Rosetta Stone Chinese Level 1 & 2 Win/Mac Personal Edition
Rosetta Stone Chinese Level I & II opens up a new world to you by teaching you how to communicate with a new culture! Reviews and testing features help identify weak points and work harder on them Comes with illustrated User's Guides and Curriculum Text books Ages 6 & up
Customer Review: Good for speaking -- not so good for reading and writing
Relative to many of the other languages offered through Rosetta Stone, the Mandarin package is very good. Rosetta presents all material using the continuous tense (e.g., "The boy is running;" "The girl is laughing.") -- this is not conducive to learning how to conjugate verbs, which, in my mind, would make learning how to effectively use a lanuage very difficult. But in Mandarin, there is no conjugation of verbs, which makes learning through the continuous tense just fine.
I have already studied Mandarin for a few years and lived in Beijing for a few more. I purchased this set with the goal of improving my reading and writing skills. In terms of reading, it's not bad -- definiately beats the tradiitonal learning method of going through blocks of text, dictionary in hand (using a dictionary to look up Chinese words can be very time consuming). That said, the software doesn't present any opportunities to practice reading more than one sentence at a time, or something that is out of context (the true test of lanuage mastery). As for writing, this package is useless. There is no input method for Chinese characters.
So, for learning how to speak and improve pronunciation, I would say this series isn't too bad. For improving reading and writing skills, I would look elsewhere.
Customer Review: Great Immersion Program
The idea behind this is to help you learn a new language the way you learned your first one: Repetition. There is NO English. This is not like classroom learning with vocab. memorization and grammar charts. You just jump in and do the lessons over and over until you finally 'get it.' It's a lot like being a baby, but that's how you learned English- right?
There are drills for listening, reading, writing, and speaking. This is truly a great program. But, if you aren't willing to devote some serious time to it, don't waste your money. You won't instantly have a 50 word vocabulary to impress your friends, but after a week or two you WILL be able to read, write, understand, and say 'A boy and a girl in a boat.' (and several other phrases- all from the first lesson).
This is for anyone who is ready for a different approach to learning a 2nd language.
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