38. Tips to learn Chinese (学习中文方法建议)
To read on the net, https://github.com/cschiller/zhongwen, see also: Does Ciro Santilli speak Chinese? (三西猴会说中文吗？).
To overhear people and learn characters/new words Pleco: https://www.pleco.com/
It really hurts that there is no online Pleco, you have to go back and forth from cell phone to computer, is there anything as good online?
https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php extremely annoying ads and limited list sizes, but good otherwise
https://dict.naver.com/linedict/zhendict/#/cnen/home LINE dict, has many web scraped examples, but no sources back to those examples. Works, but a bit clunky.
Maybe some day something will be extracted from: https://github.com/skishore/makemeahanzi which jas a huge JSON of character data.
When you want to learn "how to say something in Chinese", the only valid routes are:
does it have a Wikipedia page? Go on the English one then change language
put an English sentence on Google Translate, then Google for it.
If it is a common word, it will give useless dictionary results, so search instead with
Then find a sentence that contains the word written by a native Chinese, and understand the full sentence to confirm that it means what you want it to mean in a similar context.
Just using the Google translate directly will lead 70% to a weird/wrong/incomprehensible translation that no Chinese person would ever say.
Good Chinese content to consume to learn:
几分钟看完: illegal 10 minute summaries of movies with clips from the movies and a narrator speaking quickly instead of movie sounds.
Some have Chinese subtitles, e.g.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFSMvtS6SYQ and it is great content to learn from, because it is someone telling a not too boring story in a natural and clear way, with supporting images to help with context.