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Chinese (Mandarin) I, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 395.00
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2000 0671790617 978-0671790615 2nd Edition, 30 Lessons + Notes
This course teaches Mandarin, also known as Standard Chinese. Mandarin is the official spoken language in Mainland China and Taiwan. It is also widely spoken in Singapore and Malaysia, and it is one of the five official languages of the UN. Mandarin is used in Chinese schools, colleges, universities, and in the media. Learn Mandarin Chinese today with Pimsleur.

Comprehensive Mandarin Chinese I includes 30 lessons of essential grammar and vocabulary -- 16 hours of real-life spoken practice sessions -- plus a Culture Booklet. Upon completion of this Level I program, you will have functional spoken proficiency with the most-frequently-used vocabulary and grammatical structures. 

  • In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, 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 participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
  • In the final 10 lessons, you’ll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. More directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane.  Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, car trips, and talking about family.  

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.

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About the Author

Dr. Paul Pimsleur devoted his life to language teaching and testing and was one of the world’s leading experts in applied linguistics. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed The Pimsleur Method based on two key principles:  the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory training that he called “Graduated Interval Recall.”  This Method has been applied to the many levels and languages of the Pimsleur Programs.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best there is! May 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I have a Ph.D. in linguistics and taught the subject for many years. Pimsleur is absolutely the best system out there for learning foreign languages short of being dropped in another country. (In fact, I'd still take Pimsleur with me if I were going to be set down in a foreign land.) In 30 days you will have basic functionality in the language along with excellent pronunciation-- a real Pimsleur plus. Work through the entire three levels (90 lessons) and you will reach a solid intermediate speaking level-- something that might take 4 years or more of traditional study! I started the Mandarin program from scratch and could not be more pleased. The tones, which will seem impossible at first even if you understand the theory behind them, are much easier after only 7 days and almost natural in two weeks. At the end of the 30 day first course you will barely be thinking about them any more-- so automatic will they have become. Obviously, you will need to further your studies to become as fluent in your second language as you are in English-- but there is absolutely no other course that teaches you so much, so fast, and with so little pain as Pimsleur. (By the way, I have no vested interest in this company-- I just love the system.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes Mandarin Possible! Dec 2 2003
Format:Audio CD
When I first started Pimsleur Mandarin I, about six months ago, I gave up after the fourth lesson thinking it was too difficult. I just couldn't get my head around the tones and the difficult pronunciation. It seemed as though every sentence that I tried to make was too slow or had a wrong tone. Then about a week later, I tried it again and it wasn't quite so hard. I made it to lesson eleven, but then took another week-long break out of frustration. When I picked it up for the third time, it was much easier. I had finally figured out how to position my tongue to create most of the non-english phenomes (pinyin: q, x, j, r, ü, z, c), and the tones were starting to get easier, although I still had trouble when combining two falling-rising tones. After two months, I managed to finish Mandarin I, and then, with a bit more effort and patience, I finished Mandarin II and III. I can now repeat or say any sentence at full speed, and the tones have become almost entirely subconscious, making the language much more reasonable. This is the main strength of the Pimsleur program, it gets your ears accustomed to the sounds, and it forces you to make correct sentences quickly, with good pronunciation. This is especially important for a tonal language such as Mandarin.
Of the three levels, Mandarin I is by far the most difficult and frustrating. This is because the four tones and many of the difficult phenomes are all introduced at once, and it seems almost impossible to master them. I had to listen to the first four lessons about four or five times each. After that, I listened to the remaining twenty-six lessons three times each.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even I managed to make progress.... June 19 2004
Format:Audio CD
As probably one of the worst language students in the continental US i bought this package with a certain amount of scepticism. However, i read the review by someone who claimed they listened to it in the car each day as they drove to work and ended up speaking with relative ease so it seemed it might be worth a try. After the package arrived i tried this and found myself veering into oncoming traffic and running red lights as i tried to concentrate on what the speaker was saying. i gave this up fairly quickly and finally found the best way (for me) was to go for a walk as i listened to each tape. even then i was stumbling along in an erratic manner and muttering to myself which only helped to lowering my neighbours poor opinion of me.
I had to listen to the first few tapes anywhere between 5 to 10 times before i mastered them. I followed the advice of another reviewer, picked up a copy of the Oxford English-Chinese dictionary and proceeded to write down each lesson. I am now towards the end of the set of tapes and it is definitely getting easier - I can master each tape in 2- 5 hearings, am stumbling less and speak mandarin in a clear voice, oblivious of the looks from the neighbours. I intend to get Mandarin II as soon as i am done.
and now if you will excuse me, it is time for my next lesson...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best method there is June 1 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I'm married to a Taiwanese woman, and I've been trying to learn her language for ten years! According to CNN, Mandarin is number one on the list of "Ten Most Difficult Languages to Learn." Japanese is number two on the list; and English is number three (no surprise here). I salute anyone who even attempts to learn Mandarin Chinese.
Let's face it. Learning Mandarin Chinese is hard no matter what method you use, even Pimsleur's. But this is the best method there is. Believe me; I've tried them all: Transparent language, Berlitz, two semesters of Mandarin at college. With the Pimsleur method the phrases are methodically timed for the best optimal learning & recall. And you are required to put your own sentences together instead of tediously parroting back phrases like a Berlitz course.
The Chinese know how hard it is for us Westerners to learn their language. And I must say it is satisifying to see their eyes widen in surprise when I speak a little Mandarin AND be understood. Believe me, it makes a good impression.
This latest edition of Mandarin I is head over heels better than the first edition. And now Pimsleur finally released Mandarin II & III. I've just ordered Mandarin II, and I can't wait to start using it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything as expected
Excellent price, excellent condition.
Published 18 days ago by Jack-O
5.0 out of 5 stars This is definitely worth taking. I am so excited ...
This is definitely worth taking. I am so excited to continue to learn from this, and so many of my friends keep asking me what it is. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Evelyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent as usual
I have used many of the Pimsleur programs before and believe they are worth every penny. However, I have found that the Mandarin language is most difficult to learn and find... Read more
Published on April 12 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for the spoken language
Once again Pimsleur offers an excellent course for the spoken language with relevent conversations and a teaching style that is both automatic and effective. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2003 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tool to facilitate further study
This was a very solid method of learning that focuses heavily on speaking and conversation. Learning characters at the same time as the speaking language can be very intimidating... Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by J. Elder
5.0 out of 5 stars Money well spent... effective learning tool
Pimsleur's Chinese is as of yet by far the best money I have spent on language learning materials. The method of repetition, questioning, and recall combined with a broad variety... Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Works for Me!
I must admit that having lived in the PRC for six months, without benefit of speaking Mandarin ("a stranger in a strange land"), I am motivated to learn Mandarin. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2003 by George Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, like all the Pimsleur sets
Mandarin is an incredibly complex language, and anyone who has tried 'travel phrase' type programs will understand why those wont work. Read more
Published on July 18 2003 by towSaint
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mandarin Chinese tool
I found this course to be of great value to my Chinese studies. I bought this set before I actually took a class and found it to be of great value when I actually got into a... Read more
Published on March 11 2003 by Jason F. Hagelthorn
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