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Unforgettable Languages claims to have you speaking Chinese Mandarin within 10-12 hours of study! OK, you won't be fluent but you will at least have retained some vocabulary and be on your way to speaking with some competence. The course focuses on vocabulary, grammar and claims that it will have you speaking effectively and with confidence in various types of situations abroad, whether you are traveling, learning for school, or getting to grips with Mandarin for business. Regardless of your age Unforgettable Languages Chinese Mandarin Level One may well be the product for you. It is available for Windows, MAC on CD Rom format or you can download it directly to your computer or onto your mp3 player, all for the same cost of under forty dollars.
Unforgettable Languages uses what it calls the Linkword Method. This is basically a memory technique used to help you remember words. How do you do it? First you are shown and told the word in English, then you are shown and told the word in Chinese, then you associate some (often silly) image with the new vocabulary for ten seconds, then you can remember it. This might seem slightly ridiculous but this is a proven mnemonic technique that is surprisingly effective. You can create a chain of silly images that actually help you remember words easily, and eventually these words will be stored in your long term memory. Let's look at an example. The Chinese word for 'tree' is 'shu' so in order to remember this association we imagine one of our shoes stuck in a tree. We hold this image in our minds for ten seconds (try it now) then move on to new vocabulary. Afterwards we are tested on what we can remember. It is amazing how much you will remember using the image memory chain technique. Can you remember the Chinese word for tree?
Unforgettable Languages is best suited for beginners. Its primary focus is building up vocabulary and pronunciation using Linkword technique. But for those who are not Mandarin novices this might prove too superficial a technique and may prove quite boring in the long run. Can using a memory technique such as Linkword really be substantial enough to learn a complete language? No. But Unforgettable Language doesn't claim to teach you the entire language but it will help you come to grips with vocabulary and have you speaking basic Mandarin with relative ease. However, if you are looking for a more elaborate and systematic study of Mandarin that includes writing and a more comprehensive and technical program for learning Mandarin, there are much more challenging products out there.
For those wanting to learn beginner level Mandarin using an engaging mnemonic method, Unforgettable Languages is the product for you. It will increase your vocabulary exponentially. It might not be substantial on its own but supplemented with other resources it would be a fine addition to your learning package. The method really is engaging and uses your memory in a surprising way. Go and try it out on Unforgettable Languages website and see how many words you can remember as you are guided through it by an English speaker. It really is effective. Can you still remember the Chinese word for tree? That's right - shu.
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