My China Start

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This post was originally published in 2008
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

The Internet is a big place – finding good information can be difficult, sometimes impossible. When I first started learning Chinese, I spent a bit of time with Google, searching for some tips made by other westerners who were further down the path than I. I found a lot of crap, but among it there were some real gems. These are sites that I, and many other 学中文的老外 return to regularly.

I thought I’d write a little review of each site that has made it to my bookmark list, giving a brief outline of why the site is useful, what it offers, and why I return.

If you’re learning Chinese, I know you’ll find these sites helpful!

The first site is My China Start. I decided to start with this site because it is a directory of top-quality China and Chinese Language related web pages.

The site is split into various pages, with pages for individual Chinese cities (Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Beijing being my favourites), the Chinese language, food and museums, to name a few. The site is incredibly well organized: the home page consists of a selection of small boxes, each box representing a category of Chinese sites. At first I did think this was a little weird, I’m used to sites having a main content area with either a vertical or horizontal navigation menu. After clicking around the site though, and discovering the amount of information that has been packed in, I understand why the creator chose this method of displaying the information. Now I’m used to it, I can’t see why more sites haven’t copied the layout!

To illustrate my point: clicking on the “Chinese Dictionaries” link that is within the dictionaries box on the homepage will take one to a new page filled with more little boxes. Each box is a sub-category of its own: Chinese-English Dictionary sites, Chinese English Character Input, Nature and Science Glossaries are a few box titles – there is also a box for sites containing Legal Glossaries! My favourite link on this page, however, is to the Military English site. It really is quite amusing.

The page I use most is the Learn Chinese category page, which lists links to sites aimed at helping one … learn Chinese.

This is the page that helped me find most of the sites that I plan to write about in future posts, but if you want to go check it out now instead of waiting for me to write about them, and ruin the surprise; please go right ahead.

My China Start is an excellent place for anyone with even a passing interest in China and its wonderful Culture. The Learn Chinese page is one that anyone learning Chinese must visit, it is that good.

Go there now!

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