Difficulties using Pimsleur Mandarin

Have you used Primsleur and would you recommend it? I have been using it for three weeks now and do not seem to be able to advance beyond chapter 2. Whenever I listen to the CD my brain goes into overload mode within 10 minutes and I do not seem to be able to retain those simple conversations. Whenever I am supposed to remember something from the first part of the lesson my mind goes blank. Is it me? Is the course a time waster? It is actually my learning style to listen and repeat

I’ve been through all three courses of Pimsleur Chinese and I found it very helpful. You just have to listen over and over again and eventually you will pick up more and more. My commute to work is 30 minutes each way, and I use that time to listen to a lesson. Typically I listen to the same lesson going to work, and coming home. If you have difficulty with a particular lesson, keep listening to it until it makes sense. You will forget a few things, but that’s OK, they will bring them up again in later lessons. I am listening to all three courses again just for review. I find that I can almost follow along with my wife’s Korean drama VCD’s (dubbed in Mandarin). And I can pick up a few more things as I overhear her talking on the phone with her mom! :wink:

Now I find myself wanting more, since the Pimsleur lessons barely get you to an intermediate level. I’ve got tapes from my Integrated Chinese textbooks to help with that.

Keep on going with the Pimsleur - you will get better in time.

I’ve found that if you just listen it works much slower. I also have a 30 minute drive to work and i listen to my CDs to and from work. Actually i don’t just listen. I speak along with them. I imagine the conversations and also try to speak the phrases I know to co-workers, 7-11 staff, down at the food-stand, who ever. Keep at it and you’ll get better. Pimsleur is definitley worth it!

Where can I land a copy of Pimsleur?

Your exactly right. I also speak and repeat phrases while I am listening (probably getting strange looks from other drivers). They say speaking and listening use two totally different parts of the brain, so it is the best way to help memory retention.

Get Emule or a Bit Torrent client and search for it.

Yeah, the problem with that is that I’d need to get an internet connection at my apartment first. So is there no, y’know, legal way?

There was an ad about selling the set in Buy&Sell thread. Even a post gave the information how to get it free. Better look there…

I downloaded the series last year to get a taste of what Chinese would be like. Also got overwhelmed in the first few lessons, but ended up taking it anyway this year.

After studying it for a few months, went back to try Pimsleur again and stuff fell into place better. Perhaps you should try setting up a review schedule and don’t try to take too much new material in one sitting. My class also helped me to be familiar with a good amount of vocab and grammar they were introducing, so went to higher lessons. Though never got far again because this time I was so busy–with Chinese class!

Found out I’ll be going to Taipei this summer for Chinese study, so I’m going to try Pimsleur once again. Since the CDs with our textbook suck, really think the listening comprehension and speaking practice will help me.