Chairman’s Bao App.

Am I wrong about Chinese Pod? Does the quality of the material significantly expand once you hit intermediate content? Has anyone been able to successfully systematically navigate. It seems a bit of a shotgun approach to learning because of the sheer number of content by different hosts/contributors.

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ChinesePod (and many others) use way, way too much English. It only gets useful if you only use the actual dialogue at lower levels, or once you’re able to access the more advanced levels where they mostly/only speak Chinese. Once they do that, though, note that the talk in the studio between the hosts is actually more useful than the dialogues. The dialogues often feel contrived and strive to teach you difficult words, but when they talk about these things in Chinese, it’s a real, natural dialogue that is actually quite good for listening practice!

Please note that I have not looked into ChinesePod recently and my comments are mostly based on what it used to be like a few years ago.


I haven’t used Chinese Pod in almost a decade. But I use TCB and Du Chinese nearly every day :)

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That is a helpful insight. Because I never want to rule out a clear resource “leader.” Except it was difficult to see where it shines the most. Then the conversational aspect of the podcast at more advanced stages I’ll keep mindful of. That is of course when it will be competing with movies, but at that point, you probably want to expand the types of things you’re paying attention to.

That says something. I’ve had a hunch that Du Chinese and Chairmen’s Bao are a critical resource!

I find that there are tons of resources for me to listen to on topics I enjoy outside of platforms like Chinese Pod. Probably still a very good resource for beginner and intermediate level listening practice because they have so many lessons to dig through.

The place that TCB and Du Chinese shine for me is providing lots of level-appropriate reading options, which are super helpful for doing more extensive reading.

These days, when I’m reading articles written for native speakers, I find it to be a little mentally taxing. So, I like to supplement with some grading reading materials. I can get through the content a lot faster that way, and I get lots of exposure to vocabulary I already know in a variety of contexts, while picking up a few words I didn’t know in some of the articles I’m reading.

Add the audio recordings into the mix, and both apps are full of lots of good listening and reading activities depending on what you’re trying to work on.

I should note, I have a free TCB account from the generous team over there. But, I did buy an annual subscription to Du Chinese. Also, both apps have pretty good word-export functions, which is nice for migrating lots of vocabulary into the Skritter app. Although, I more often just manually enter vocabulary into a custom deck from the words I really wanna commit to long-term memory via Skritter about once a week

Re: “Also, both apps have pretty good word-export functions, which is nice for migrating lots of vocabulary into the Skritter app.” : sounds like a good topic for a future blog post. (For we technologically challengedi types.) And also, I too would strongly endorse both Du Chinese and The Chairman’s Bao.

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Gonna see if I can get either of these apps to give Skritter users a little discount first :wink:

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That would be a great thing. I’m also considering a subscription, but then I would wait first to see if you can get a nice discount for us :wink:

BTW: could anyone kindly share some experiences about the differences of du Chinese and TCB? I’m not quite sure which one to subscribe to. I would consider my Chinese to be somewhat advanced (HSK 5-6)

I’ll do a video exploring both platforms, and go into some of the ways we can integrate vocab into Skritter along the way.

I would expect both companies to run some kinda Black Friday sale, so be on the lookout, but I’ll see what I can do!

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A Skritter discount would be an awesome incentive to trying these apps out.

Im currently using ChinesePod and I think for my level (HSK3-4) there is plenty of Lower/Intermediate content to walk through. I appreciate the English explanations at my level.

My biggest concern around Chinese Pod is the lack of new content. It seems like the last lesson was uploaded on 2nd September. :cold_sweat: Really hope they plan on releasing more content in the near future–does anyone have any insight into what is going on?

Here are the current offers and deals I’ve locked in. Working on a few more as we speak.

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I’ve heard from a little birdie that Du Chinese will be offering 30% off select subscriptions during Black Friday/ Cyber Monday. That’ll be a better offer than I’ll be able to get Skritter users so if you’re looking for a good deal that will be the time to act!

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Definitely going to wait for the Du Chinese offer! Thanks for the update!

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No problem! Happy reading :slight_smile:

Reading through the comments here, I am surprised at the enthusiasm for TCB.

We had it for about a year a few years ago, and found it not worth the money. The selections were often boring, the language was stilted and lacked a flavour of natural Chinese, and the assistance in vocab wasn’t enough to justify the expense, compared to just going to a Chinese news site directly and looking up unknown words. The strength of it was the availability of current material, but the versions of them were written in a very tedious way.

On the other hand, we have had Du Chinese for about two years, and find it much more helpful. It has more features, the audio is excellent listening practice, most of the writing flows and is even entertaining, and there is a wide variety of types of material.

We do all the levels, and find that even the simplest levels provide language insight from time to time. The advanced and master levels were more scarce a year ago, but they seem to be pumping those out regularly now too - in fact, in terms of mastering the vocab subsequently in Skritter, more often than we can handle at the moment!

I am very curious as to what I may be missing of TCB. Perhaps it improved over the past few years?

I think the general access to level-created content makes TCB at least worth a try, especially for anyone just getting into reading in Chinese. They put out a lot of content and news articles can be hard to access for beginner and lower-intermediate students.

If those are the kinda of things someone is interested in reading than it is at least worth trialing the app.

Personally, I open Du Chinese a lot more these days and do like the interface a lot more. Wish the sync between devices was automatic though!