Fluenz Mandarin review.

About Fluenz Mandarin Software.

Fluenz is one of the newest available language learning software’s on the market. As the company is still quite new, it offers courses for more popular languages like French, Spanish, German, Italian as well as Mandarin. Visual Mandarin learners tend to prefer Fluenz program for studying Mandarin. This is due to the fact that it teaches learners through video based lessons and different workouts & flashcards.

Fluenz teaching approach is a lot different from programs like Rosetta Stone. The main difference is that they claim that explanations are very important when learning new languages. An instructor of this software guides you step by step through the course, explaining grammar rules and vocabulary in more detail after each lesson. So basically you get a feeling that you have a real time instructor on your computer, who teaches you all aspects of Chinese language.

Review of The Main Features.

There are currently 3 levels of Fluenz available for learners of Mandarin (some more popular languages like French and Spanish have 5). So Fluenz course is mostly oriented to complete beginners at Chinese. Consequently learners can’t achieve very advanced level in Mandarin only by using this learning program. Each level of this software is divided into sessions (45 sessions for 1-st and 2-nd level and 30 more for third level). Users who want to comprehend all material properly, should dedicate approximately 2 hours for a single Fluenz lesson.

All lessons in Fluenz program are related to each other. Once they progress, phrases and conversations become more and more difficult. Before you start each session you can choose to see subtitles of the conversation (only English, both English and Pinyin and no subtitles). It is very useful feature of Flurnz, because in the beginning it might be a bit difficult to understand dialogues. Once you advance, it’s a good idea to turn them off in order to improve you listening skills as well.

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After completing lessons in Fluenz, you will also need to do different exercises. They can be useful for practicing Mandarin from different angles and keeping your retention rate high. Some of these workouts are quite easy to do (Match the word or phrase and Match the word with the picture), while others can be a bit more challenging. It is worthwhile to mention that quite a lot of exercises in Fluenz software require writing – translate from English to Mandarin, type what you hear and etc. So prepare to type a lot! The other feature of this software that most visual Mandarin learners can find useful are flashcards. It allows users to customize flashcards based on their learning needs. Learners are able to generate flashcards by selecting particular lessons, what area of Mandarin to improve and etc.

Most of vocabulary that you can learn from Fluenz Mandarin is essential. Words and phrases in this program were specifically selected to be useful for travelers. So with Fluenz you can learn how to book a hotel, communicate with taxi driver, order food and etc. Since Fluenz provides quite a lot of explanations and repeats previous studying content, it doesn’t introduce much new vocabulary in lessons. In each session of this program you can expect to learn approximately 3-5 new Mandarin phrases. While it might seem like not much, but at least you can be sure that you will be able to recall what you have learned.

fluenz-chinese-featuresA long with the main software, Fluenz includes accompanying audio CD’s. Learners can use them for studying Chinese on the go. This is quite useful supplementary studying content for busy learners that can help to improve Mandarin pronunciation and comprehension skills. This means that you don’t have to spend additional time near your computer and you can learn while driving your car or in the gym. To make studying more convenient, Fluenz program can be accessed via different devices too. You can install it on your computer, access studying content online or download Fluenz app and learn via your iPad, iPhone or Android device. With so many studying options, you can definitely find just a little time everyday to login to this program and improve your Mandarin language skills.

What Do Other Peoples Reviews Say?

Majority of reviews and testimonials about Fluenz Mandarin software that you can find online are very positive. Users compliment this course because it gives comprehensive explanations on new vocabulary & topics. Also it is well-structured and it does sufficient repetition to keep retention rate high.

Despite that you can definitely find a few negative testimonials. They point out that this course is too expensive and it doesn’t teach Chinese characters (only Pinyin). Also some users are not too happy that most workouts in this software requite a lot of typing. Read a few actual user reviews of Fluenz Mandarin software bellow.

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Want to read more user testimonials of Fluenz Mandarin? You can find plenty of them by visiting Amazon site here.

Review of the Main Strong and Weak Sides.

Strong Sides:

  • Explanations provided at the end of the lessons are clear and systematic. They will help you understand Chinese grammar and structure from a perspective of English speaker much easier;
  • Fluenz gives explanations on Mandarin tone pronunciations in the first lessons. This is essential part for learning how to speak in this foreign language;
  • Video based lessons, dialogues, different types of exercises, accompanying audios are some of the features included in this program. They make learning Mandarin less monotonic and more fun. Also by studying Chinese through different multimedia, you can greatly increase your overall learning efficiency;
  • It is easy to retain what you have learned from Fluenz. This is because the same studying material is repeated in further sessions and provided workouts help to keep retention rate high;
  • Fluenz uses slightly different teaching approach for separate languages and also there is some cultural content provided too. Also all images used in the software are related to specific language;
  • This program teaches essential Chinese vocabulary from the first lesson. So if you are planning a trip to a Mandarin speaking country soon, this will help you learn the most needed words and phrases to get around;
  • Fluenz has advanced tracking so all your activities in this software are fully tracked. Hence you will be able to finish studying Mandarin where you last left;
  • It is very convenient to study Mandarin via Fluenz program while on the go. This is because it has audio CD’s for practicing speaking and comprehension skills while on the move. In addition to that all material in this program can be accessed online or via app (suitable for iPhone, iPad or Android mobile devices).

Weak Sides:

  • Prepare to write a lot, because half of exercises in this software require learners to type. Even though it is quite time consuming way to study like this,  it definitely helps to learn vocabulary and how to write words correctly;
  • Each lesson of Fluenz focuses only on a couple of new Chinese phrases. So even after completing all levels of this course your Mandarin vocabulary will be very limited;
  • Fluenz lessons only present explanations in the videos. It would be quite useful to have them in a written form as well (at least for my studying style). This is because after you complete a lot of lessons, it becomes quite difficult to find in which video it was explained;
  • Instructor of Fluenz lessons is not a native Mandarin speaker. This means that you will not always hear correct accent & pronunciation. Although in the third level instructor is changed to native speaker (Yi Wei), so it becomes not an issue anymore;
  • This software doesn’t teach Chinese characters, only Pinyin. Courses like Rocket at least include Chinese characters along with the dialogues;
  • It would be quite useful if Fluenz would offer more social features for studying Mandarin. Some competitor courses include e-tutoring or features that allow to communicate with other Mandarin learners;
  • One of the most expensive software’s for learning Mandarin. Depending on the current discount, you might need to spend even up to $308 for all 3 parts.

Summary of a Review.

To summarize this review, it could be said that Fluenz can be one of the best beginner courses to learn Mandarin for learners who have a larger budget. With various different workouts in this software, you will be able to recall studying content easily. Also it will make your Chinese studying more engaging and dynamic experience. Additionally Fluenz program provides detailed explanations on all areas of Mandarin. Consequently you will be able to progress with this course without too much difficulty and it will make your whole studying experience less frustrating. Also studying content in Fluenz can be accessed via various devices and there is supplementary studying material available to learn on the go. All these mentioned features make this studying program suitable even for busy Mandarin learners.

One of the biggest downsides of Fluenz is lack of Chinese characters (only Pinyin included). So if you are planning to learn Chinese writing & reading, you will find this learning program incomplete. In these cases you will definitely need some supplementary Chinese studying material. Also most of Fluenz lessons tend to introduce only a couple of new phrases and quite a lot of time is being dedicated to explanations. So even after finishing all 3 levels of Fluenz, your knowledge & vocabulary in Mandarin will be still quite limited. So before making a decision about Fluenz Mandarin program, it is worthwhile to keep these disadvantages in mind.

Interested in learning more about online courses for studying Mandarin? Then you should read this article. It lists 6 most popular online programs for learning this language and points out their main strong and weak sides.

Where to buy Fluenz Mandarin Courses?

buy-fluenz-mandarin-softwareAlready decided that Fluenz is the right program for you to study Chinese language? In that case you can buy this Mandarin course at Amazon or official Fluenz website. There is usually no difference between prices in both of these sites. Of course it’s still a good idea to check them both before making a purchase.

Currently you can buy this course for $308 (1-3 levels) on Amazon. There is also an option to purchase only 1-st or 1-2 levels of Fluenz Mandarin. Nevertheless, the price for these options is quite similar. Hence it is more cost efficient to buy all three parts at once. Buying separate levels later will be way more expensive at the end. Still not sure about this Mandarin learning program? You can test a demo version of this program at Fluenz site, which is totally free.