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Fluenz Version F2: Mandarin 1+2+3 (Win/Mac/iPhone)with software DVDs, audio CDs, podcasts, and Navigator. Learn Chinese with the latest upgrade

by Fluenz
Windows Vista / XP, Mac OS X
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews) 10 answered questions

List Price: $519.00
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Product Features

  • Two audio CDs for additional training, downloadable podcasts, & the handy Fluenz Navigator for on-the-go referencing of important words & phrases.

System Requirements

  • Platform:    Windows Vista / XP, Mac OS X
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1

Frequently Bought Together

Fluenz Version F2: Mandarin 1+2+3 (Win/Mac/iPhone)with software DVDs, audio CDs, podcasts, and Navigator. Learn Chinese with the latest upgrade + Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters: A Revolutionary New Way to Learn and Remember the 800 Most Basic Chinese Characters
Price for both: $304.92

Buy the selected items together

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00310UXQW
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: December 1, 2009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)

Product Description


The only interactive Mandarin program offering an immersive environment that recreates the best elements of great one-on-one tutoring.

A Great Teacher on Your Computer
Discover Mandarin through the power of two great tutors with the comprehensive 1+2+3 program. The Fluenz custom-made approach guides you in English every step of the way through the challenges of Mandarin, while immersing you in the beauty of Chinese culture.

A Proven Track Record
Fluenz's unique approach is currently being used by elite units of the US Navy, senior personnel at the UN and UNICEF, executives at Microsoft, HP and Intel, as well as students at Harvard Business School and other leading universities.

How Fluenz gets you there:

  • A real on-screen tutor who guides you every step of the way.

  • Using English explanations so you never get lost.

  • Immersing you in the culture of the language.

f2 is the newest version of Fluenz, containing hundreds of small yet significant improvements over all prior versions of the program. f2 is a hybrid Mac/Win system which can run directly from the hard drive, offering superior audio and video quality, more powerful tools for targeting the areas where you need the most work, and enhanced navigation to give you complete control over the learning process.

The Most Comprehensive Program to Learn Mandarin

Mandarin 1+2+3
This comprehensive program will guide you through Mandarin in 75 sessions that take up to two hours and thirty minutes each to complete. Each session is led from beginning to end by a tutor who guides learners step-by-step with explanations, strategies, tactics, and tips to help English speakers reach a level of conversational Mandarin in the least amount of time. The program is jointly led by Yi Wei and Sonia Gil, recent graduates of Harvard and Cornell who have been developing Fluenz Mandarin during the last four years.

The Fluenz Difference
Designed by recent graduates of Harvard and Cornell Universities, along with veterans in language learning and high technology, Fluenz addresses the critical issues for adults and teens to reach fluency: 1) clear explanations in plain English, 2) the motivation only a great teacher can provide, and 3) hundreds of hours of focused practice specifically tailored to help English speakers master Mandarin Chinese.

No Substitute for a Great Tutor
Fluenz offers a great teacher to challenge and inspire you. Instead of matching pictures with Mandarin words over and over again, fluency can be reached more quickly by having someone actually explain to you in English how the language works. That's why every Fluenz session is built around a tutor who leads you through the learning process. The matching of pictures and words typical of immersion methods cannot account for, or explain, how the tone system works in Mandarin. This is critical because without mastering tones, no Chinese speaker will ever understand what you are saying.

Adults Should Be Taught Like Adults
Linguistic research shows that adults learn languages differently than children. Adults really benefit from having clear explanations of how Mandarin Chinese works. Instead of focusing on childlike phrases such as "red apple, green apple," Fluenz has you ordering food, giving directions to a taxi driver, making hotel reservations, and handling a wide range of other real-world situations right from the start. The program's third level expands your range of communication at the workplace by providing the relevant vocabulary and grammar.

Custom-Made For English Speakers
Cookie-cutter approaches based on matching pictures and words follow the same script from language to language. But using the same script to teach both Mandarin and Spanish doesn't make sense. Each language is unique, and each one presents its own unique challenges to an English speaker. For example, it is impossible to understand the tone system of pronunciation, "measure words", or rules regarding word order that are unique to Mandarin without a brief yet effective explanation in English.

Three Steps Towards Fluency
With Mandarin 1+2+3, you'll start out by building a strong foundation in how the language works from pronunciation to grammatical structures. Right away, you'll learn how to form useful questions and statements ("The check, please"), and from there you'll begin to construct more complex sentences allowing you to interact at restaurants, hotels, airports, train stations, and other essential locations. The third level of the program takes your Mandarin to a whole new level, enhancing the complexity and subtlety of your speech with in-depth work on tenses, conditionals, comparatives, and more formal structures. The step-by-step Fluenz system has been designed to move you beyond canned phrases to being able to participate in natural, unrehearsed conversation.

The Fluenz Approach to Mandarin Chinese

  • Chinese is easier to learn than most people imagine, but it must be clearly explained. For example, one of the biggest challenges for Westerners is the fact that each syllable must be pronounced with one of five very different tones. Two words can have the exact same letters, like ma, but they can mean either mother or horse depending on which tones are used. While these tones are very difficult to learn by simply listening to them and hoping to imitate them, a simple, common sense explanation in English (comparing familiar English sounds with each tone) can go a long way to mastering them and to navigating the many exceptions and changes that govern their use.

  • Using English can make all the difference in understanding "measure words," a key concept in Chinese that is absent from Western grammars. There is no way a learner can grasp when and how to use the right "measure words" unless the concept is explained and practiced in English. Mere imitation of expressions is simply no substitute for a good understanding of what's going on.

  • The Fluenz recording engine helps people hone their use of tones through self comparison, which makes far more sense than voice recognition systems that are so finely tuned to the five tones that it becomes very difficult to get it right. While voice recognition has advanced in recent years, its use in the learning of Chinese by English speakers can actually hamper learning by forcing them to meet impossible standards. Beginning Mandarin speakers should first focus on being understood, not on achieving a perfect pitch.

How It Works
Fluenz Mandarin is organized around one-on-one tutoring sessions that each take up to two and a half hours to complete. The tutor for the first part of the program is Sonia Gil, whose journey learning Mandarin in Shanghai and Hangzhou will enlighten your own process. The second part is taught by Yi Wei, a native Chinese speaker who grew up in Chicago and went on to Harvard.

How Fluenz Begins
The Fluenz tutor begins each session with a brief introduction. This provides an understanding of how the new material will take you a step closer to fluency, while immersing you in the cultural context and the experiences of everyday Mandarin in China.

Introducing useful, everyday language
This is followed by a realistic conversation between native speakers that uses all the words and structures to be learned in the session. These conversations place you in the most common, everyday situations right from the very beginning. These interactions have been designed to address the specific situations English speakers face in day-to-day China, and to lay the foundations required for more advanced study of the language.

Immersive one-on-one tutorial
Immediately after the conversation, the tutor presents a full tutorial explaining in detail and in English how every single new word and structure works. Beyond in-depth explanations, these tutorials offer strategies, tactics and personal experiences that give you valuable insights.

Workout to fluency
After each tutorial, the program turns to over a dozen different types of increasingly challenging workouts that cover reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These workouts reinforce and expand your communication at the same time. The recording engine allows learners to work on improving their tones and their overall accent.

Coaching you forward
At the end of the session, the Fluenz tutor returns to offer a conclusion, along with the kind of inspiration only a great teacher can provide.

The Path to Fluency 1+2+3

1. Build a Strong Foundation
Fluenz Mandarin begins by teaching how to form questions and statements that are useful on day one and that can be intuitively understood by English speakers (i.e. "The check, please," "I want this dish"). The Fluenz team felt this was more relevant than phrases such as "The man in running," typically found in other programs. For example, after only the first four sessions of level one, learners are already able to have effective conversations in a restaurant.

2. Describe Location and Directions
The program then shifts to describing and asking about location. In this way users can learn the basics of how crucial verbs work while advancing their vocabulary related to transportation and travel. Instead of memorizing words and pictures, Fluenz users actually get to understand how questions and phrases such as "Where is the hotel?" and "I'm going to the museum" both work and are used in everyday life.

3. Gain Confidence With Your Verbs
Mandarin verbs can be easier to learn than expected because they don't require conjugations, feminine or masculine endings, and no plural agreements. Because Fluenz has been designed from the point of view of English speakers learning Mandarin, the program takes advantage of this fact to accelerate the learning process.

4. Valuable Descriptive Terms
Because language without description lacks life and color, Fluenz puts great emphasis on how to add this important dimension to your interactions. Plus, when traveling or living in China, nothing is going to be more helpful than "bigger," "smaller," "less expensive," and those other adjectives that both make sense to English speakers and are easily used in forming sentences.

5. Building Blocks of Sophisticated Communication
Since the key to fluency in Mandarin is being able to use all of the most common parts of speech, Fluenz covers a wide range of central grammar issues. Learning key elements in Mandarin such as word order and commands, you'll be able to correctly form ever more complex sentences and express yourself with solid, confident Mandarin.

6. Understand Directions and Transportation
Giving and receiving directions is both a way to continue building the essential tools of Mandarin communication and a way to develop the skills anyone traveling will always need. Fluenz creates a path that gives English speakers complete control over the critical vocabulary and structures for asking questions, indicating directions, negotiating transportation, and explaining locations, all within the very specific circumstances of contemporary China.

7. Easily Handle Numbers and Time
After thorough workouts enabling learners to talk about location with ease, Fluenz makes sure you master numbers and, therefore, time. From counting to telling the time, Fluenz users gain control over a wide range of time-specific communication. Once time and location are joined, it becomes possible to form complex questions and statements in a variety of situations, such as planning trips or making appointments.

8. Confident Shopping and Negotiation
Throughout the program, your ability to interact in shopping situations is steadily improved. Fluenz works on the critical verb "to want" in the very beginning, and soon enough you learn how to ask about prices, make comparisons between different items, and express exactly what you're looking for. By the end of the program, you'll be able to handle shopping, ever important price negotiations in markets and shops all over China, and other purchasing situations with ease.

9. Make Plans with Conditions and Possibilities
Fluenz gives you the tools to make detailed plans, whether a lunch date with a friend, a business meeting, or travel abroad, using the nuanced tenses that allow you to express condition and possibility.

10. Discuss Family and Describe People
As your Mandarin becomes more complex and flexible, conversations will move from basic needs and wants to sharing personal stories and background. Beyond telling stories, however, the vocabulary used to describe family can translate into a multiplicity of scenarios and give you the capacity to describe people whether looking for someone in a restaurant or talking about your favorite movie star.

11. Express Opinions and Preferences
From dining situations to making plans with friends, being able to express your opinions and preferences is a key component to everyday language. The program introduces the verbs that will empower you in shopping and negotiating situations ("I prefer the blue one"), making plans ("I think we should go tomorrow if it isn't raining"), and discussing an endless number of topics from politics to sports ("I wish I could play tennis, but I think I'm a good soccer player").

12. Mandarin for the Workplace
Fluenz Mandarin has been used by executives who work at Microsoft, Intel, HP, by students at the Harvard Business School and other universities, senior personnel at UNICEF and other international institutions because they were either going to China or were already working there. Fluenz equips you with the tools to handle scheduling, negotiation and formal conversations, while providing you with the strongest possible foundation in the language from which to expand your vocabulary to suite your field of expertise. Most importantly, you'll be learning how to engage in conversations from day one, which means you can start using your Mandarin in the workplace right away.

13. Advanced Concepts
Once you've established a foundation in how the language works, it is time to add more life to your Mandarin by expanding not only your vocabulary, but also your comfort with a variety of familiar expressions and sentence structures. As the program progresses, you'll acquire tools to hold conversations with the present progressive, the simple past and the past participle, the use of conditionals, relevant vocabulary, a number of all-important "measure words", expanding vocabulary for descriptions, and a great deal of emphasis on word order. The more advanced sessions focus on work-related activities, such as making appointments and visiting factories.

14. Ideal for Communicating Wherever People Speak Mandarin
While Mandarin is an ancient and beautiful language, it is also the means of daily communication for over a billion people. Fluenz Mandarin has been designed to strike the right balance between its legacy and its dynamic nature, providing a firm basis for travel, living, and further study in China and Taiwan, and to communicate with the ever-larger number of Mandarin speakers in Macau, Hong Kong, and communities from New York to Singapore.

15. A Winning Team
Sonia Gil's experiences learning Mandarin in China and Yi Wei's native mastery of the language provide the ideal tutoring experience for English speakers.

Great Audio CDs and Exclusive Podcasts

Audio CDs: Mandarin for Your Car or iPod
The Audio CDs have been designed to follow the interactive program, providing an ideal supplement for on the go learning.

Fluenz Podcasts: Download to Learn on the Go
The Podcasts offer a more informal setting to follow key concepts, cultural context, and the adventure of learning Mandarin.

The Fluenz Navigator: Your Essential Phrase Book
Fluenz Spanish also comes with the Phrase Book Navigator, a useful quick-reference guide for travelers.

What's in the Box

Product Description

Discover Mandarin Chinese through the magic of a great teacher

Fluenz Follow the full program on your iPhone, online from your computer, or install it in your hard disk from the DVDs included in the red box. Additional audio CDs allow you to practice in your car, additional comprehension MP3s and access to our digital Flashcards make for the possible learning experience.

Real explanations
WeŐll break down Mandarin into parts and explain how they work together--nothing like good, common sense explanations.

Every step of the way
Our tutors will be there every step of the way with the tips, tricks, and motivation that will make a difference

No games, just real learning
Our workouts arenŐt simple games, but real practice tied to our step-by-step explanations. Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Reading to success.

Buy a Red Box, get full access
Own the software outright with your own set of DVDs and get access to the full program online, on iPhone, and a series of digital tools to enhance your learning

Are you ready?
Learning Mandarin takes real commitment. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. A game or a pen pal wonŐt take you very far. If youŐre willing to put in the hours there is nothing like Fluenz to power your work.

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product!! January 6, 2010
...(Updated as of 2/2/10)...
Note that this a modified version of my review from the 1+2 Product (which I rated 4 star). I changed my rating to 5 star for this particular version, as the 3rd cd for an extra $77 makes this product great value, IMO.

So I just finished all of the lessons in the software. That alone should give this product a couple of stars....I have previously tried many different ways to learn Chinese (books, CDs etc), but each time, I have given up within 3 weeks.

This product really kept me motivated, because it helped me retain the material! As other reviewers have mentioned, there are a ton of exercises to drill the new vocabulary in, which is so helpful. As background, I am a person who has a really tough time retaining languages....I took 5yrs of French back in High School, but the material just went in one ear and out the other. So the fact that I retained so much due to this product speaks volumes about its effectiveness.

I attempted each lesson twice....one time, I'd take the full lesson, trying all of the exercises, and typing out all of the answers. The 2nd time, I'd skip some of the questions which I knew well. Now that I am done, I plan on trying all the lessons one more time, just to become a little quicker at translating the spoken Chinese (there are 2 really nice lessons at the end which have long sections of dialogue....its a good way to test how much you have progressed).

So what have I learned? My wife, who is Chinese born and speaks fluent Mandarin can understand most of the phrases that I say now, which is nice. I haven't learned enough to carry out a 1min + conversation with her yet, but that's to be expected, since this product is an introduction to Mandarin. I can basically just ask her a few random questions.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The key to the Fluenz advantage January 13, 2010
I have been using Rosetta Stone Mandarin for two years and Fluenz Mandarin for about three months. I spent July 2008 and July 2009 in Nanjing, China, and I am about to spend nearly four months in Nanjing this year. I believe Fluenz is a superior learning program in many ways, but I think the most important feature is that Fluenz insists that I learn the proper tones for the words I acquire. If I get the word right but the tone wrong, my response is considered inaccurate and I must repeat the exercise until I get the tone right. Since proper tones are the key to communicating clearly with native speakers, Fluenz is, I think, a significantly superior product.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing October 13, 2011
Verified Purchase
I bought Fluenz Mandarin 1+2+3 about a year ago and have gone through all the lessons in preparation for a 10 month stay in China. I am currently in China, so unlike many of the other reviews, these are not "first impressions" but rather an assessment of its usefulness. Overall, I've found that Fluenz simply doesn't cover enough to be of too much use in learning Chinese. The philosphy behind the program is to cover few items but to cover them well, reinforcing what you've learned through repetition. That's fine, but after completing all three programs I still have a very limited vocabulary, not enough to really function well. For example, Fluenz spends multiple lessons on ordering food in a restaurant--which is good. But even after completing all of their lessons I still do not know enough vocabulary to effectively order food or to undertstand common questions that waiters ask you.

The podcasts for mandarin 3 are repetitive of the audio CDs, and in general Mandarin 3 doesn't cover much. I would have liked to see them speed up the learning process once you get to Mandarin 3.

In general, the program is good as far as it goes, but for the price one would expect to get a more comprehensive program that goes deeper into the language. They could have, for example, at least introduced some basic characters (the whole program uses pinyin, which is not used in China). Perhaps Mandarin 3 could have worked in a few basic characters, as you need to know some characters to survive in China. If you are planning an extended stay in China and would like to know some basic phrases and vocabulary, you probably will need more than Fluenz to accomplish the task.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best out there, but could be a bit better November 20, 2010
There are enough reviews that I won't bore anyone with the details of this software. I have the latest F2 and was trying to learn Mandarin for my trip to Taiwan. I just got back from that trip. I agree with all the raves about this program and won't repeat them here. I will list some things that I wish were a bit different:

1. This is mainland China Mandarin. There are subtle differences in dialect between mainland Mandarin and Taiwanese Mandarin. Some of which can offend people. For instance, don't call your waiter fuwuyuan in Taiwan. This would translate to 'servant' and would not make the waiter happy.

2. This course is not a great language cram course. The structure is great for comprehensive Mandarin. But if you are in a hurry, I'm not sure this is the best program out there. If you had only a couple of weeks or so, you might want to look else where. How about 'where's the bathroom' or some useful phrases at the beginning? I'm going to continue with this course because I know in the end it's an excellent course. But for quick learning, look else where. I've picked up the Pimlseur Mandarin course, which is better suited for time sensitive learning.

3. This point builds on my second point. You really are required to learn pinying with Fluenz. This slows down the learning considerably. Not only do you have to remember the words and their meanings, you have to know how to spell them. I get tripped up on all the accent marks. This really slowed me down. During my trip to Taiwan, there is nothing written in pinying. I know pinying is the future, and that it reinforces learning, but I wish there is a way to skip these sections.

4. My last wish is for a usb dongle. I have a mac air without a dvd drive.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars and greatly enjoyed the program
I tried several methods to learn Mandarin, and Fluenz was by far the quickest and easiest! I went through all 3 levels, and greatly enjoyed the program! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Desiree Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as effective as Pimsleur
I am a linguist with a PhD and have studied tens of languages, including Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin). Read more
Published 11 days ago by languageguru
5.0 out of 5 stars Fluenz is the best language program out there
After deciding to learn a new language I chose to buy the rosetta stone mandarin course. I quickly realized that it consisted of repeating a word while viewing a picture. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Lucas McLaird
5.0 out of 5 stars Really well organized and effective; need more male voices
This is better than Rosetta stone - the pedagogical approach is better designed for Asian languages than RS, which has a great approach for European languages. Read more
Published 2 months ago by David Kemper
4.0 out of 5 stars Great way to learn Mandarin
I really like the Fluenz Mandarin language teaching system. I pastor a church that is primarily Taiwanese. Many of the members of the church speak Mandarin. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb way to learn Mandarin!
This is my first time learning any language through software, but Fluenz has not disappointed me! So far I've gone through 26 lessons from level 1 + 2, and I found each lesson... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Brian Quach
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Like It
I have Rosetta Stone Mandarin and used it for several weeks before a business trip to China. Got there and realized that while I knew how to say things like "car", "cat" and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jlerp
5.0 out of 5 stars This product is an awesome way to start learning Mandarin
I'm not going to lie: learning Mandarin isn't easy, but if you stick with it, this program give you a really strong foundation. Read more
Published 11 months ago by chrismig3
3.0 out of 5 stars Have to consider what you get for the money you pay ...
I'm about halfway through Fluenz Mandarin 3, and so while I am not quite finished, I feel comfortable evaluating the product. I will say that it is not a bad product. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Charles E. Stevens
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally!
I have tried the Rosetta Stone courseware in other languages so I wanted to try a different method for Mandarin. Fluenz is just the ticket for me. Read more
Published 12 months ago by N. Couch
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