- Amazon Student members save an additional 10% on Textbooks with promo code TEXTBOOK10. Enter code TEXTBOOK10 at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Pimsleur Chinese (Mandarin) Conversational Course - Level 1 Lessons 1-16 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs Audio CD – Audiobook, Nov 1 2005
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
"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
"EXTREMELY ACCESSIBLE...each section within the lessons is short enough to hold our attention, and there is enough repetition to teach even those who consider themselves slow learners...Pimsleur [programs] are extremely thorough and easy to use -- quite lively!" -- Boston Herald
"Learn French while commuting, German while jogging, Spanish (or Russian, Italian, and Japanese) while cooking all with NO WRITTEN MATERIALS!" -- New York Daily News
"Designed for the ear and not the eye...the lessons provide PERFECT 30-minute bites of work." -- St Louis Post-Dispatch
"Learn to habla español or parlez français before your next trip aboard. The interactive LESSONS CHALLENGE STUDENTS to use new words in conversation instead of memorize them." -- American Way (American Airlines inflight magazine)
"I tried other language programs with little success...This is the best by far!" -- Pamela A. Mitchell, Pilot, International Society of Women Airline Pilots
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is very convenient but there is another reason for it: Pimsleur has theory that if you look at written Mandarin (or any language) too early then you will have trouble acquiring a native accent, because you will pronounce the written Mandarin with an American accent (supposing you are American...). This may be exactly right, if Mandarin is only your second language. If you have already learned several languages with reasonably correct accents then maybe you will have less tendency to make that mistake.
The problem with immersion-only Mandarin for me is that this is an intimidating language for Americans. The musical tone of each vowel changes the meaning of a word and the tones are hard for me to learn.
So I am going to cheat on Pimsleur by also using Chinesepod downloads (mp3) and their written supplements. Sometimes I really can't be sure if a syllable on the Pimsleur CD begins with b or d. I can't always tell if a tone is rising or falling (although the narrator often steps in to help with that). So I will look it up. If Mandarin is your first foreign language maybe you should start with straight Pimsleur for just the reasons they give. Mandarin, even more than most European languages, is useless if you do not have a good accent.
The other course I tried was Living Language Ultimate Mandarin. That course is not only conversation. It comes with a very nice textbook. And it requires that you spend considerable time working with the book in front of you, and so not driving or otherwise "on the go." They said their course was the equivalent of 2 years of college courses and that may be true. It aims at all around mastery of spoken and written Mandarin including the simplified character writing used on the Mainland and exposure to the traditional characters used on Taiwan and in Hong Kong. I do not expect to ever reach that level, and anyway I would probably start with Pimsleur and Chinesepod.
Pimsleur courses are reliably very good.
I give it 4 stars because as a beginner with no prior experience in Mandarin, it let me get a grasp of what I would be studying in more in-depth lessons. So if you know absolutely --nothing-- about Mandarin then I recommend Pimsleur.
P.S. Don't get the four disc version. The eight disc-er has the first four and nothing's different.
Now the bad thing is that you really will not learn very much. You're not even going to learn the basics with these 7 CDs. What you will learn is several phrases (and most of the individual words in those phrases), but I've listened to these CD's over and over for the past year (to practice the pronunciation multiple times) and what I've learned from these CDs in the past year I feel I could have learned in about an hour or two in any European language (for which the pronunciation is a lot easier).
Also, the ad above says this is the "first half" of the comphrehensive set. That's true only if you consider the comhrehensive set to consist in the first set (I out of III). It is indeed the first half of the first set of the comphrehensive set.
I would recommend these CDs to anyone just starting out. I didn't expect to learn a ton of Chinese, just to practice pronunciation, but even I was surprised at how little Chinese I ended up learning by the end. There are so many pauses and repeats in the CDs that I think they could easily have taught twice the material in the CDs provided. It might sound like a lot of pauses and repetition would be good, but I can just repeat the cd myself (and I did). I'd rather they put more material on the CD so I could learn more once I finished learning a CD.
This means that if you have, say, ten minutes in which to commute to work, you will listen to the same ten minutes teaching the same ten words over and over.
Your other alternative is to keep your finger glued to the fast forward button. There are no
'multiple track' opitons.
I greatly prefer the Behind the Wheel Chinese/Mandarin course.
The amount of vocabulary taught here far exceeds that of Pimsleur. Furthermore,
each CD has a sentence building section (8 CDs in all) that teach you basic sentence formation to accompany the vocabulary. There are two native Mandarin speakers on the CDs.
Even better, Behind the Wheel Chinese has multiple tracks which makes sailing through a review a piece of cake.
I gave Pimsleur four stars just because I'm sure it could work for some people.
I have tried other Pimsleur and Behind the Wheel courses and I always reach the same conclusion.
No contest in any language.
Behind the Wheel Chinese is way ahead in all categories.
For an English speaker, Mandarin requires more up-front explanation of how the pitched syllables work.
I've used Pimsleur's audio CDs for learning basic Japanese and Spanish and *LOVED* it.
But when I bought Pimsleur's Mandarin, I was stumped. I couldn't even imitate the very first sentence, no matter how many times I went back and tried again. My mouth just didn't know how to make that sound. And there was no explanation, just "listen and repeat".
After an hour of trying one sentence of this Pimsleur Mandarin, I had to give up. Knowing there must be a better way, I was about to take private lessons.
Instead, the brand new "Michel Thomas Method" to Mandarin has just been released by Dr. Harold Goodman and it made all the difference in the world. A completely different approach that I feel needs to come FIRST, BEFORE you get into the Pimsleur method.
In the Michel Thomas method, someone really takes the time to explain the sounds and grammar. No memorization, just explanation then experience. It gets you really understanding the basic building blocks of Mandarin first, so that when you're done with its 10-hour audio CD program, THEN you can come back here to Pimsleur's Mandarin and it'll all make sense.