Pimsleur Mandarin Review

You have already heard of Pimsleur. In my Mandarin overview I told you how I used it. It’s a great resource. There are some drawbacks though. I hope this review will be a conclusive set of views on it.

Pimsleur Mandarin: The Good

Its great for showing you in practice what the Mandarin IPA is like. Pimsleur Mandarin excels at the sounds. Most people i see on YouTube and the like have terrible pronunciation because they are petrified of getting the tones wrong. Pimsleur Mandarin doesn’t teach you tones explicitly, rather it teaches you the words and you get the tones via repetition. Exellent.

The next big pro is that it uses a Spaced Repetition System approach. It doesn’t teach you once and then let you forget. You are constantly challenged at almost random with the information you have learned. You have to retain and then recall it.

So those are some of the pros of learning with Pimsleur Mandarin. Get it here if they have convinced you. The cons of the programme are listed below.

Pimsleur Mandarin: The Cons

It doesn’t cover much material, in a pure sense. Your vocabulary will be limited. The amount of sentences you know will be limited. You’ll know how to pronounce sounds of the language very well, but ou really need to supplement your learning with Pimsleur Mandarin with some other programme.

Its quite pedestrian. Pimsleur Mandarin teaches you to speak like a tourist in China. This is very handy provided you are a tourist in China. If you want to chat to some buddies at your local bar in Washington, it’s a different story. that’s not to say the discourse isn’t valuable, but remember that you aren’t going to talk formally for your whole Mandarin learning career.

The writing is neglected. I can kind of see why they don’t let you read along. but it’s the major weakness of all Pimsleur courses, and Pimsleur Mandarin is no exception. Luckily, you can find people who have transcribed the course with a simple Google Search.

Conclusion to the Pimsleur Mandarin Review (For Now)

I recommend Pimsleur Mandarin. That said, please bear in mind that it isn’t a complete training programme by any stretch of the imagination. once again, get it straight from the source here.

So, one final call to action. Get Pimsleur Mandarin here.

Language Bug

  • Stephanie says:

    I like Pimsleur. But it’s definitely a very early introductory course. I think that what hurts Pimsleur the most is its overly ambitious advertising and marketing. You can’t learn to speak a language with Pimsleur. But you can certainly get started on the right path!

    • languagebug says:

      It’ll definitely help you get started. I think if you follow a ‘Speak from Day One’ style approach, it’ll help you get over the daunting “I don’t know anything” hurdle.

      I think the problem with a lot of language courses is their insistence on saying “It’s a complete solution..” I don’t even have a problem with something like Rosetta Stone in theory, but the idea that you can use it on it’s own to become fluent is dishonest.

      Thanks for your comments!

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