Archive for April, 2013


Mind Your Language

Very funny. I’ve never seen this. An unusual premise for a sitcom, it seems!

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Survey Shows Most Popular Methods of Teaching English

Kaplan International has recently conducted a study revealing the most successful and most used methods of teaching English as a Second Language.

They surveyed 503 ESL teachers from the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Russia, India, South Korea, Turkey, Georgia, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Greece, Vietnam, Spain, Cuba, France, Taiwan, Thailand, Azerbajan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Mexico, Iran, Ukraine, Jamaica, Malaysia, Romania, Poland, Argentina, Czech Republic, Latvia, Uganda, Malta, Singapore and Chile.

The results are interesting, and sometimes surprising.

Read More at http://secondlanguage.hubpages.com/hub/Most-Popular-Methods-To-Teach-English-The-Beatles-Obama-and-More

 

Please check out our site about Mandarin Learning Software for more detailed recommendations, but in the meanwhile, here are some questions and answers about the Best Language Learning Software For Mandarin.

 

Best Language Learning Software Mandarin

Mary asks…

Any good sources/books etc. to help learning Chinese?

Hello
I’ve recently started a Chinese language course at university (along with History) and would love to find out if anyone knows of some good websites or software (etc.) which would help with learning aspects of the Chinese (Mandarin) language – i.e. characters, vocab etc.

Thanks

anita answers:

Chinesepod.com

It’s a paid for service but they give free trials and samples and it is really good. There’s loads of good stuff online and loads of free stuff.
Also, http://www.ted.com has lots of videos in English with transcripts in Chinese and youtube has lots of Chinese songs online with Chinese subtitles and some of them have translations into English as well. There are also lots of Chinese teaching videos on youtube.

John asks…

Engineering student looking to learn Chinese?

I’d like to self-teach myself so that I have the option of working in China or with Chinese engineers in the future. Any advice on what dialect is most commonly spoken by Chinese engineers? Also, any recommendations on self-teaching language software would be great too! Thanks for the help!

anita answers:

Chinese in use:
Mainland China: Mandarin, simplified character
Taiwan: Mandarin, tranditional character
Hongkong: Cantonese, tranditional character
Singapore: Mandarin, simplified character

So it depends on where you’re gonna work.
Nearly all people I know who is learning Chinese chose Mandarin. More and more of them chose to use simplified characters.

I don’t know about self-teaching language software .You can I ask someone here http://forum.chinesepod.com/

Donna asks…

Is there a good site on the internet to use to learn Chinese (Mandarin?)?

Pay sites are OK if they’re worthwhile. Does anybody have any experience?

anita answers:

Well, since you mention you wouldn’t mind paying, I’d highly reccomend the Rosetta Stone software or website subscriptions, they are known as the best and most efficient way to learn languages, and are used frequently by government, military, and corporations to train their employees when sending them abroad.

The level 1 software is around $200, or if you use the subscription website, that’s around $40-50 a month. It sounds pricey, but their instructional method is the best in the field and allows you to absorb quicker.

http://www.rosettastone.com/en/?a=b

A free method, though not as detailed can be found at the Languages site operated by the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/

David asks…

I wanna learn standard Cantonese (speaking,grammar,etc).Where can I get the Cantonese dictionary?

I am very interested in learning language. Now, I intend to learn Cantonese includes the grammar, speaking, writing,etc. To help me to do so, I really need some sources and references like dictionary and software to learn it. May I know any website that allow me to get such information? Of course, I also interested in any other kind of language.

anita answers:

Err, Cantonese is a dialect. There’s really no “Cantonese” dictionary. Any dictionary would be in Chinese, and however you say the characters depends on what dialect you want to use. Take the number one, which is written like this: –. Just a line across. Now, that’s what a Chinese-English dictionary will show you if you look up the number “one”. However, you pronounce it “ee” in Mandarin or “yut” in Cantonese.

Unfortunately, Cantonese is weird. THere’s spoken, common Cantonese, and there’s what’s actually written. Written is really formal, and regular Cantonese people don’t talk like that. The best way to learn the spoken stuff is to get a Cantonese movie with subtitles and just watch it. Unless you can get an actual person to tutor you.

Sharon asks…

Best tools to learn to read Chinese characters?

What’s the best software online or program/course online that can teach me to read Chinese characters with transaction in Cantonese and not Mandarin since I already know how to listen/speak in Cantonese but cannot read? I do not need to know how to write just to read Chinese characters)

anita answers:

Depending on your situation, I recommend using “two software- Cantonese Conversation Learning in 3 Months” and “Jia-Ming Learning Cantonese.” These two language interface programmes are all mandarin Chinese and can help you read Chinese characters. You can also subscribe to the Chinese newsletters from http://www.echineselearning.com/newsletter/index.html which are fashionable, interesting and useful and can make your reading more effective.
Answer from Jennifer Zhu, Professional Chinese Teacher from http://www.eChineseLearning.com
Live Teachers from China!

Betty asks…

Help with a short translation to Mandarin, please?

How would you write down the following line, please? No software translations, I can do that myself and I simply don’t trust them (does anybody?)

“You are the most beautiful flower of the East.
Thank you for cheering me up with your smile every day.”

Thank you!

anita answers:

Hi, I’m Jennifer, an online Chinese language teacher from eChineseLearning.

Nǐ shì dōnɡfānɡ zuì měilì de huā.
你是东方最美丽的花。
You are the most beautiful flower of the East.

“花 (huā) flower” in this sentence refers to a lady.

Xièxiè nǐ měitiān yònɡ wēixiào ɡǔlì wǒ.
谢谢你每天用微笑鼓励我。
Thank you for cheering me up with your smile every day.

By the way, I’d love to share a website which provides all kinds of free Chinese learning materials with free audios:
http://resources.echineselearning.com?ecl=ptEEEEEEyh092002.

Please feel free to contact me at Jennifer.zhu@echineselearning.com if you still have questions, I’m always happy to hear from you.

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To find out more about the Mandarin Language, you can read the Wikipedia article here.

 

 

 

If you are looking to see exactly how Fluenz French works, check out our site at Best Language Learning Software for a free video demo. (Click here)

 

If you have questions about Fluenz French, here are some of the best answers to questions from other users:

 

Chris Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

Chris asks…

If I do rosetta stone levels 1-5 to completion will I be able to understand french movies no problem?

I love french movies and it’d be great to learn the language. Anyone that used this program know if it’ll help understand movies without subtitles?

Anita Rai 2 cropped Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

anita answers:

I am using FLUENZ French right now. I have never tried Rosetta Stone. Your question made me curious about the comparison between FLUENZ and Rosetta Stone. I Googled “Fluenz vs Rosetta Stone”.

Apparently, RS is more of immersion learning. FLUENZ is taught in English which works much better for me. The teacher understands what might confuse an English speaker and explains things well. I took French immersion lessons (45 hours worth) and it was maddeningly difficult. I came away from that class with virtually no practical communication skills in French. By the way, I have been living in Paris for over a year now. FLUENZ uses rapid drills that include translating, listening and speaking exercises, plenty of pronunciation practice and vocabulary drills. I am only on the second of 5 discs so far. I have a long way to go.

One of the best things I have found is watching French game shows on TV. Sometimes I am surprised when I can follow an entire conversation between the host and the contestants. I do watch some French TV programs and movies. Sometimes I can understand, but usually the conversation is going so fast that I miss too much.

I am going to guess that if you successfully complete either one of these language programs, you will be able to understand movies without subtitles. Like I said, I am only about a third of the way through the second of five discs and I can understand parts in some movies already.

If you go to http://www.fluenz.com, I think you can get a sample of how their program works. I tried it and knew I wanted to buy that product. I enjoy using FLUENZ. It is challenging, but doable.

Michael Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

Michael asks…

How do I become fluent in French?

I’m a freshman taking French 1 at the moment. I want to become fluent as fast as possible, and what most people say to do is to immerse yourself with the language. Unfortunately, I don’t know many that speak french fluently, and moving to Europe is not possible. So, what should I do? Just keep watching French videos/movies?

Anita Rai 2 cropped Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

anita answers:

The best software reviewed is Fluenz (not Rosetta Stone) but it is only a stepping stone to fluency. Pscho-linguists have found thatchildren born into multi-lingual households need to hear a language for at least 30% of the time to become fluent. So I suggest that you do all that is possible to reproduce an environment of immersion including: 1) viewing the nightly French news at 7pm EST on many public stations, 2) subscribing to the French-language channel TV5 Monde, 3) seeking language exchange with visiting French students at your university, 4) finding an audio-visual language partner via sites like mylanguageexchange.com and use Skype to video-conference, 5) subscribing to Netflix and renting French movies with English subtitles, 6) join or form a Francophone Meetup Group locally, 7) invite a French exchange student (see local French consulate or Alliance Française) and 8) take a short, intensive week or two of French in Quebec.

Ken Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

Ken asks…

What’s the difference between Rosetta Stone with Levels 1,2,3 and the personal edition?

I want to get Rosetta Stone French version and I need help in choosing the right one for me.

Anita Rai 2 cropped Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

anita answers:

Hey Brandon,

Let me see if I can help:

Rosetta Stone Level 1 is like a beginners class, level 2 is intermediate, and level 3 is advanced.

From Amazon:
Level 1 includes everything you need to begin learning a new language from grammar and vocabulary to basic sentence structure. It’s the foundation upon which your language-learning journey begins.

Level 2 lets you interact and engage. By the time you complete this level, you’ll be able to talk about your environment, give and get directions, tell the time, dine out and more.

Level 3 builds on language fundamentals and conversational skills. You will learn to share your ideas and opinions, express your feelings and talk about everyday life; your work, current events and much more.

that being said, Rosetta stone is a decent program if you are into IMMERSION style learning. I’ve used RS, and obviously for them to be charging so much it’s going to be a good program and you WILL learn. However, it’s my experience that there are better programs out there. If you are dead set on RS french don’t let me deter you – it is a GOOD program – but I’m just trying to give you my input.

So if you are dead set on Rosetta Stone do this:

– If you can only purchase one, get the first one if you are a beginner.
– If you can afford all of them, get 1, 2, and 3. If you just want the first two, get the first two.
– Get it from Amazon, it’s $100 cheaper than if you get it from rosettastone.com

NOW, I personally suggest two language programs which I believe are the best (I’ve used both of them, and I’ve become fluent in that language – keep in mind though, I’ve been at it for a year, although I believe if you are willing to put in the work and really use these programs you can become fluent much faster).

The first one I suggest is Rocket French, if you click on the link in my source (the /french one) it’ll give you a little more information. They offer a free ebook + a free 6 day course. RF is great because, well straight up, it’s the cheapest and best AND you can download it instantly. Otherwise if you don’t want to download it, you pay more and get it shipped to you (there is no difference in the actual product download or shipped, only dif. Is it costs more, and you cant use it right away).

The second product I recommend is Fluenz, it’s like Rosetta Stone but better. The sheer product quality is just astounding. It also comes with a 1 / 2 Level, I’d suggest get both, this will take you from beginning-advanced.

There are reviews for all these products on the page I provided in the source.

Hope this helps & GL with your french journey.

Mandy Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

Mandy asks…

What are reliable books/dvds/cds to learn a foreign language?

I know English, spanish, and learning french. I want to learn many more languages so what are some good dvds/cds/books that YOU have learned from from your own experience?

Anita Rai 2 cropped Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

anita answers:

I’ve used Pimsleur to learn Spanish, Arabic and a bit of Mandarin Chinese. If you’re an audio learner then look into getting the French version of it! Pimsleur programs are pricey, though, so you might want to consider downloading free FSI courses online that teach French. Just Google “free FSI courses” and the first thing that comes up is a website where you can download free audio courses not just for French but for a big list of other ones as well.

Besides Pimsleur, I also like Fluenz and Rocket French. They’re both audio + interactive programs. Google them for more info.

For books you can buy.. I recommend “Living Language” series from Random House (they recently released a French program that covers beginning thru advanced levels), “Colloquial _(insert a language name)_” series from Routledge and the “Teach Yourself” series from http://www.TeachYourself.co.uk (the books are published in the UK but they’re widely available in US bookstores).

Good luck in learning French! icon smile Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

Thomas Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

Thomas asks…

Please help- Cool dog science project topic & good way to learn French?

I need a good topic for dog health. How to do dog CPR? Different bone fractures? ANYTHING!
Also, I need to find a way to learn french (Cheap and easy!)

Anita Rai 2 cropped Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

anita answers:

I’ll try to answer both questions – very different!
For dog health, it would be interesting to talk about the health issues in very tiny dogs. My aunt had a teacup poodle which had all sorts of problems that bigger dogs don’t normally have. The poor thing had a terrible bone fracture just from sliding across a wood floor and hitting a dresser.

For French, you need to think about why you are learning it, when/where you will speak it, and your favorite way to learn. There’s usually a class at a local college available, but you’re tied to their time schedule. There are lots of different programs for learning online, through software, or audio. It depends also on your budget. The best programs combine audio, visual (pictures and video), written words, and speech practice. There are also some websites online where you can learn a little French for free, which is a good way to get a taste of the language, but it won’t get you that far.

A few good French language courses to look at are Tell Me More French, Fluenz French, Rocket French (but there’s no visual), and Instant Immersion French (cheapest, but I haven’t tried it yet so I don’t know how good it is). Rosetta Stone is probably the most well-know, but overpriced in my opinion. Just don’t buy any program unless it has some kind of money-back guarantee.

Bonne chance!

Sharon Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

Sharon asks…

How long does it take to learn a language if you live there?

I want to move to South Korea in the future and I really love the language, I know the alphabet and simple phrases and I would be willing to take courses but many people say the best way to learn a language is to submerse yourself in it,
my friend learnt English fluently within 2 years of living here and interacting with English people but she went to school here, my German teacher tells me the same though,
is it easy (ier) to pick up a language if you live there?

Anita Rai 2 cropped Fluenz French   Best Answers To Your Questions

anita answers:

I know people always recommend immersion. However, I think that immersion works much better if you have a solid background in the language first. Take some courses or use a language program.

I have been living in Paris for about 15 months now. I took immersion French lessons (45 hours worth) when I arrived. It was very frustrating because I just did not know what the teacher was saying most of the time. Also, I had to use a workbook entirely in French, so it took me an average of 6 hours to get through the 4 pages of dialogs/text followed by 4 pages of exercises. I had to use Google Translate for every single sentence. That was very time consuming. It was an inefficient use of time since I only had 45 hours to try to learn French with that class.

I did learn some about French and its structure by virtue of all of that translating. However, it did very little to help me actually use the language on a day to day basis.

Now, I am using the FLUENZ French DVD program. That is helping me to actually speak some French out in public. The FLUENZ tutorials are taught in English and they know what might confuse a native English speaker. It uses rapid paced drills to reinforce reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension skills. It is a very good program.

I would have been much more successful in my French immersion class had I completed the FLUENZ French program first.
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EDIT: Zirp made some excellent points. In France, some people will “rescue” an American struggling to speak French, as a lot of people speak English here. It makes it difficult to get the necessary real world practice. And if the French talker is speaking quickly (as in a normal speaking pattern), it can be too fast to capture all of the assorted words and phrases. It is helpful to find a patient person who will let you practice speaking with them.

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Have you ever wondered how Rosetta Stone English works? Well, here is a live demonstration for you recorded on video.

As you can see, there are exercises, pronunciation guides and other features.

This is the most popular language learning software in the world, so you may find it perfect for you. If you are interested in purchasing it click on the links below.

If you want to see other English language learning software you can click on our reviews here.

For other questions on Rosetta Stone English, you can see some of the best answers below.

 

Jenny Rosetta Stone English   See Exactly How It Works

Jenny asks…

Is Rosetta Stone English worth promotion points?

I noticed on AKO’s skill port, Rosetta Stone english is listed in courses able to be taken. Even though english is my first 

Read More at Rosetta Stone English – See Exactly How It Works