Kim L., Taiwan

Hi, my name is Kim. I’ve studied conversational Mandarin Chinese using the Pimsluer Program – Levels 1, 2 and 3, Instant immersion, Travel Talk and also briefly in a language institute in Taichung, Taiwan.  I have to share that chineselearnonline.com has been the single most useful, effective, convenient and fun way of studying the language.  It is also the most reasonably priced method of learning Mandarin Chinese that I’ve come across in all my research to find the best way of learning the language. My Chinese speaking friends are amazed at my progress since I have been studying with CLO.


Colin B., Los Angeles, USA

I basically just wanted to write to thank everyone at ‘Chinese Learning Online’ for what I think is an absolutely first rate service. The learning resources provided here are just fantastic, and very empowering in terms of self-study. I have worked as an EFL teacher for many years and am very aware of the level of hard-work which has gone into the design of ‘Chinese Learning Online’. It is easily the best thing I’ve found for learning Chinese, so thank you very much for such a high-quality product. Now back to study…!


Owen J., Australia

I got a long way through level 1 while travelling through China by rail in 2011. I also impressed some family when I managed to hold a bit of a conversation with some Chinese tourists we met in Turkey in 2012. Thanks CLO!


Richard M., Bangkok, Thailand

CLO mobile is a real achievement. The content that has generated much praise as a regular website is even better with the convenience of mobile. Highly recommended!


Johan B, Translator, E.U.

I have been working all my life as a simultaneous conference interpreter in the Interpreting Service of the European Commission. I think that the progressive approach that you are offering is indeed very good, it is like building, adding new bricks every week taking into account the experience acquired during the previous weeks. I personally like it very much.

Very important to me is the fact that the course allows you at any time to take a step back and check and repeat. Repetition is crucial when learning a new language in order to really digest and integrate the content of every level. I concentrate mostly on recognition of the characters now and also the typing; you have built in some very useful exercices in the Activity part of each lesson. So, I can only repeat what I have said before:

I’m really pleased with the structure of the course and every week I am also looking forward to the skype class, that gives me an opportunity to listen and speak and learn more in the margin of the written material.


Terry S., Psychologist, Belfast, Ireland

Hello, I just wanted to say that this website is excellent. I have found it really very helpful in learning some basic Mandarin. I’m now on Level 2 and progressing very well. I’ve tried other websites in the past like ChinesePod and ChineseClass101 which are excellent, but the biggest advantage of this site is that it is a progressive courses. It’s difficult to tell with other sites if you’re really making progress, but it’s easier with ChineseLearnOnline. Keep up the great work everyone. Thanks for helping me with my learning. I think I’m going to subscribe to the site to access the premium content as well. Best wishes for 2010.


Greg M., Electrical Engineer, Connecticut, USA

I really like your whole setup! The lessons are very good, and I really like the progressive aspect of it. For your reference, I also had subscribed to
Chinesepod, and Serge Melnyk’s lessons, and sample the ‘freebie’ content on several other sites. For the cost/benefit ratio, your system is a very good value. Your
online resourses are very good… chinesepod requires some outrageous subscription level to access theirs, a premium subscription only allows access to the mp3’s and the most basic transcription, not the auxilliary material. Yeah, Jenny is hot and all, I could listen to her laugh all day, but the newbie and ellie lessons are way too chatty :-)

Serge is pretty good. He throws a lot of vocab at you at a time, and some of their dialogs get pretty fast, but I like him. Not much in the way of extra resources, besides the pdf transcript, and a basic fill in the blank worksheet per lesson.

I find it funny that I’m learning Chinese from an Irish dude, a Russian, and you, who seem to have a pretty good Canadian accent going :-) Oh, and the native speakers … they are the hardest to understand, because they don’t enunciate as clearly as Chinese as 2nd language folks do.

Anyway, just wanted to say Hi and thanks. Keep up the great work .. enjoy your hiatus from creating new content. Looking forward to the improvements you mentioned, thought the website is pretty darn good already!


Bethany S., Australia

Thank you for creating such an excellent learning tool! Your site is very user-friendly and I find the progressive style of the course very effective. I looked at other Chinese language podcasts and study tools, and decided that Chinese Learn Online is the most helpful!


John T., Software Developer, United States

I’m still just a couple of days into CLO, but so far you’ve converted me over from ChinesePod.

Here are the key things I like:

1. Progressive lessons.
2. The transcripts have everything, not just the dialog.
3. In general, the way you organize and teach the lessons is more effective.
4. The choice of subjects is great. I’ve been studying Chinese for over three years already, and the lessons in the first level are filling some major gaps.
If only I had found you 3 years ago!
5. Being able to download zips of everything. (I’ve spent the last few days just downloading with my slow connection. 3.5 gb, my biggest download ever.
I’m amazed I didn’t have a single download problem except for a couple of false starts.)
6. The export mechanism.

I’m sure there’s more I will love as I continue to explore, as it seems you really “get it” about learning Chinese.


Dave L., Australia

Hi Adam, Kirin & team,
thank you all! I started learning with CLO in March 2009 while doing a TESOL course to teach English in China. I have been living & teaching in Yangzhou, Jiangsu since September 2009. While I still class myself as a beginner & still only catch a little of what is said to me CLO course has done the following: it has given me enough Chinese to at least begin to communicate with people here, few of whom speak English. I can ask prices, buy tickets for long distance buses or trains, ask for directions etc. I have been complimented many times, quite genuinely, on my good pronunciation. Not as a native speaker or speaking correct Mandarin all the time but generally being understood. That is a huge compliment
after only 7 months.

After the disruption of moving & settling in (but also USING Chinese every day!) I am now going to resume the lessons as they are invaluable. Other overseas teachers have been learning but apart from one who has been studying Mandarin at university for 2 or 3 years I am well ahead of the rest so, Thank you CLO.


Rob R., Gardener, Boston, USA

I started on CLO level two while I was taking a college semester of chinese. In my second semester, I finished level two. Since then I’ve done level three on my own, and I’m now moving on to level four.

The only other source for Chinese learning that I’ve used consistently since the college classes is the Anki flashcard software. While I was taking the classes I used my class materials to make flash cards, but since then most of the flashcards I’ve made have been based off of CLO lessons.

I did listen to a number of Chinese Pod lessons for a while, but I found that review was difficult because of the lack of repetition across lessons. Chinese Pod has fun lesson topics and animated speakers, but repetition is essential for retention. After a fair amount of time comparing your system with Chinese Pod, I’ve found that CLO is significantly more effective because of the re-use of vocabulary.

The increase in difficulty has been fine for me. The only part I’ve been lagging on is my study of the characters — I only get about 20-30 minutes a day to study while I ride the subway to work, so it’s hard to practice the writing. I’m hoping that by forcing myself to switch to reading all characters, I can speed up that process.


Stephen J., Systems Engineer, USA

I am a System Engineer for a US firm that sells in Asia. On my last trip to China, I was frustrated by the business dinners which are spoken exclusively in Mandarin while I sit silent. Chineselearnonline.com was exactly what I needed to decide to seriously try to learn the language. I had to recently go back to the beginning when I decided I wanted to also learn characters but I am back to level 5 now.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn on your site. It has really had a major influence on my engineering skills and my work ethic.


Joyce C., Secondary Teacher, Thousand Oaks, California, USA

I have a close Chinese friend who listened to some of the recordings on my IPod – she said go with CLO. She constantly remarks on my great accent which she says is always the biggest problem.
I travel a great deal and knowing Chinese, even a little, can only be helpful when 1/4 to 1/3 of the worlds’ population speaks Mandarin Chinese. You are doing a great job – I seem to be going very slowly; however, my friend says I am not but rather she is impressed with where I am and again is most concerned about the correct accent.


Jan A, Australia

I bought a 3x download course from you a few weeks ago. I have finished with all the lessons in level 3, and am halfway through level 4. I just wanted to give you a bit of feedback to the program.

I must admit, I am very impressed with the level and professionality of the course. Some of the things I particularly like (in no apparent order):

- Building on previous lessons, both in vocab and in continuing going over the same topic for 2-3 lessons to let it sink in. Eg. the election and moving apartments stuff.
– The great variety of topics covered
– The great presenters!
– Using Chinese to explain Chinese (with you giving the occational english translation of difficult words or subjects near the end)
– Being able to have the PDFs of Characters, Pinyin and English as seperate files. Really makes it hard for you to sneak peak when there is stuff you dont understand.
– The lists of new words and characters
– The interactive premium content, mainly the podcasts with answering
questions in chinese and translating from english

Keep up the good work, you guys are doing a fantastic job. Looking forward to the finished level 6 for download!


Graham S., Locum Pharmacist, Yorkshire, England

Just thought I’d drop another line to say that I think CLO is the best !  When I first started on Level 4 it was a bit of a shock having many more lessons without “set pieces” and english guidance….you see, I listen to the podcasts going to and from work, and trying to make sense of the explanations given in chinese was a bit dangerous, to say the least ( particularly when I had to keep refering to the english transcripts, Haha ).  But now I’m getting used to it…there is so much repetition that my understanding is becoming more “instinctive”, and I’m preparing for each lesson in advance now. I think the Level 4 method is a good way forward !  I was thinking I might have to buy a new vehicle with automatic transmission for a while, but I’m no longer a danger to other motorists and little old ladies.  :-)


Satoko Y, Japan

I’ve veen really enjoying your Chinese course, I still can’t speak the language well, though my listening comprehension is improving remarkably thank to your progressive course!!! I love to read that [testimonials] page to encourage myself to improve my Chinese, it’s quite amazing to know that there are so many Mandarin Chinese learners out there from all over the world, I’m so glad to have found your course by chance when I was browsing thru podcasts, any how thanks a lot again for your extraordinary course!!! I whole heartedly thank you for your dedication to the language education, xie xie nin de hen hao de bangzhu!!


Dirceu C, Brazil

I just love this course and tell everybody about it at the Chinese school where I have a 2 1/2 hour-lesson once a week. It complements and puts me several steps ahead of my presential classes – everybody feels awed by the sentences I’m able to build, my vocabulary and sometimes the explanations about a certain term that even the Chinese teacher is not able to explain (sometimes it’s difficult for a native person to explain the mechanism of his own language, because it’s just so intuitive and automatic for him).


Emmanuel P, Teacher, Oviedo, Spain

Hello Adam!

First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on your course online. I subscribed 2 weeks ago and have been well impressed by the quality of your teaching methods. I’m also a teacher and I really appreciate how you cover the different aspects of Mandarin Chinese.

As I told you on a previous e-mail I studied Mandarin Chinese for 2 years when I was a student and decided to seriously get back to it. I reviewed my own lessons + everything until lesson 60. Tomorrow I’ll start level 2 and my objective is to have a good intermediate level in about 4 months. Besides your courses, I’ll try to start conversation sessions with a Chinese person from here.

Next month, I’ll renew for 3 more months and in the meantime will recommend your website!

You’ve done a great job! Congratulations! Keep it up!

Regards,

Emmanuel

Hola Adam,

En primer lugar, me gustaría darles la enhorabuena por su curso online. Empecé hace dos semanas y la calidad de sus métodos de enseñanza me ha realmente impresionado. Yo también soy profesor me encanta como cubre los distintos aspectos del chino mandarín.

Como ya le comenté en otro e-mail, estudié Chino durante dos años en la universidad, hace 12 años, y he decidido volver a estudiarlo seriamente. Después de repasar mis propios apuntes, repasé sus cursos hasta las lección 60 para asentar mis bases. Mañana seguiré con el nivel dos y mi objetivo es tener un buen nivel intermedio dentro de cuatro meses. Además de sus cursos voy a intentar empezar dar clases de conversación con una persona china de aquí.

El próximo mes, renovaré para 3 meses y mientras tanto iré recomendando su pagina web!

Otra vez les doy la enhorabuena por su gran trabajo! Ahora a mantener el listón alto!

Un saludo,

Emmanuel

Bonjour Adam,

Tput d’abord, je tenais à vous féliciter pour votre cours online. J’ai commencé il y a deux semaines et je dois dire que la qualité d’enseignement m’a vraiment impressioné! Je suis moi-même professeur et j’apprécie la façon dont vous abordez tous les aspects du chinois mandarin.

Comme je vous avais commenté dans un e-mail antérieur, j’avais déjà étudié le chinois à l’université il y a 12 ans et j’ai décidé me remettre très sérieusement à l’étudier. Après avoir révisé mes notes j’ai revu toutes vos leçons jusqu’à la leçon 60, histoire de consolider mes bases.. Demain je compte commencer le deuxième niveau. Mon objectif est d’avoir un bon niveau intermédiare d’ici à quatre mois. A còté, je vais chercher une personne chinoise pour pratiquer un peu de conversation.

Le mois prochain je prendrai un abonnement de trois mois et en attendant je vais recommander votre website!

Encore un fois: félicitations pour votre grand travail!

Cordialement!

Emmanuel


Robert B, Austria

I just purchased a one-month subscription to your site because I wanted to see how it works;-) I must say that I have already tried out some other sites (which you probably know;-) but so far I like your site best (even though I have not tried out yet many options in the premium section). I listened to the first 10 lessons before I decided to subscribe and I really liked the way you present the study material.

By the way, when I explored some of your premium feeds I was almost blown away by the massive amount of study material and its quality. I am planning on going to China next year in October and I would love to be able to speak some Chinese before I do. I hope your site can help me with it. Well, enough said now;-)

I tried to study Chinese before, but I’d like to start with your site right from the beginning again because I really like the way you present the material. I’m somewhat of a language professional myself even though I am not teaching. I work as a freelance interpreter and translator, amongst other things for the UN and the EU, with my working languages being English, Italian, French, and Spanish (and German, of course). I also studied Russian and Japanese. But I must say, so far I have never come across a site that offered as much interesting learning material as your site. I’m a language addict and finding your site was like hitting a hidden treasure to me:-)

I still need to learn how to get the most out of it. This is also the reason why for the time being I just signed up for a monthly subscription. If I feel that I can really make use of all your material I might decide to subscribe on a yearly basis.

One of the most exciting features to me is the one where you can record answers to short questions and send them in. If I understood your explanations correctly my recording is then checked by some of your teachers and I get a feedback from them. If that is true, that’s just awesome:-) That would be really interactive:-)


Peter Y., California, USA

I think your service is actually quite good. I wish that I had this service when I was younger. I’m serious about improving my spoken Mandarin, so I subscribed to you site. I actually like yours because the lessons are short and concise (6-8 minutes) and Kirin and Rafael speak in Mandarin only. I also like your videos.

As an American Born Chinese (ABC) and native English speaker, I feel that Chinese Learn Online is really the BEST Mandarin Chinese learning websites! I studied Mandarin at UCLA for one summer and the National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taipei, Taiwan for 3 semesters. And though I feel that both UCLA and NCCU language instruction was truly excellent, I also feel CLO lessons are equally superb and even superior in many ways. If I could do it again, I wish that I studied via CLO before going to Taiwan because it would have made my language immersion travels in Taiwan and China more effective.

Also, as I’m a very busy person, I like how CLO is very versatile for learning Mandarin that fits my hectic schedule. I listen to lessons while I eat lunch in my office at work, and review online in the evenings at home. The interactive online learning is one of the best I’ve seen. I also download the lessons to my iPod, and I listen to lessons in my car, at the gym, or when I’m waiting for business appointments. For a person who cannot travel to a Mandarin speaking country for language instruction, with CLO, you can truly immerse yourself in many Chinese language situations in your home, office, car or practically anywhere.

And since the lessons have titles, as an intermediate level learner, I can learn or review a topic and vocabulary that is important to my life. I can use vocabulary that I know I would use right away instead of studying a topic that have little immedate relevance to my real life.

Thanks Adam, Kirin and Rafael and everybody at CLO for making Chinese learning accessable to everybody in an easy, fun, and affordable way!


Zack L., Philadelphia, PA, USA

Thank you so much for these wonderful podcasts. They are clear, organized, thoughtful, and marvelous. I went to Beijing once in 1998 and have always wanted to go back. Im returning in sept for a bit and wanted to learn some chinese. I took chinese in college so its a review with some vocabulary. I have a bachelors degree in psychology. I really like the way you break it down into literal translations and help us learn about why word combinations mean new words.


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 me….you 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 driving….my ipod screen is too small to use for this…it’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!


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!!