Mandarin Lessons on My Terms

I always wanted to learn a new language. Growing up in Manila, you can only get so fluent in English and Filipino. In college, I had a spreadsheet where I compared the amounts for learning German (Goethe Institut), French (Alliance Francaise), and Spanish (Instituto Cervantes). I must have had what they call paralysis by analysis because I only started last week — learning Mandarin.

I’ve had a free membership at ChinesePod.com since they officially launched in December 2007 but I just filtered their emails straight to label(folder) called (Old/Learn Chinese) so it was hidden right away. I decided to face it, that sometimes you have to spend for something to dedicate yourself to it, like how others pay for exorbitant gym fees or tutors. So I started with the Basic Plan, which is USD 39 for 6 months — exactly PHP 1753.10 (I called my credit card hotline the day after to know the exact peso amount for my monitoring). Less than P300 a month! Beat that! When I get a bit past Newbie, I’ll likely upgrade to the Guided plan.

It’s pretty neat actually. Now that I’ve paid for it, I actually listen to a new Newbie Mandarin lesson at least every other day. My roommates must find it weird when I practice saying aloud “zaoshang hao” (good morning) when I’m still too lazy to get up in the morning.

I download the audio to my iTunes — I have my own feed URL and access to lesson reviews and PDFs. I copy it to my pq1 USB disk (2GB, P540 from CD-R King) so that I can listen when I’m using the HP laptop. I also sync a copy to PalmOne Real Player for JP’s Palm Tungsten T3 which I’ve claimed for myself. And I have a printout of the first 6 Newbie lesson PDFs at my bedside.

Screenshot of my customized Chinesepod subscription on iTunes

It’s really suited for me since I like to do things at my own pace. Affordable quality Mandarin lessons — don’t you just love the magic of the web? I’ve listed other places you can get beginner Mandarin lessons in the real world, however I can’t attest to their teaching methods.

  • Chinese Mandarin Business Language – Level 2: August 2-30 Saturday PM (Call PTTC at 4688969) ~ P2,500 for 5 Saturdays
  • Speak/Read/Write Mandarin. 10 Days Guaranteed. Lessons available every Saturday 9am-11am, 3pm-5pm at 32 P. florentino St, Corner Araneta Avenue, Talayan Village, Quezon City. Call Dunric Ng at 412-5493 or 0922-881-1618. ~ Free

Next, I’ll be mastering the First Tone! Xing! But here’s one for you.

Good quality right there. If you sign up for a free membership at Chinesepod via the links on this post, I get a teeny-tiny thank you from them, so I’d appreciate that. And oh, I just remembered. I don’t have a Chinese name 🙁 So I still can’t fully practice the “What is your name?” exercise. Know how I can get one?

Learn Chinese with ChinesePod.com
Here’s what ChinesePod’s customers are saying…

“It is the first time in years that I am truly learning.I am able to fit the learning into my schedule. Many thanks.”
“I simply love ChinesePod. Keep up the good work!”
“This is a great way to learn. I love the flexibility of the material presented. The podcasts are so listenable and the extra learning tools for the dialogues are extremely helpful.”
“Very high quality lessons — interesting, contemporary, relevant.”

Why not see for yourself.
Click here for a free trial.


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