AllSet Learning, the Shanghai-based language learning consultancy founded by long-time China blogger John Pasden, has just released what is surely a boon for any mandarin learners who aspire to achieve better Chinese grammar — the Chinese Grammar Wiki.
From the AllSet Blog: Web-savvy learners of Chinese have known for some time that there’s no single comprehensive grammar resource for Chinese grammar on the entire internet. Sure, there are some very helpful pages out there, but they’re not comprehensive or interlinked, or at least not publicly available.
We initially created the wiki to scratch our own itch. AllSet Learning provides highly personalized study plans for its clients, making use of a variety of materials, often including such disparate sources as ChinesePod lessons, textbooks, magazines, online articles, blog posts, and Weibo posts. While offering a variety of materials is great for keeping learners interests high, it does create a problem for tracking progress. How can we keep straight what our clients have studied, and what they still need to study?
The Chinese Grammar Wiki is our solution to the grammar part of this issue. Tracking client progress in grammar started with static lists of grammar points, and gradually involved into the current Chinese Grammar Wiki. We tried a number of approaches, but realized that the ideal solution needs to be online, easily edited, easily expanded, and heavily interlinked. Wikipedia was the obvious model for such a resource, and the Chinee Grammar Wiki is powered by MediaWiki, the same software that powers Wikipedia.
The site is still in early days, but already has more than 500 articles on Chinese grammar in the wiki. Unlike a wiki like Wikipedia, the Chinese Grammar Wiki doesn’t allow anonymous editing. However, if you feel you have something to add, John and his team hope you contact them to be an approved editor. All content in the wiki is released under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license, and so is free to share, distribute and re-use the information in a variety of ways.
As an on-again, off-again Chinese learner, I’m pretty excited for the resource. Few people I’ve met have spent as much time as John thinking about language learning, particularly as to how it relates to Chinese. His blog and various resources at Sinosplice have been extremely helpful over the years, and I have to imagine that with his ambition and love for the language behind the wiki, it’s sure to be fantastic. With some hefty Year of the Dragon mandarin learning resolutions to myself, I’m certain I’ll be wearing out my bookmark to the site in no time.