As China grows in influence and power, learning Mandarin Chinese will become more important; it can be a career booster and will become more and more sort after by employers. Our first course is…
#1 Pimsleur Chinese
Pimsleur Chinese is one of the more established out of the 3 courses, it was developed by the memory expert Paul Pimsleur, who applied his knowledge of memory to language learning. The Pimsleur learn Chinese software is aimed exclusively at helping you speak Chinese, there is no instruction on how to write or read it, which may or may not be important to you. As you would expect from a course designed by a memory expert, what you learn from Pimsleur will stick with you for a long time, even if you don’t consistently use it. Drawbacks are that Pimsleur is very expensive ($800 roughly) and the aforementioned lack of reading and writing skills being taught. If you have the money and only want to speak Mandarin, then Pimsleur may be for you.
#2 Rosetta Stone Chinese
Rosetta Stone is another popular choice for people learning Mandarin, even Mr. Phelps gave it a try (though he probably didn’t have to pay:). Rosetta Stone doesn’t use much at all in the way of translation, preferring instead to immerse you in the language. Some people learn great with this method (not me, I’d prefer literal and figurative translations) and so they should probably use Rosetta Stone. Drawbacks are that this method is not for everyone, it’s expensive and the language taught can be said to be more formal than what is normally encountered.
#3 Rocket Chinese
The Rocket Chinese software is a recently developed course made by Rocket Languages, who are quite prominent online. This learn Chinese software has similarities to both Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone, with an audio section and software games as well. Overall I consider Rocket Chinese to be the most beginner friendly learn Chinese software, it’s fun and simple and quick to get results with.