Customer Reviews


27 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent
This course works very well! Although you don't learn very much vocabulary, what you do learn you learn well.I realy wish the comprehensive version was less expensive though. The program leaves you with an excelent accent (or so I've been told)
Published on Jan. 30 2004

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs a better book
You can learn how to speak, but if you want to know how to read then the tapes are of no use. The book just has a word list with the characters. It is the equivalent of about one or two semesters of chinese. If you are above this then it is of no use. Only buy this if you are a complete beginner.
Published on May 11 2001 by Derek


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4.0 out of 5 stars Excelent product!, Feb. 17 2004
By A Customer
I used this course to try to learn mandarin after several (failed) tries with other profucts. This one works very well and you will remember everything. I think it could use a word list though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent, Jan. 30 2004
By A Customer
This course works very well! Although you don't learn very much vocabulary, what you do learn you learn well.I realy wish the comprehensive version was less expensive though. The program leaves you with an excelent accent (or so I've been told)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Confidence Building, May 6 2002
By A Customer
I bought the 30 tape course in November 2001 for a trip to Beijing in February 02. Now maybe I was being a little ambitious expecting to learn much however I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised.

The course was easy to follow. As other reviewers have done I listened to the tape driving to work. Due to the rapidly approaching holiday I also went out in my lunch hour and parked up in my car in a quiet place listening and repeating. Then driving home I played the tape again. Maybe once more that same night before bed or in the early evening. So each tape was listened to at least 4 times. Sometimes I'd do the same tape for 3-4 days as quite often it was just on as background accompaniment during my commute. Over the Christmas/New Year holiday I was about half way through the course.
The system works. The words and phrases stick in your memory. By the time I went to Beijing I felt able to tackle conversations. I was able to make myself understood to the extent that I had taxi drivers speaking to me in rapid fire Mandarin expecting me to follow the conversation. If I had the money and had another trip back to China I'd definitely buy Mandarin 2 as the only downside is the lack of a really comprehensive vocabulary. Having said that it really is survival Mandarin which is needed in China away from, and even in, the tourist areas.
Finally, to show how good the system was and without being a big head, I was speaking better Mandarin than a guy who'd been living in Beijing for 7 months. Another local Westerner who'd been there for 10 years told me that it had taken him about 2 years to get to the level of speech/understanding that I was at. So thank you Pimsleur.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Learn Mandarin while u drive..., March 17 2002
By 
After taking traditional courses in Latin, Italian, and German, I thought it would be a real challenge in my senior years to learn something completely different. Enter Mandarin. After searching out various taped programs to use while I commuted to work, I opted for the small Pimsleur tape version. Soon I realized I needed to upgrade to the full 30 unit CD version(the beginning was identical to the sample tape version). It was an excellent choice. Yes, they sometimes speak faster than you can respond; no, I don't mind replaying a disk to improve diction; and yes, it is expensive. But when I finished Mandarin I, I replayed the entire set of 30 units randomly to improve my own spontaneous responses. My vocabulary became more natural and my pronunciation improved (as confirmed by speaking to Chinese students at my university). It is clear you get one dimnension of instruction. I tried Transparent Language and it didn't engage me as much. After six months, I started sitting in a traditional college Mandarin course which helped even more. Most cities have a Chinese-American community where people get together to learn Chinese, so this should be available to most. I enjoyed it enough that I now bought Mandarin II. This picks up the pace and expects you to be in good shape from Mandarin I. I am most satisfied. Starting with listening and speaking is a good way to learn pronunciation naturally and accurately, but you still need real-person feedback (even with CDs I sometimes had problems with consonants). So it's now 15 months later (I only listen while I commute for 20 min.), and I have very positive feedback from my Chinese friends. So go for it. Beijing here I come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The easiest program I've found, Jan. 31 2002
By 
Ben Dover (Queensland Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Chinese (Cantonese): Learn to Speak and Understand Cantonese with Pimsleur Language Programs (Audio Cassette)
I have to admit, I didn't think I'd learn anything from these tapes but I was very suprised how much I had retained. The complete (30 lessons) Cantonese learning program was very easy to use, all I did was spare half an hour a day. It took me about 10 weeks to finish and I was very happy with what I'd learnt. I could speak to friends and be understood, even though my vocabulary was small, the words I knew sprang to mind effortlessly and quickly. My friends were quite impressed. The program would be much more fulfilling however, had there been an intermediate and expert volume as with some other Pimsleur courses. I was just beginning to really enjoy Cantonese when I ran out of tapes, I hope a second and third edition are on the way. I would recommend this to anyone serious about learning another language, but if you wish to become fluent, this only the first step.
Note: Some of the other reviews are about the Mandarin version.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Garbage, Dec 28 2001
By 
Skeezix (Minneapolis) - See all my reviews
Seriously folks, if you go abroad, you will say good morning a thousand times your first week-- the same goes for all the set phrases the Pimsleur stuff teaches you. You don't need to spend hundreds on something that you can do with a book and making an effort.
It's fun, though (hence the 2 *'s), because it's easy and it makes you feel like you learned something. But try to step outside what your have been Pimsleured to spout off and you don't know where to go. Grammar and vocabulary study will never be replaced by some easy to swallow pill like this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for everyone, Dec 17 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Chinese (Cantonese): Learn to Speak and Understand Cantonese with Pimsleur Language Programs (Audio Cassette)
I've learned so much Cantonese with these tapes in just three weeks. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning the language.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a few tips, Nov. 26 2001
By 
Jennifer Kerns (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'm currently using Pimsleur to learn Japanese and Cantonese, and I'm thrilled with my progress. Pimsleur has a truly effective system for learning language painlessly and effectively.
I've noticed, though, that on many Pimsleur reviews here on Amazon, people say they needed to listen to each tape 2-5 times before they felt they knew the material. Fortunately, that's not necessary. Here's how to make equal progress on just one listening: Each time you're prompted to come up with an answer on your own, *stop the tape* and give yourself time to think before you get interrupted by the soundtrack. If the tape gives you the answer before you've come up with an answer yourself, you haven't learned anything.
(...)
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5.0 out of 5 stars This course was a turning point in my Chinese studies., Nov. 7 2001
By 
Frank Simons (Cincinnati, OH United States) - See all my reviews
I had learned about 1000 Hanzi on my own, but my listening and speaking skills weren't very good. After completing this course, I am much more comfortable with conversational Chinese. I think this is an excellent resource for the beginner to intermediate student. I have already pre-ordered the second course due to be published soon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wanting More, Oct. 18 2001
By A Customer
This system allowed me speak and understand more Mandarin than I had in the previous year of beginners' classes. Some words are not exactly clear to the English speaking ear so I found a good dictionary to be useful. Will purchase second volume when it becomes available.
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Chinese (Cantonese): Learn to Speak and Understand Cantonese with Pimsleur Language Programs
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