(P) and ©1986 Penton Overseas, Inc.
"A bit of a let down"
I was really looking forward to using this program. Unfortunately there is background music that makes it very difficult to follow what is being said, as the music is almost as loud as the speakers.
"Don't buy this one!"
I love the French series Audible.com has.
I have tried lots of different systems but this Chinese one is the WORST. It would be okay if there were no music but the music irritates you after just 2 minutes. At least the music stops from time to time....
You also know there is a problem when the very first vocabulary word is "the grass".
I'd be willing to pay $30 for a good system such as the French series than this price for simple vocabulary. I would prefer Chinese phrases to get a sense of the sentence structure. Otherwise, how could I possibly figure out how to say "Don't run on the wet grass" and other "useful" phrases????
I own several other titles and enjoy them all. This one, unfortunately, is unuseable, even irritating. The words given are utterly random, sometimes so random it makes you laugh. Worse, the music is so repetitious you end up remembering the musical phrase, minus the words....a complete waste.
"I hope some one got fired for this"
What were they thinking? First the speaker is almost impossible to hear. Next they only say the word once and even then it is poorly pronounced. Additionally they move on to the next word before you have a chance to practice the word. Frankly it was the worst purchase I have ever made.
"This is not for beginners"
If you are already on your way to speaking Mandarin, this might help you build your vocabulary, but I have to agree with the other reviews. It is not for the beginner.
For a beginning Mandarin speaker, this will simply not teach you to communicate. The music is a distraction, the words are placed at random, and they have no context at all. The poor audio quality often makes it difficult to understand the pronunciation. I managed to chop it up into 60 second chapters, and played the chapters repeatedly, but after 3 weeks, I could only recall less than 100 words, and it was practically useless in communication. I couldn't say or understand anything!
Its good points: The chapters are divided into nouns, verbs, adverbs, and phrases. The phrases chapters are the only redeeming factor in this series.
If you want to learn Mandarin, I would recommend sticking to the Pimsleur Mandarin series, which is easy and very effective.
I would give it zero stars if I could. This is a completely random list of words read first in English then in Chinese. Do not waste your time or money.
"Horrible DO NOT BUY!"
Random words, which are hard to hear, music in the background which is too loud. Not worth the one star which is the min. you can rate a book. Not bad- HORRIBLE!
"You won't listen to it !"
No structure, no idea, just a bunch of words put without any order. How can anybody get something useful from this ? And that loud music, through which you can't even hear words properly. They could have at least better inserted some pop music then I could use this book for other means ..
If you want to listen to endless classical baroque music & an endless series of words that are only said once, and are far from useful, get this! Otherwise save your time and money. Here are the words they first give you: the grass, the moon, the sound, the airport, December, the hand, the hoe(/Hole?), the dress, the wine, the fire, the sound, the wool, the love, the winter, the exit, the spinach, Thursday, the ice cream, the mountain, the side....And on and on with a seemingly random blitz of words that cannot help you to say "Hello, my name is". Truely abysmal.
"Best for re-learners?"
My high rating of this title is based on a comparison with a couple of competing books. I found this one to step along quickly enough to maintain my interest; the others were excruciatingly slow. I may disagree with other reviewers in part because I am re-learning Mandarin. The comparatively rapid pace may be less appropriate for those trying it for the first time.
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