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Mandarin Cassette Pack

Book Review

 

Title:

Mandarin Cassette Pack

Publisher:

Berlitz Publishing Company,  Inc.

ISBN:

2-8315-6270-8

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

July, 2000

Rating:

Mandarin Cassette Pack is a  foreign language course designed with the traveler in mind. The program consists of a 90-minute audiocassette tape and a phrasebook with dictionary. The course is packaged in a convenient pocket-sized plastic clamshell cover.

ama-2831562708.jpg (3184 bytes)The  audio material in the course begins with simple words and pronunciations, then progresses to more complex dialogs. The program covers common travel situations  such as checking into a hotel, ordering food and dining out, sightseeing, and  traveling. In addition, basic foundations of the language such as colors, numbers  and times are presented. Attention is given to emphasizing the special intonations of the Chinese language throughout the course with practice drills in almost  every chapter. The audio portion of the course teaches the student Mandarin,  a common Chinese dialect.

The phrasebook with this program can be used with the audio material but is also available as a stand-alone reference. It is organized in much the same way as the audio program is. Arrival  and hotel phrases come first, followed by dining, shopping and sightseeing sections.  Each section is color coded for quick access. A concise English to Chinese dictionary is included in the appendix. Each word is presented in English, in Chinese,  and in a romanized pronunciation format. A reference page number to the phrase  book is also provided for each entry.

The phrasebook makes extensive use of substitution as an aid to language comprehension. For example, the student learns a phase such as "May I have…" and then is provided several  examples to end the sentence such as "May I have some bread?" or "May  I have some salt?" This method improves the listener's retention of the subject matter.

This course is readily adaptable to learning on the run, such as during commuting to work or while exercising.  Each word or phrase is presented once in English, once slowly in Chinese, then once in Chinese at normal conversational speed. The phrasebook provides an aid to further learning of the language or as a handy reference guide when needed on your trip.

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