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Pimsleur Chinese (Mandarin) Conversational Course - Level 1 Lessons 1-16 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs Audio CD – Audiobook, November 1, 2005

85 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0743550499 ISBN-10: 0743550498 Edition: 2nd Edition, 16 Lessons

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Paul Pimsleur devoted his life to language teaching and testing and was one of the world’s leading experts in applied linguistics. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed The Pimsleur Method based on two key principles:  the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory training that he called “Graduated Interval Recall.”  This Method has been applied to the many levels and languages of the Pimsleur Programs.
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Product Details

  • Series: Conversational (Book 1)
  • Audio CD: 8 pages
  • Publisher: Pimsleur; 2nd Edition, 16 Lessons edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743550498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743550499
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 2.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For help in selecting the right Pimsleur Language Program for you, or with technical questions, call us at 1-800-831-5497, 24/7. For more information on Pimsleur, visit, www.pimsleur.com.

Dr. Paul Pimsleur (b. 1926, d. 1976) devoted his life to language teaching and testing and was one of the world's leading experts in applied linguistics. He was fluent in French, good in German, and had a working knowledge of Italian, Russian, Modern Greek, and Mandarin Chinese. After obtaining his Ph.D. in French and a Masters in Psychology from Columbia University, he taught French Phonetics and Linguistics at UCLA. He later became Professor of Romance Languages and Language Education, and Director of The Listening Center (a state-wide language lab) at Ohio State University; Professor of Education and Romance Languages at the State University of New York at Albany; and a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Heidelberg. He did research on the psychology of language learning and in 1969 was Section Head of Psychology of Second Language Learning at the International Congress of Applied Linguistics.

Dr. Pimsleur was a member of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), American Educational Research Association (AERA), Modern Language Association (MLA), and a founding member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), who award the Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education every year.

His many books and articles revolutionized theories of language learning and teaching. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed a new method (The Pimsleur Method) that is based on two key principles: the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory training that he called "Graduated Interval Recall." This Method has been applied to the many levels and languages of the "Pimsleur Programs."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Colin McLarty on June 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Obviously the course you chose should depend on what you want as well as how you learn. This Pimsleur course offers conversational Mandarin, not reading or writing. In fact that is what I want right now. It proceeds almost entirely by immersion with very little discussion of grammar or pronunciation. That is not perfect for me, though it might be for you. I will come back to it. This Pimsleur course is entirely audio and so is very well suited to learning as you drive or walk or whatever.

This is very convenient but there is another reason for it: Pimsleur has theory that if you look at written Mandarin (or any language) too early then you will have trouble acquiring a native accent, because you will pronounce the written Mandarin with an American accent (supposing you are American...). This may be exactly right, if Mandarin is only your second language. If you have already learned several languages with reasonably correct accents then maybe you will have less tendency to make that mistake.

The problem with immersion-only Mandarin for me is that this is an intimidating language for Americans. The musical tone of each vowel changes the meaning of a word and the tones are hard for me to learn.

So I am going to cheat on Pimsleur by also using Chinesepod downloads (mp3) and their written supplements. Sometimes I really can't be sure if a syllable on the Pimsleur CD begins with b or d. I can't always tell if a tone is rising or falling (although the narrator often steps in to help with that). So I will look it up. If Mandarin is your first foreign language maybe you should start with straight Pimsleur for just the reasons they give. Mandarin, even more than most European languages, is useless if you do not have a good accent.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Scallon on May 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Pimsleur is good for getting your feet wet but it's also lacking in that it only teaches you a few conversation topics. It stresses pronounciation of words and making your tones match the speakers on the disc, but tells you nothing about the four tones of Chinese (found that out the hard way). It also does not go much into sentence construction, only forming a pre-meditated sentence.

I give it 4 stars because as a beginner with no prior experience in Mandarin, it let me get a grasp of what I would be studying in more in-depth lessons. So if you know absolutely --nothing-- about Mandarin then I recommend Pimsleur.

P.S. Don't get the four disc version. The eight disc-er has the first four and nothing's different.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Mitch Johnson on January 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I really think this is a good method of learning, particularly Chinese. The people I know who speak English as a second language best are people who learned it by watching TV, not by studying. This second group of people often has the worst accents. Since the hardest part of Mandarin is the pronunciation, I figured the best approach would be to go alphabet-free for the first few years of my study. These CDs just allow you to listen and try to imitate, which I think is the best way.

Now the bad thing is that you really will not learn very much. You're not even going to learn the basics with these 7 CDs. What you will learn is several phrases (and most of the individual words in those phrases), but I've listened to these CD's over and over for the past year (to practice the pronunciation multiple times) and what I've learned from these CDs in the past year I feel I could have learned in about an hour or two in any European language (for which the pronunciation is a lot easier).

Also, the ad above says this is the "first half" of the comphrehensive set. That's true only if you consider the comhrehensive set to consist in the first set (I out of III). It is indeed the first half of the first set of the comphrehensive set.

I would recommend these CDs to anyone just starting out. I didn't expect to learn a ton of Chinese, just to practice pronunciation, but even I was surprised at how little Chinese I ended up learning by the end. There are so many pauses and repeats in the CDs that I think they could easily have taught twice the material in the CDs provided. It might sound like a lot of pauses and repetition would be good, but I can just repeat the cd myself (and I did). I'd rather they put more material on the CD so I could learn more once I finished learning a CD.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Shannon on July 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The problem with the Pimsleur approach is that they teach far too little vocabulary. You go on and on learning just a few words, and worse. You have to tolerate the 'gradual intervail recall system' which means you have to listen to entire half hour to follow their rigid program and if you don't, your memory technique is wasted.

This means that if you have, say, ten minutes in which to commute to work, you will listen to the same ten minutes teaching the same ten words over and over.

Your other alternative is to keep your finger glued to the fast forward button. There are no

'multiple track' opitons.

I greatly prefer the Behind the Wheel Chinese/Mandarin course.

The amount of vocabulary taught here far exceeds that of Pimsleur. Furthermore,

each CD has a sentence building section (8 CDs in all) that teach you basic sentence formation to accompany the vocabulary. There are two native Mandarin speakers on the CDs.

Even better, Behind the Wheel Chinese has multiple tracks which makes sailing through a review a piece of cake.

I gave Pimsleur four stars just because I'm sure it could work for some people.

I have tried other Pimsleur and Behind the Wheel courses and I always reach the same conclusion.

No contest in any language.

Behind the Wheel Chinese is way ahead in all categories.
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Pimsleur Chinese (Mandarin) Conversational Course - Level 1 Lessons 1-16 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs
This item: Pimsleur Chinese (Mandarin) Conversational Course - Level 1 Lessons 1-16 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs
Price: $28.06
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