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Has anyone used the Rosetta Stone resource for learning Mandarin? If so, do you recommend it or are there other quality resources for at-home study?

Language and Culture
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I have - it's not a magic bullet & for Chinese specifically I think it's harder for beginners to start with. If you have used RS for other languages & like the format, then *maybe* for Chinese also but I think it's more effective after you have a decent understanding of the language. Couple 3rd party reviews: (disc: I run studymorechinese, no affiliation with other sites) http://studymorechinese.com/page/chinese-rosetta-stone-review http://www.tomschinablog.com/rosetta-stone-mandarin-chinese-independent-review/ Tom's blog disagrees with some points I note above so you'll want to compare. I know some people like RS but many are disappointed once they realize how much effort it takes to learn. Personally, and much cheaper, I like http://chinesepod.com/ a lot for learning (goes great with coffee) because so much of Chinese is listening/speaking & they have entertaining content. Skritter & RememberIT's Chinese flashcards both seem decent / popular for characters - I haven't used though. MIT, BBC, youtube and lots of other free resources available also but usually less structured learning. Good luck.
Thanks, studymorechinese, for all your tips! I will check out the chinesepod and your site. I haven't tried RS but see all the ads. Are you fluent or a native Chinese speaker?
No problem, I wish I was that good - I started about 10 months ago. I did RS to start (had a "borrowed" copy) but wasn't really working. Enrolled in a formal class & subscribed Chinesepod after arriving in Shanghai. Use cpod daily, although sometimes while playing video games at the same time so hard to call it real studying. But that's what I need, something I have no excuse to skip. I started the website as a different way to practice - if I had a site to keep up to date it meant that I had to keep studying otherwise the site would fall apart. Having it helps with commitment, which is one of the hardest things for me.

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Thanks for sharing. If you're in Shanghai, then you'll have plenty of practice to become more fluent. I studied Mandarin in college, used it in Taiwan, and then have not used much while back in the U.S. Good luck with your class---is that in a college or private class with other folks from U.S./UK ? How's your reading and writing?
I agree with studymorechinese, except I would go further and say that Rosetta Stone is a complete waste of time; Chinesepod is worlds better. I used RS before I came to China for a month and learned almost nothing. Started using Chinesepod after being in China for about two months and learned a ton. Now been living and studying here for two years, and I still use Chinesepod every day; speaking is no longer a problem and I am working on buffing up my reading and writing so that I can handle reading the paper without looking up the characters every five words.
Rosetta Stone is completely useless for any non-European language, because at least with conjugations you can discern grammatical rules and you don't have to brute force learning characters. Chinesepod is infinitely better.
It was pretty amazing for me to learn. I think it's different for everyone because everyone has different learning types, but I learned the language within about a year or so. Highly recommend it if your a quick learner.
I have personally used it, for Mandarin, Tagalog, and Japanese and Rosetta Stone is not a very good language learning tool at all. It doesn't provide explanations, grammar information, or translations: it's picking and guessing based on pictures. There are several studies that prove that it is not a good language learning tool as it claims, and based on my experience, I agree.

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