I only review language programs that are easy, fast, effective, portable, inexpensive & teach you to really speak and understand languages.
Power Italian 1 Accelerated – Listen, Repeat, Recall, and Don’t Worry About It.
I am so impressed with myself (and, oh yeah, with the Power Italian Accelerated audio program, too) that I feel compelled to write a review. I like stuff that works and this Power Italian Accelerated audio program really works. The material may seem a little overwhelming at first because there are a whole lot of words and phrases that are thrown at you right off the bat. But there’s a reason for that.
The narrator uses what he calls ‘audio snapshots’ to introduce new material. These are sections where the listener is instructed to simply listen without repeating. The first audio snapshot comes right after the program begins and lasts for several minutes. My first reaction was that this is way too much material and I’m never going to remember all of it. And that’s true. I didn’t remember hardly any of it at first. But I kept listening. It wasn’t until I was a couple of hours into the program that I realized that remembering all of it is not the point; at least not in the beginning. I, and probably most people, have always assumed that learning a new language was about memorizing words and sentences. And it is. But what I have come to realize, my own personal epiphany, is that listening is just as important and I think even more important than intentionally memorizing. I’m not saying that you don’t have to remember anything; of course you do. But one of the keys to remembering is just simply listening. You have to ‘tune in’ to a language, that is, to the peculiar sounds of a language, in order to be able to speak it and to understand it.
The relatively short time that I have spent listening to Power Italian has given me a new perspective on learning languages and I have some advice that I’d like to pass along: Just do what the program narrator says to do and just keep listening and repeating. The words and phrases get easier and easier to remember as you go along and the correct pronunciation gets easier and easier the more you repeat the words and phrases. If you just follow along and don’t worry about what you know and what you don’t know you’ll soon be surprised at what you know - and equally surprised that you came to know it without a lot of mental or emotional sweating. Power Italian really works for me. No worries!
Bite-Sized Mandarin Chinese takes a very difficult tonal language and totally demystifies the learning of it. Makes learning to speak Mandarin Chinese surprisingly simple. Extremely engaging native Mandarin speaker and a knowledgeable American instructor put me at ease and talked me through a very difficult language and made it simple. “Bite-Sized” is an appropriate title. A language so ‘foreign’ to Westerners has to be ingested a bite at a time. The learner won’t choke on the bites in “Bite-Sized Mandarin Chinese.”
This audio program is about learning simple phrases and using them to ask and answer common questions. The material is not extremely complicated, just the stuff that’s necessary for basic communication. The pronunciation of some of the words was so difficult in the beginning that I was frankly surprised that by about the third lesson my pronunciation was getting more precise. Distinguishing sounds and tones got easier with each lesson.
I don’t have the time or the inclination to become a super fluent speaker of Chinese. But I got a kick out of learning some basic Mandarin Chinese and a sort of ego boost from the confidence this course gave me that if I wanted to, really wanted to, I could eventually learn to speak this language pretty well. It’s just a matter of practice. Listen and Repeat. Listen and Repeat. I now feel confident enough to approach my next Chinese waitress with a few greetings and even order some hot tea, not at all bad for a few days of practice with a very entertaining program.
I quickly learned to speak a ton of real Mexican Spanish from this unique, fun and effective program. My opinion is that anyone from businesspersons to Spanish language students, from restaurant-goers to travelers considering a trip to Mexico will find “Mexican Spanish Accelerated” to be the essential "icing" on their Spanish learning cake! The fusion of Old World Castilian Spanish from Spain and New World Native languages and cultures of Mexico have given rise to a myriad of unique words and expressions which originated in and are largely confined to Spanish speakers from Mexico.
Mexican Spanish Accelerated contains a lot more than just words and phrases unique to Mexico. Standard, universal sentence-building Spanish phrases like ‘I have to,’ ‘I would like,’ ‘I want,’ ‘I need,’ ‘I am going to,’ and so on, prepare the beginner for fast and original sentence creation and prepare the learner for a great adventure south of the Río Grande – or “El Río Bravo” as they call it in Mexico. A variety of folk expressions are also taught by the narrator and his three or four Mexican instructors who are all educated native speakers of authentic Mexican Spanish.
Both the price of this audio program and the speed at which it teaches you to speak real Mexican Spanish are unbeatable. Spanish language students and vacationers will all benefit from Mexican Spanish Accelerated as much as I did. So click on over to Audible.com, download Mexican Spanish Accelerated, and discover how things are said down Mexico way. Ándale! - Go for it!
Mom of five
Let me compare this course to Pimsleur, since that is the other well reviewed course out there. Pimsleur is good, first of all. You will learn basic Spanish with it. this is why Collins is soooo much better.
1. Collins is cheaper.
2. You learn about 20 times the vocabulary that you do with Pimsleur. I am not joking. Collins uses a very similar method as Pimsleur, but I swear to you they have taken Pimsleur and VASTLY improved upon it. I testify to this based on the experience of 7 people I know who have tried and used both. Count this as 7 reviews.
3. Collins Teaches you more things you can really use. Did you know that words that end in "ion" in English are basically all identical in Spanish? Now you've just learned about 1000 spanish words. Collins teaches you absolutely incredible language learning tricks like this. PIMSLEUR DOESN'T.
I could go on and on.
4. Collings teaches you both Spain and Latin American Spanish at the same time, easily, and without any sweat at all. Pimsleur doesn't. You might think you won't use Spain spanish, but you will need it if you progress at all, because most books use it. Trust me.
I could go on and on about how Collins is better. It is absolutely incredible in every way. I am using it along with Instant Immersion Spanish to teach Spanish to my kids. I would NEVER go back to Pimsleur again. It was a waste of money. thank you, Paul Collins, for the gift you have given us!