I am constantly reevaluating the teaching style being used in the course and what best meets the needs of our listeners. Many of the techniques I am employing here are different from that used in other courses. However at some point, some consistency has to be used to make it easier for people to combine this course with other forms of study they may have.
When a new word is introduced, I try to break down the parts and the meaning to help you understand and remember it. To go along with this, when I first started creating Pinyin notes, I purposely separated each character to make it easier to distinguish the separate tones that created each word. However, this style differs from standard Pinyin which combines characters to create words with multiple syllables just like in English. I have since been convinced from feedback that it is better to stick with the standards used in other courses, so I’ve updated the dialogue transcripts from Lessons 3 to 22 by rearranging the Pinyin into words that are easier to read. The lessons after that have already been doing this, so hopefully this keeps things more consistent.
On a similar note, there are many instances where when characters are combined, their tones change. Many second syllables often adopt a neutral tone in daily usage. However, I have been keeping their original tone marks to help you understand the breakdown of each word. Here too though, I have since been convinced by listeners (Thanks Andrea!) that it is better to keep the style employed by others and mark neutral tones as being such if that’s how they are generally pronounced. I won’t change earlier transcripts for this part, but will try and employ this new style from hereon.
None of this should matter if you follow our recommendation of listening to the speakers and repeating after them exactly as they do. The transcripts, Pinyin, tone marks etc. should supplement this method of learning and not replace it.
I hope you can see that your comments are very valuable to me, so keep them coming.