Digital Voice Recorders

Someone mentioning that they use digital recordings of the drill patterns to help them study. If you get a local to record their voice saying each sentence as a separate file, then you can play them back in random mode. This prevents you from memorizing the drill pattern order, and improves listening comprehension.

Does anyone do this using a digital voice recorder? If you do, what brand to you recommend? I went to the market, and there are about 30 different models. Also, are there any special features that come in handy when using it to study Chinese?


Gadget Queen here,

I use a SONY MD-recorder, the type most people use for downloading MP3s or other music from the Web. I just record my vocab or the things I want to study on separate tracks on the mini disc (I believe there is a 99-item per disc limit on this for labeling them [if you want the titles to show up on the display, for example, hearing only Chinese but seeing a visual English cue to the meaning] but you should be able to record more un-labeled tracks; I have the countries of the world on one disc and that’s more than 99 for sure). For greater control, you can “group” your entries (see the manufacturer’s instruction book for how to do this) and playback only certain groups. Put it on “random” playback and you’re good. Another idea might be to have a numbered list of the Chinese characters, English or whatever on a paper, and say the number before reading each item; that way you could “cheat” by checking the meaning, character, or whatever when prompted in random order by the Chinese audio. (Put the number last to avoid memorization.)

Just my NT$0.66 as usual

Iron Lady,

I followed your advice, and got a Sony MD MP3 player, and it is the best ever. I got a freeware MP3 recorder, and had a Taiwanese friend record each of the drill sentences as a separate file, and then put them all on the MP3 recorder. Then I play them back in random mode to practice listening comprehension. It is great for both writing and speaking when you repeat the sentences. I recommend it for anyone studying a foreign language. You can listen to them when walking around or on the MRT.

Thanks for the great tip!