The Chinese language software sites reviewed below are all quite different in their course presentations – and aims, too.
You might just be wanting to dabble in a little light Mandarin… or maybe you’re wanting to really get to grips with the language from a professional point of view. Others of us are somewhere in between, hoping to learn to speak and understand basic Chinese, without having to spend too much time reading and writing.
Learn Mandarin Chinese with Transparent
The Transparent website offers a selection of software:
Everywhere Audio – an all-audio course with 40 lessons for beginners up to intermediate
Byki Deluxe – for learning core Chinese fast
Learn Language Now! – immersion Chinese up to advanced level using multimedia
Complete Learning Chinese Suite – combining the three courses above, along with a Power Chinese! course for memorizing Chinese characters.
The site also offers games, quizzes, survival phrases, word of the day, and a free Chinese software download – so there’s plenty to keep you busy!
“5-in-1” Learn Chinese
This Chinese language software is for serious learners only – and the software is offered by the Chicago Mandarin Chinese Center.
You get to hear natural voices with the software – TTS (computer reproduced text-to-speech) isn’t used. Lessons cover a range of topics, with dialogue, and there are dictionary features, a Chinese character writing demo, phonetic Chinese instruction with Chinese Pinyin, as well as an exam module.
This looks a very thorough, meaty course – and if you check out the Chicago site that they reference, you’ll see that they train many executives and professionals. This software could be for you, but if you’re looking for something a little lighter – or with a personal touch – while studying alone at your computer, why not try one of these Chinese language software packages:
Learn Mandarin with Fluenz
Fluenz will surprise you with its high-tech feel and practical, personal approach. Explanations are in English, critical words and phrases are taught from the beginning, and the on-screen tutor takes you step-by-step through each stage. Fluenz shows you what it’s all about with screenshots, video demo, and a sample session. You can also check out the full content of the course to find out exactly what you’ll be learning.
This conversational course focuses on the basics, but promises to enable you to learn Chinese “rapidly, effectively and easily” – while guiding you through what you need to know about Chinese culture, grammar, and Chinese writing.
Rocket Chinese offers an interactive audio course, along with transcripts, vocabulary and audio software learning games – and you can try the whole thing out by signing up for their free six day course.