EuroTalk Talk Now Chinese Mandarin
Talk Now! is the world’s best selling language learning CD-ROM series for beginners, used by more than three million people to date. Designed for newcomers to the language, Talk Now! is the perfect method to access a wealth of comprehensive fundamental vocabulary and accurate pronunciation in one user-friendly plan packed with useful words, a picture dictionary, and quizzes. Anyone over 10 years of age will find the program indispensable for improving listening, understanding and spoken language skills.
- The “intelligent” software feature remembers words you get wrong and targets your weak points
- Extensive basic vocabulary, from first words, food, colors, phrases, parts of the body and numbers, to telling time, shopping and countries
- Each of the target languages for Talk Now! has help available in an additional 102 languages – simply choose the flag of your native country in the beginning of the program & EuroTalk’s Talk Now! Program will provide instruction in your native language
- Each topic contains listening practice, an easy game, a hard game, a printable dictionary as well as the opportunity to record your voice and hear how you sound in comparison to the two native speakers who tutor the user throughout the Talk Now! course
- Each question that is answered correctly increases the user’s score – get an answer wrong and points will be lost. There are 1800 points in total to gain from the disc. A full score earns the user a ‘Gold Award’
Here are some visuals from the Talk Now CD ROM:
The program loads from the CD ROM and installs quickly and easily onto your computer. You still need the CD ROM to access the program, though. You can also upload it to your iPod. Personally, I’ve tried learning languages from CDs before but no matter how many times I listen to it, I don’t seem to have picked up very much. I think it is because I’m a visual learner. But I digress…
There are several categories in the beginner program “Talk Now”: first words, food, colours, phrases, body, numbers, time, shopping and countries. Pick a category and you’re ready to go…
There are five components in each category: word practice, speaking practice, easy game, hard game and a function that allows you to print the picture dictionary.
Word practice shows a picture, the Chinese character, hanyu pinyin, and the word in your language. You can elect to have the words read aloud in sequence or you can click on each word to have it repeated on command. This is handy if you need to listen to specific words again.
In the speaking practice, you can practice saying the words yourself. You can record yourself to hear how you sound, however, you need a microphone for that. You can choose to repeat after the speaker, or to say the words on your own after viewing the visual cues.
You can play the easy game to test how much you have retained. The computer will read four words from the list you have just learned showing you the picture and the word.
They will then ask you to identify the word they repeat from the four words they have shown you previously. This one’s pretty easy even if you haven’t really learned the words yourself.
In the hard game, they show you the chinese characters, the hanyu pinyin and the pictures and ask you to identify which picture represents the word they have shown you.
You can do further testing in the games section on the main menu. Again there is an easy level and a hard level.
In the easy level, the man will show you two cards and will ask you to find the card that represents the word that he tells you.
He will continue with more and more cards until you’ve covered covered 11 cards. In the example above, he opens four cards and asks you to find the colour red (in Mandarin of course). Once you identify red correctly, he will ask you to identify another colour and then another until there is only one card left. He will then move on to the next level and open five cards.
In the hard game, it is almost like the easy game except that it also trains your memory. After reading each card out, the man will turn the card over and you have to remember which card is where.
You can have the base language in any language you prefer. For example, you can elect Russian as your medium of instruction instead of English.
I’ve only got the Mandarin software to go by, but I have picked up a mistake. Under food, they say that rice is “mee” which actually means “noodles”. My Mandarin may be crap but I do know that rice is “fun” in Mandarin. When I listened to Wink to Learn Chinese the other day, I could have sworn the pronunciation from Talk Now sounds different. Now I’m wondering who they got to do the recording for Talk Now… Are they even native speakers?
Here’s a video recording – if you’re a native Mandarin speaker, let me know if it sounds legit…