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Discover Mandarin Chinese through the magic of a great teacher
Fluenz Follow the full program on your iPhone, online from your computer, or install it in your hard disk from the DVDs included in the red box. Additional audio CDs allow you to practice in your car, additional comprehension MP3s and access to our digital Flashcards make for the possible learning experience.
WeÕll break down Mandarin into parts and explain how they work together--nothing like good, common sense explanations.
Every step of the way
Our tutors will be there every step of the way with the tips, tricks, and motivation that will make a difference
No games, just real learning
Our workouts arenÕt simple games, but real practice tied to our step-by-step explanations. Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Reading to success.
Buy a Red Box, get full access
Own the software outright with your own set of DVDs and get access to the full program online, on iPhone, and a series of digital tools to enhance your learning
Are you ready?
Learning Mandarin takes real commitment. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. A game or a pen pal wonÕt take you very far. If youÕre willing to put in the hours there is nothing like Fluenz to power your work. The only interactive Mandarin program offering an immersive environment that recreates the best elements of great one-on-one tutoring.
A Great Teacher on Your Computer
Discover Mandarin through the power of two great tutors with the comprehensive 1+2+3 program. The Fluenz custom-made approach guides you in English every step of the way through the challenges of Mandarin, while immersing you in the beauty of Chinese culture.
A Proven Track Record
Fluenz's unique approach is currently being used by elite units of the US Navy, senior personnel at the UN and UNICEF, executives at Microsoft, HP and Intel, as well as students at Harvard Business School and other leading universities.
How Fluenz gets you there:
f2 is the newest version of Fluenz, containing hundreds of small yet significant improvements over all prior versions of the program. f2 is a hybrid Mac/Win system which can run directly from the hard drive, offering superior audio and video quality, more powerful tools for targeting the areas where you need the most work, and enhanced navigation to give you complete control over the learning process.
The Most Comprehensive Program to Learn Mandarin
This comprehensive program will guide you through Mandarin in 75 sessions that take up to two hours and thirty minutes each to complete. Each session is led from beginning to end by a tutor who guides learners step-by-step with explanations, strategies, tactics, and tips to help English speakers reach a level of conversational Mandarin in the least amount of time. The program is jointly led by Yi Wei and Sonia Gil, recent graduates of Harvard and Cornell who have been developing Fluenz Mandarin during the last four years.
The Fluenz Difference
Designed by recent graduates of Harvard and Cornell Universities, along with veterans in language learning and high technology, Fluenz addresses the critical issues for adults and teens to reach fluency: 1) clear explanations in plain English, 2) the motivation only a great teacher can provide, and 3) hundreds of hours of focused practice specifically tailored to help English speakers master Mandarin Chinese.
No Substitute for a Great Tutor
Fluenz offers a great teacher to challenge and inspire you. Instead of matching pictures with Mandarin words over and over again, fluency can be reached more quickly by having someone actually explain to you in English how the language works. That's why every Fluenz session is built around a tutor who leads you through the learning process. The matching of pictures and words typical of immersion methods cannot account for, or explain, how the tone system works in Mandarin. This is critical because without mastering tones, no Chinese speaker will ever understand what you are saying.
Adults Should Be Taught Like Adults
Linguistic research shows that adults learn languages differently than children. Adults really benefit from having clear explanations of how Mandarin Chinese works. Instead of focusing on childlike phrases such as "red apple, green apple," Fluenz has you ordering food, giving directions to a taxi driver, making hotel reservations, and handling a wide range of other real-world situations right from the start. The program's third level expands your range of communication at the workplace by providing the relevant vocabulary and grammar.
Custom-Made For English Speakers
Cookie-cutter approaches based on matching pictures and words follow the same script from language to language. But using the same script to teach both Mandarin and Spanish doesn't make sense. Each language is unique, and each one presents its own unique challenges to an English speaker. For example, it is impossible to understand the tone system of pronunciation, "measure words", or rules regarding word order that are unique to Mandarin without a brief yet effective explanation in English.
Three Steps Towards Fluency
With Mandarin 1+2+3, you'll start out by building a strong foundation in how the language works from pronunciation to grammatical structures. Right away, you'll learn how to form useful questions and statements ("The check, please"), and from there you'll begin to construct more complex sentences allowing you to interact at restaurants, hotels, airports, train stations, and other essential locations. The third level of the program takes your Mandarin to a whole new level, enhancing the complexity and subtlety of your speech with in-depth work on tenses, conditionals, comparatives, and more formal structures. The step-by-step Fluenz system has been designed to move you beyond canned phrases to being able to participate in natural, unrehearsed conversation.
The Fluenz Approach to Mandarin Chinese
- Chinese is easier to learn than most people imagine, but it must be clearly explained. For example, one of the biggest challenges for Westerners is the fact that each syllable must be pronounced with one of five very different tones. Two words can have the exact same letters, like ma, but they can mean either mother or horse depending on which tones are used. While these tones are very difficult to learn by simply listening to them and hoping to imitate them, a simple, common sense explanation in English (comparing familiar English sounds with each tone) can go a long way to mastering them and to navigating the many exceptions and changes that govern their use.
- Using English can make all the difference in understanding "measure words," a key concept in Chinese that is absent from Western grammars. There is no way a learner can grasp when and how to use the right "measure words" unless the concept is explained and practiced in English. Mere imitation of expressions is simply no substitute for a good understanding of what's going on.
- The Fluenz recording engine helps people hone their use of tones through self comparison, which makes far more sense than voice recognition systems that are so finely tuned to the five tones that it becomes very difficult to get it right. While voice recognition has advanced in recent years, its use in the learning of Chinese by English speakers can actually hamper learning by forcing them to meet impossible standards. Beginning Mandarin speakers should first focus on being understood, not on achieving a perfect pitch.
How It Works
Fluenz Mandarin is organized around one-on-one tutoring sessions that each take up to two and a half hours to complete. The tutor for the first part of the program is Sonia Gil, whose journey learning Mandarin in Shanghai and Hangzhou will enlighten your own process. The second part is taught by Yi Wei, a native Chinese speaker who grew up in Chicago and went on to Harvard.
How Fluenz Begins
The Fluenz tutor begins each session with a brief introduction. This provides an understanding of how the new material will take you a step closer to fluency, while immersing you in the cultural context and the experiences of everyday Mandarin in China.
Introducing useful, everyday language
This is followed by a realistic conversation between native speakers that uses all the words and structures to be learned in the session. These conversations place you in the most common, everyday situations right from the very beginning. These interactions have been designed to address the specific situations English speakers face in day-to-day China, and to lay the foundations required for more advanced study of the language.
Immersive one-on-one tutorial
Immediately after the conversation, the tutor presents a full tutorial explaining in detail and in English how every single new word and structure works. Beyond in-depth explanations, these tutorials offer strategies, tactics and personal experiences that give you valuable insights.
Workout to fluency
After each tutorial, the program turns to over a dozen different types of increasingly challenging workouts that cover reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These workouts reinforce and expand your communication at the same time. The recording engine allows learners to work on improving their tones and their overall accent.
Coaching you forward
At the end of the session, the Fluenz tutor returns to offer a conclusion, along with the kind of inspiration only a great teacher can provide.
The Path to Fluency 1+2+3
1. Build a Strong Foundation
Fluenz Mandarin begins by teaching how to form questions and statements that are useful on day one and that can be intuitively understood by English speakers (i.e. "The check, please," "I want this dish"). The Fluenz team felt this was more relevant than phrases such as "The man in running," typically found in other programs. For example, after only the first four sessions of level one, learners are already able to have effective conversations in a restaurant.
2. Describe Location and Directions
The program then shifts to describing and asking about location. In this way users can learn the basics of how crucial verbs work while advancing their vocabulary related to transportation and travel. Instead of memorizing words and pictures, Fluenz users actually get to understand how questions and phrases such as "Where is the hotel?" and "I'm going to the museum" both work and are used in everyday life.
3. Gain Confidence With Your Verbs
Mandarin verbs can be easier to learn than expected because they don't require conjugations, feminine or masculine endings, and no plural agreements. Because Fluenz has been designed from the point of view of English speakers learning Mandarin, the program takes advantage of this fact to accelerate the learning process.
4. Valuable Descriptive Terms
Because language without description lacks life and color, Fluenz puts great emphasis on how to add this important dimension to your interactions. Plus, when traveling or living in China, nothing is going to be more helpful than "bigger," "smaller," "less expensive," and those other adjectives that both make sense to English speakers and are easily used in forming sentences.
5. Building Blocks of Sophisticated Communication
Since the key to fluency in Mandarin is being able to use all of the most common parts of speech, Fluenz covers a wide range of central grammar issues. Learning key elements in Mandarin such as word order and commands, you'll be able to correctly form ever more complex sentences and express yourself with solid, confident Mandarin.
6. Understand Directions and Transportation
Giving and receiving directions is both a way to continue building the essential tools of Mandarin communication and a way to develop the skills anyone traveling will always need. Fluenz creates a path that gives English speakers complete control over the critical vocabulary and structures for asking questions, indicating directions, negotiating transportation, and explaining locations, all within the very specific circumstances of contemporary China.
7. Easily Handle Numbers and Time
After thorough workouts enabling learners to talk about location with ease, Fluenz makes sure you master numbers and, therefore, time. From counting to telling the time, Fluenz users gain control over a wide range of time-specific communication. Once time and location are joined, it becomes possible to form complex questions and statements in a variety of situations, such as planning trips or making appointments.
8. Confident Shopping and Negotiation
Throughout the program, your ability to interact in shopping situations is steadily improved. Fluenz works on the critical verb "to want" in the very beginning, and soon enough you learn how to ask about prices, make comparisons between different items, and express exactly what you're looking for. By the end of the program, you'll be able to handle shopping, ever important price negotiations in markets and shops all over China, and other purchasing situations with ease.
9. Make Plans with Conditions and Possibilities
Fluenz gives you the tools to make detailed plans, whether a lunch date with a friend, a business meeting, or travel abroad, using the nuanced tenses that allow you to express condition and possibility.
10. Discuss Family and Describe People
As your Mandarin becomes more complex and flexible, conversations will move from basic needs and wants to sharing personal stories and background. Beyond telling stories, however, the vocabulary used to describe family can translate into a multiplicity of scenarios and give you the capacity to describe people whether looking for someone in a restaurant or talking about your favorite movie star.
11. Express Opinions and Preferences
From dining situations to making plans with friends, being able to express your opinions and preferences is a key component to everyday language. The program introduces the verbs that will empower you in shopping and negotiating situations ("I prefer the blue one"), making plans ("I think we should go tomorrow if it isn't raining"), and discussing an endless number of topics from politics to sports ("I wish I could play tennis, but I think I'm a good soccer player").
12. Mandarin for the Workplace
Fluenz Mandarin has been used by executives who work at Microsoft, Intel, HP, by students at the Harvard Business School and other universities, senior personnel at UNICEF and other international institutions because they were either going to China or were already working there. Fluenz equips you with the tools to handle scheduling, negotiation and formal conversations, while providing you with the strongest possible foundation in the language from which to expand your vocabulary to suite your field of expertise. Most importantly, you'll be learning how to engage in conversations from day one, which means you can start using your Mandarin in the workplace right away.
13. Advanced Concepts
Once you've established a foundation in how the language works, it is time to add more life to your Mandarin by expanding not only your vocabulary, but also your comfort with a variety of familiar expressions and sentence structures. As the program progresses, you'll acquire tools to hold conversations with the present progressive, the simple past and the past participle, the use of conditionals, relevant vocabulary, a number of all-important "measure words", expanding vocabulary for descriptions, and a great deal of emphasis on word order. The more advanced sessions focus on work-related activities, such as making appointments and visiting factories.
14. Ideal for Communicating Wherever People Speak Mandarin
While Mandarin is an ancient and beautiful language, it is also the means of daily communication for over a billion people. Fluenz Mandarin has been designed to strike the right balance between its legacy and its dynamic nature, providing a firm basis for travel, living, and further study in China and Taiwan, and to communicate with the ever-larger number of Mandarin speakers in Macau, Hong Kong, and communities from New York to Singapore.
15. A Winning Team
Sonia Gil's experiences learning Mandarin in China and Yi Wei's native mastery of the language provide the ideal tutoring experience for English speakers.
Great Audio CDs and Exclusive Podcasts
Audio CDs: Mandarin for Your Car or iPod
The Audio CDs have been designed to follow the interactive program, providing an ideal supplement for on the go learning.
Fluenz Podcasts: Download to Learn on the Go
The Podcasts offer a more informal setting to follow key concepts, cultural context, and the adventure of learning Mandarin.
The Fluenz Navigator: Your Essential Phrase Book
Fluenz Spanish also comes with the Phrase Book Navigator, a useful quick-reference guide for travelers.
What's in the Box