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Pimsleur Chinese (Mandarin) Level 3 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs (Comprehensive) 30 Lessons + Notes Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0743525466
ISBN-10: 0743525469
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  • Pimsleur Chinese (Mandarin) Level 3 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs (Comprehensive)
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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: Comprehensive (Book 3)
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Pimsleur; 30 Lessons + Notes edition (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743525469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743525466
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,048,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After finishing Mandarin I, I felt as though I had basic knowledge of the language. After finishing Mandarin II, I felt as though I was able to use this knowledge in basic conversations. Now that I've finished all three levels, I feel that I have a good overall knowledge of Mandarin and that spoken fluency is within my grasp. This intermediate level would have taken years to achieve without Pimsleur, and my pronunciation wouldn't have been nearly as good. The only downside to this method is that you will NOT be fluent by the end, and you will need to finish the language on your own through self-study and conversational practice. For example, Pimsleur Mandarin teaches somewhere between 300 and 400 words, while 3000 - 5000 is required for fluency. Luckily, vocabulary is fairly easy to learn if you make a deck of flashcards. I've made thousands of these cards for Mandarin and other languages. They work. As for word lists, I've been using a few resources, but primarily the two-way dictionary in the back of the Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook, which contains about 2000 common words. I've also been using the Oxford Starter Chinese Dictionary, which is quite good. There are probably other good resources for vocabulary, but whatever you do, DON'T buy Vocabulearn Chinese. The female speaker in the recording has severe pronunciation errors which will damage your Mandarin beyond repair. Stick to the standard pronunciation that you see on television and hear in the Pimsleur series.
I also had a go at learning the writing system, which isn't as difficult as I previously thought. I can now read and write a few hundred characters, but this hasn't been nearly as rewarding as studying vocabulary. Still though, it is fun to be able to read the signs in chinatown.
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Format: Audio CD
So I am now immersed in the third volume of Pimsleur Mandarin. My reviews on the previous versions were very good. Mandarin III continues in the same vein, and I offer similar comments as given before. Pronunciation opportunity is excellent -- no Pinyin to distract you -- and you can effectively mimic sounds (at least on the CD versions). Occasioanlly, some sounds require Pinyin intervention and a dictionary -- I cannot quite distinguish some of the consonants. Could be my old ears? Overall, I have been very pleased. I have gone to Beijing after the first volume and a bit more, and had no difficulty. But I have cheated -- I've sat through some Mandarin classes in my local university. These classes have been essential.

Pimsleur is a great introduction to the language. It gives drills that develop important vocabulary, settings, and flexibility. They repeat enough to keep vocabulary relatively fresh. They rush you a bit to improve your fluency. They provide grammar in context, not as simply rules. So you sometimes know what to say, although you don't know a gramar rule. So?

I am on track to have comfortable comprehension and fluency. I still have a ways to go (even with my university classes). The Pimsleur set is a great accompaniment to the classes. And I figure out the grammar and associated rules. If you REALLY want to be fluent in Mandarin, you simply cannot rely on the Pimsleur alone (or perhaps any other fixed media). You need context, friends, classes, tv, movies, etc. But I would never give up the continuing practice the sets afford in the car. For me, the regular practice keeps vocabulary current, and "internalized." Pimsleur reinforces common scenarios you would likely experience in China.
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Comment 33 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
If you've already bought Mandarin I and II, then Mandarin III won't disappoint. III continues where II left off. It builds on what you already learned in the previous two, so it doesn't feel like starting over. III uses the same teaching techniques used in I and II - repeat what the speaker says at different times.
There are also 30 lessons and a supplementary CD. Each lesson introduces about 10 or so new words and a few grammar rules. This allows for a very gentle but progressive learning of new vocabulary. Unlike other language systems (which bombard you with 20-30 words per lesson), this promotes retention and as a result gives the student encouragement and confidence.
The downside of the Pimselur system is that it only teaches listening and speaking skills and no reading or writing skills. This may be fine for European languages, which are mainly phonetic, but with Chinese, it feels like you're learning only 1/2 the language. ...
Nevertheless, Pimsleur is the best non-classroom language system I've tried so far (and I've tried many!) It does its job very well, so I'm willing to forgive the lack of writing or reading lessons.
P.S.: I wouldn't recommend Mandarin III if you are a beginner and haven't listened to I and II yet.
Comment 27 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio Cassette
I am at least middle aged and heading off/been to Taiwan on business. So I decided to try and learn to speak Mandarin. I am an engineer so I am bright enough, but languages in high school and college were killers. It has taken me about 18 months to go through the 3 Pimsleaur programs. I don't want to depress anyone, but I do want to give you some perspective. During the 18 months I also worked my way through the book Beginner's Chinese by Yong Ho.

Each Pimsleur lesson is 1/2 hour long and they make it sound like you just move from one to the next. Usually it takes me 3-4 times per lesson before I feel comfortable enough to move on to the next. They also say that it is strictly an auditory program. It may be, but I have to make flash cards of the new vocabulary as I go along. I have a couple of dictionaires that I work with. The Oxford starter Chinese Dictionary is good and the Rough Guide has phonetic spellings as well as the pin-ying.

Up until now, I have been learning in sort of a vacuum. I have not had much opportunity to speak or listen to Chinese outside of the tape series. When I do get an opportunity to speak, my Chinese speaking colleages say my pronunciation is good enough that people will think I really know what I am saying and will then barrage me with lots of questions expecting that I can understand them.

So while I can now phrase a lot of questions and feel pretty confident about speaking (albeit with the limited vocabulary of the series), I still have a lot of difficulty understanding my co-workers. They speak faster, use words I don't understand, or put them in different order than what is on the tapes. Still they appreciate the fact that I am trying to learn their language and are very patient with me.
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2 Comments 16 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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