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Pimsleur Chinese (Cantonese) Level 1 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Cantonese Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Pimsleur; 30 Lessons + Notes edition (June 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743500172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743500173
  • Product Dimensions: 31.8 x 3.8 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #388,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you want to learn Chinese, forget writing. That is a totally separate slow, tedious process that may or may not reward you depending on your diligence. To learn to speak such a language as Cantonese you really have to focus a lot on listening and mimicing native pronunciation. I know this because I already had basic speaking ability of Cantonese having grown up in Australia to Chinese parents. Changing the tone of a word slightly can effect the meaning entirely so it is really good to listen to the Pimsleur CDs to check my own pronunciation and knowledge. Even though I knew alot of the stuff on most of the CDs, I felt that my fluency improved a great deal and I was able to build up my vocabulary. After each CD you can really feel slight progress, especially if you take some time between dialogues and substitute the words on the CDs for different ones. Maybe from a dictionary or something.
These CDs are really great for learning Cantonese but I really think they are too expensive. I would buy all the sets plus other languages if they were cheaper. Oh well, gotta keep saving! It would also help to have some easy vocabulary printed in Chinese characters to help visual recognition in case you need it when you travel. There is a vocabulary list for the Spanish CDs so I don't know why they haven't included one for these CDs.
I would really recommend this package to anyone wanting to learn the Chinese languages and to people like myself who speak Chinese at home but have low confidence in speaking to others in public. It has really boosted my confidence and I can't wait until the next time I go to Hong Kong and road test my communication abilities!!
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Format: Audio CD
I originally started learning Cantonese when I was little, since my parents are both native speakers. But over the years I used the language less and less, until we only spoke English at home. Sadly, as much as I am able to understand in Cantonese, my speaking and pronounciation are not where they should be. After I convinced my parents to look into the Pimsleur Method, they agreed to buy the course for my sister and me. With just one lesson, I am happy to say that it did not disappoint me and my levels of tones have greatly improved. The only drawback I find is that the lessons are more formal that what I'm used to hearing and the accents of the Cantonese speakers are extremely thick. Overall, this style of learning a language is much more effective than others out there.
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Format: Audio CD
You will not find a better language course than Pimsleur. I've tried several other courses for Cantonese and struggled with them without really learning much. Since Pimsleur focuses on pronounciation and speaking, you really get into the language itself, without having to learn someone's system of writing tones and vowels. My Chinese wife and her family tell me I speak without an accent.
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Format: Audio CD
Learning tonal languages is often the biggest challenge for those of us brought up on European native languages. As an English speaker natively, I found learning German and French quite easy, as the roots of the words we use in those languages are often common, and building sentence rules are similar. Yet tonal languages are spoken by a huge number of people, and when I was dating a Chinese lady, I decided to try to learn Cantonese to better converse with her. After all, she learned English to talk to me, the least I could do was return the favor!

I tried a number of different language learning systems, including a highly-touted series (yellow boxes) that failed miserably to impart even the basics to me. So, since I'd used Pimsleur's series to improve my German, I took the (expensive!) plunge and bought the set. My learning process was routine: listen to a lesson while driving in the car. Since I had long commutes, the process worked well, and week after week I built my language skills. The pronunciation by the two presenters differed from each other a bit, but I would be able to mimic their tonals quite well with practice. The breakthroughs started when I could "think" the answer in Cantonese instead of processing it in English then translating to Cantonese.

In the end, it took me several months to go through the lessons, ensuring I knew the material in each before moving on. The constant repetition helped as well, recalling previous lessons. While all Pimsleur courses unravel the same way, there's nothing wrong with the process as it gets common situations (restaurants, shopping, finding places) out of the way at the early stages and builds your confidence quickly. The rest is about building vocabulary and more abstract phrases.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start but it needs reviewing if you live in Hong Kong Jan. 18 2006
By Mr. Richard Hustwit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've found the CDs a great help to my Cantonese. I am an expat living in HK for three years and have recently got engaged to my Chinese girlfriend.

My cantonese is 'so-so' but I really wanted to have a good go at becoming fluent (and to increase my confidence). My fiance is impressed with the tones and the repitition but occasionally she'll say, " actually, use this instead. Noone says that anymore".

I know that it's only small things and if your an overseas Chinese then you might not notice these differences in the language (in HK that is, I've got no experience elsewhere).

So although I like the CD's and they are obviously very benificial, I am also lucky to have someone here to correct the errors. Maybe it just needs updating but a great start.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works, period July 19 2005
By C. Ng - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Like Dennie in NY, I am also a native Cantonese speaker - born and raised in Hong Kong. My caucasian wife purchased this system about a month ago and it has worked wonderfully for her. I have listened in on the CDs and have offered help from time to time. The system does what it is designed to do and NONE of the pronounciations are wrong. Some of the lessons and phrases are purposefully simplified for the beginners. The idea here is to equip the student with some basic conversation skills and not turn them into a native speaker. Cantonese is a VERY difficult language. It has more exceptions than rules. There are multiple ways of saying the same thing. The Pimsleur system is well thought out and breaks it down so that leaning is fun and possible.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only way to learn Chinese. July 2 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you want to learn Chinese, forget writing. That is a totally separate slow, tedious process that may or may not reward you depending on your diligence. To learn to speak such a language as Cantonese you really have to focus a lot on listening and mimicing native pronunciation. I know this because I already had basic speaking ability of Cantonese having grown up in Australia to Chinese parents. Changing the tone of a word slightly can effect the meaning entirely so it is really good to listen to the Pimsleur CDs to check my own pronunciation and knowledge. Even though I knew alot of the stuff on most of the CDs, I felt that my fluency improved a great deal and I was able to build up my vocabulary. After each CD you can really feel slight progress, especially if you take some time between dialogues and substitute the words on the CDs for different ones. Maybe from a dictionary or something.
These CDs are really great for learning Cantonese but I really think they are too expensive. I would buy all the sets plus other languages if they were cheaper. Oh well, gotta keep saving! It would also help to have some easy vocabulary printed in Chinese characters to help visual recognition in case you need it when you travel. There is a vocabulary list for the Spanish CDs so I don't know why they haven't included one for these CDs.
I would really recommend this package to anyone wanting to learn the Chinese languages and to people like myself who speak Chinese at home but have low confidence in speaking to others in public. It has really boosted my confidence and I can't wait until the next time I go to Hong Kong and road test my communication abilities!!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Investment June 23 2004
By Paulina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I originally started learning Cantonese when I was little, since my parents are both native speakers. But over the years I used the language less and less, until we only spoke English at home. Sadly, as much as I am able to understand in Cantonese, my speaking and pronounciation are not where they should be. After I convinced my parents to look into the Pimsleur Method, they agreed to buy the course for my sister and me. With just one lesson, I am happy to say that it did not disappoint me and my levels of tones have greatly improved. The only drawback I find is that the lessons are more formal that what I'm used to hearing and the accents of the Cantonese speakers are extremely thick. Overall, this style of learning a language is much more effective than others out there.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but please publish part 2 and 3 Sept. 17 2004
By Lovera Ermanno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've discovered Pimsleur language courses surfing the Web (I live in Italy, and they are not available in the bookstores). Languages study is my hobby and before knowing Pimsleur I wasted a lot of money in books and tapes with any results. I learned German and Spanish with Pimsleur and I'm fluent in both languages.

I've studied Chinese for two years with a tutor's help (very expensive) and I dare say I learned more with this Pimsleur Chinese Cantonese course and with less pain than with a qualified teacher.

This set is expensive, but shop around for teachers and ask for fees!!!

Moreover you can choose when and where to study provided you have available a cassette or a Cd player.

The snag is that after the 30 lessons you need to continue your study and unfortunately so far they haven't published set 2 and 3 (available in German, French, Spanish, etc....).


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