The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, and lots of fun. You'll be speaking and understanding in no time flat!
Chinese (Mandarin) Level 1 includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of culture notes in thirty 30-minute lessons. In the first 10 lessons, you'll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information or preferences, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You'll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level but with near-native pronunciation skills.
In the next 10 lessons, you'll build on what you've learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations, and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You'll understand more of what you hear and be able to really participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
In the final 10 lessons of level 1, you'll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase more and more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. You can talk about your immediate family, go on a car trip, and ask for and understand directions. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, and traveling with children. You'll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.
One hour of recorded cultural notes are included at the end of unit 30. These notes are designed to provide you with some insight into Chinese culture. A notes booklet is also included in PDF format.
"Pimsleur programs provide plenty of positive reinforcement that will keep learners on track, and we found that Pimsleur gave us more proficiency and confidence in speaking the new language than any of the other language programs we reviewed." (AudioFile magazine)
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Well thought out but beware of the shortcomings
There's a lot of repetition so words and expressions gradually stick to your head. No frills, just a very practical learning method. Unlike other language learning audiobooks, instructors don't keep rattling on in English more than three-quarters of the audio time. I also like the long enough pauses in this so that you actually get to say the words you are learning.
This learning method is a good one. The sentences and words used are well thought out. But a word of caution. This program provides you with basically no written text. Downloadable material does not contain any transcript for the main part of the material. And I think it is quite difficult to learn Chinese language solely phonetically. It will be so much easier with transcripts of the expressions that appear in the program. I study Spanish language as well using the Pymsleur method. It works better with Spanish which is a phonetically written language. When you hear a sentence in Spanish, you pretty much know how it's spelled. Chinese is not like that. Chinese is a language that relies on each character's meaning. Rather than learning sound for every expresson, learning Chinese characters can really expedite learning. When Chinese characters are combined in different ways, you can still guess the meaning if you know the meaning of those characters. You can't do this with the Pymsleur method unfortunately as it does not involve much Chinese character learning. I use other iPhone apps to supplement this side. That said, repetition in the Pymsleur program is very helpful. Things gradually sink in with massive repetition in this audiobook. Besides, it's really nice to be able to learn a langage while walking around town or in the park. I'm an avid walker.
Great method, works for me very well
I find it perfect to ensure words and pronunciation retention. I like it, works for me. I used it in the car all the time. I wish they would have a printed manual as well. It would be ideal.
It repeats the words you've learned previously, adding just the right amount of new words so you don't get frustrated, and then it mixes and matches old and new words to ensure retention. Clear pronunciation which helps me reproduce the sound and correct my intonation.
When I started knowing the answers to the questions and having the right intonation.
Definitely not since you need some time to retain, I would replay the previous chapter or at times chapters.
I love the method just wish they had a manual with both standard and simplified characters. Would be the perfect companion.
- Happy Gaby "Happy Gaby"