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Tell Me More Chinese was developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations. Therefore Tell Me More Chinese must be a mind bending program of linguistic genius that will have you speaking Mandarin in no time at all? Well, perhaps. Rest assured Tell Me More has millions of satisfied customers all over the world, learning a wide variety of different languages, successfully. This Chinese Mandarin course should hopefully provide the same level of satisfaction. Read on and find out if it cuts the linguistic software mustard.
Tell Me More focuses on all the essential areas for learning Mandarin, reading and writing in pin yin, learning the four tone pronunciation system, as well as learning to write using Chinese characters and understand Mandarin grammar. Learning Mandarin is no mean feat, it requires immense dedication, and regular practice, if you have these qualities Tell Me More may just be what you need. In practice, Tell Me More Chinese asks you to select the level you want to start at and the skill you want to focus on. It even has an entry test to assess more accurately just what your level is. You also receive a Tell Me More headset because Tell Me More seems primarily to focus on pronunciation work. You will need to make sure your microphone is configured correctly as you will use it quite a lot with this program.
There are four tones in Mandarin and each tone gives a different meaning, so if you fail to learn these, it could mean the difference between ordering a 'cup of tea' or a 'nest of birds'. Other language programs do focus on Chinese pronunciation yet what is good about Tell Me More is that their system is based solely around Speech Recognition Software. This means you listen to a native speaker and record yourself repeating this and then compare the sounds and improve where necessary. There is also an inbuilt error correction system which claims to tell the difference between the four tones, so if you aren't pronouncing correctly it will highlight this error until you have the right tone. Tell Me More has a whole host of lessons based on practical and conversational Mandarin. You will also chart your progress as you go and can revise as you see fit.
It seems that Tell Me More is pitched toward a learner who is already familiar with language learning. Even the beginner program is quite complex in its use of grammatical concepts as it delves into the 'physiology' of pronunciation, which is a specialist subject and might prove more confusing than helpful. As stated before, methodology is primarily pronunciation-based, featuring listen and repeat activities as well as record and compare pronunciation activities. Quite frankly, these activities are one dimensional, and again if you are completely new to language learning or Mandarin this could quickly turn you off Tell Me More. It seems also that some of the instructions are either insufficient or simply not included in some of the activities, again leading to confusion and frustration while trying to learn this complex language. So, ultimately, Tell Me More, is best suited to intermediate or advanced Mandarin learners who have some familiarity with the language. Beginners should probably try out an alternative product, with is more tailored to the needs of novices.
TellMeMore.com (Auralog, Inc.) have been taken over by their rival, Rosetta Stone. Although the original TellMeMore software is still available to buy/download from Amazon, the TellMeMore website now re-directs to Rosetta Stone's website.
Please note that Tell Me More Chinese has now been discontinued.