Alright let’s call a spade a spade, this post is somewhat biased, or very biased: We are HUGE fans of the Pimsleur method to learn Mandarin or any language. (our editors have tried Spanish as well) This set of audio courses is not well marketed compared to the well known Rosetta Stone, but we can bet real money any day that Pimsleur is far more effective.
Mandarin is a very difficult language and any way you slice it, on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 2 would be an english speaker learning French) learning Chinese is a difficulty ranking of 4. It’s daunting, but learning everyday survival Mandarin to get around China is not that hard. We like the Pimsleur method because it trains you scientifically the same way a child learns a language. It is the most natural method we have come across, convenient when commuting, with practical phrases that can be put to use almost immediately. The best value is the complete set $450 for all levels… sound rich? You can do it piece meal, but once you get rolling, you will end up hungry to advance to the next level…it IS that much fun AND CONFIDENCE INSPIRING! Full refund available from them if you feel our assessment is wrong too!