CLO User 4's blog

Richard E., Australia

I just found your podcasts on itunes.. wow they are fantastic. I travel to china for business and need to know some chinese. I have listened to the first 4 podcasts and they have really helped me understand and pronounce words. thank you so much for your podcasts..they are fantastic, please, keep them coming through.

Jerry F., Health Sciences, Houston, TX, USA

I have been listening to lessons 61-68 on CD during my commute. Last night I went through all of the online material for lesson 63. I am impressed. I like the pace and the level of repetition. It seems like a good learning approach.

I think this is perhaps a good starting point for me. I picked lesson 63 because of the dialog (61 and 62 seemed to be review). I liked the online review questions about the dialog. I need to also work in some flash card exercises so that I can get some focus on character recognition.

Kirin is great. Her voice is clear and she is easy to understand. The native speakers are a little more difficult the first time, but I find it helpful to try to understand normal conversation.

Olivier M., Student, Paris, France

This website is just awesome. The way everything is taught is perfect for me ! Too make it short, I've read almost all the testimonials on the CLO website and I totally agree with them.

And the premium online features are worth it. They helped me a lot.
A last thing, the after-sales service is perfect.

I thank the CLO team for their work. I can't imagine how long it must have been to make all these lessons.

Parrish R., Teacher, Taipei, Taiwan

As far as the course goes, I started with number one just for context and I am now on lesson 57. I am not sure what level my Chinese actually is, but I have known most everything on the lessons I have finished so far. Although, it has been a great review for me on grammar, vocabulary and tones.

I have enjoyed listening to you and Kirin a lot. I think it was a great idea to have listeners from many different places, but overall, I would agree that I prefer to listen to Kirin's Taiwanese accent. Also, I just finished the level 1 review (lessons 58, 59 and 60). I thought the format was very challenging (in a good way). It seemed that throughout level 1, you would say something in Chinese and ask for a translation into English. So, the difference in the review, where you spoke English and asked for the Chinese translation, was both welcome and challenging. I enjoyed it and would welcome more lessons like it.

Finally, I think more reviews and mini-reviews would be very beneficial. I know that in the course you build on past lessons and vocabulary, but little quizzes in an English to Chinese format are great as well. Keep up the good work!

Susanna B., Switzerland

I would like to tell you that I really enjoyed this podcast a lot. And I will recommend it to anyone, and I wish I had found it sooner, I could have saved a lot of money on inefficient courses.

Hessiod., United Kingdom

I've been with you for about 2 months and I think your course is the best available !

I'm interested in Chinese culture. I spend about an hour and a half each day commuting by car, and I was looking for something to do with that time rather than waste it. I hit upon learning Mandarin via podcasts. I think I found your site by a random Google search. I tried "chinesepod"... they are good too, but because your approach is much more progressive I'm learning a lot more from you, and it's sticking ! I was looking for a guided alternative to Chinesepod....although they have different levels, there is no progression within each level, and I found the jump between elementary and intermediate too large for are left to figure out too much on your own, and there's little means of checking if your understanding is correct.

I started on your level 2, following the lessons in order. I was able to whiz through a lot of the earlier lessons, and am currently on lesson 113. I'm trying to cover about 4 lessons a week, but I know this is going to slow down very soon.

My method is to listen to the dialogues first to see how much I understand, then go through each lesson using the "mouse" on the complete transcript. Sometimes I try to memorise the vocabulary and some phrases, but often it just sinks in with repeated listenings....I probably listen to each lesson about 6 times. I start listening to the Premium podcast after I've listened to the main podcast a couple of times, and I use the Premium podcast until I can answer without hesitation. I think the Premium podcast is as important as the main podcast. I print the "Vocabulary" section so I can refer to the dialogues while ipod screen is too small to use for's dangerous trying to figure out the tone-marks while driving on the motorway ! I also try to understand what is being said in the video's, but I have to admit that I concentrate more on the podcasts...time is limited, and I also want to be able to read. I probably know about 300 characters now, and I'm pushing for the 500 needed for Level 3.

The presenting of transcripts in Hanzi is a great facility, really useful for those of us intent on reading; and Character Writing Practise sheets are a good idea...I was previously having to make my own, so you've saved me time there too, Ha!

Again, thanks for a great learning experience. I wish I had found your site 12 months ago when I started learning Mandarin.

Richard M., Teacher, United Kingdom

Just a quick email to let you know how much I'm enjoying the classes.
I'm on lesson 94 and- having had something of a stop/start approach to learning Chinese in the past- this is the first course I have been truly happy with. I've made more progress with a few weeks of your course than on all my other attempts put together. I can't tell you how preferable it is to listen to Kirin! Her voice is very clear and has a much more soothing quality than the other guys (no offence by the way.. they're all great.. but Kirin is the best!)

In the past I have tried (amongst other things) to use the Pimsleur Mandarin Chinese audio classes which were recommended to me by a friend- it is interesting to note that neither he nor I ever got much further than Level 2. Firstly, the feedback from my girlfriend (also a mandarin speaker) was distinctly cool whenever I tried out new Chinese on her. My attempts would met with plain incomprehension or phrases like "people don't really say it like that". Secondly, even the early lessons could be very confusing. One of the important differences between your classes and those offered by Pimsleur (of which I am sure you are aware) can be summed up something like this:

Pimsleur - you ming = famous
LearnChineseOnline - you ming = have name = famous

The willingness to explain the derivation of the chinese 'word' is absolutely invaluable to me in terms of being able to remember it.

In terms of feedback, the extremely positive comments from my girlfriend have been a great encouragement. She is as impressed with your course as I am, and the reassurance that I am making a great deal more sense and sounding much more convincing is a great motivation.

You and your team deserve credit for putting together such a practical, relevant and well thought out learning resource. It must be good, because if a lazy sod like me can do it after a long day at work then anybody can!
Your efforts are much appreciated.
Keep up the good work!

Joachim F., PhD, Linguistics and International Area Studies, St Louis, USA

I think that you are doing an excellent job, and your pedagogical concept is sound. I actually learned quite a bit, while working with
your material.

Mike S., Teacher / Businessman, Czech Rebublic

Thanks to Google I am happy indeed to have found you guys. I spend a few hours a day studying your course and it's a lasting privilege to have found your site. ABSOLUTELY superbly structured online course and I look 4ward to becomig as proficient as you.

Again, being a teacher myself, I am absolutely thrilled by the calm and professionality with which you and Kirin dispense the lessons.

Please feel free to quote my appraisals, they seem an understatement, if comparing YOUR classes to the rampant and flashy online competition. For me, you got the essence of teaching altogether: contrary to many a competitor, it ain't flashy ads and sex that sells (just browse thru some of the current online courses offers) but your calm, structure and competence.

Best wishes and I look 4ward to catching up as much as I can. Got to lesson 6 in a few hours and the stuff sticks in my mind too!!

Johan U., Sweden

Hi -just wanna let you know how satisfied I am with this course. I can't believe I am at lesson 24 and I simply enjoy. Yesterday I had a short conversation on a flight with a Chinese stewardess - it works, she understood! Thanks for precise lessons with humourous remarks put in for good measure. All the best and keep up the good work!

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