gung hay fat choy!
Happy Chinese New Year!Â TodayÂ we start the Year of the Rat, a sign shared with thoseÂ born in 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972 1984 or 1996.Â People born under this sign are noted for thier charm and thrifiness, but also have a tendency to gossip and be a little touchy.
For those of you (and by “you”, IÂ include “me”) who have fallen off the New Year’s Resolution wagon,Â look at this as aÂ fresh chanceÂ to improve yourself orÂ try something new. Or, accomplish both by learning a new language! Audio books are the perfect medium for language learning, and there is a dizzying array of products for every vernacular.
For those who want to cut directly to the good stuff, try Dr. Blair’s Express Lane Chinese. This 1 hour course teaches you the bare necessities to get you up and chatting in no time.
If you have more than a single lunch break to devote to learning Mandarin, you can check out Teach Yourself Beginner’s ChineseÂ - still a modest 2 hours. Like most short courses, this leans towards the practical and uses short dialogues to make you feel as though you’re progressing quickly.
If you’re one of those people who talks to themselves in thier car, why not improve your conversation withÂ Learn In Your Car Mandarin Chinese. At 11 hours, this offers 3 progressive levels of learning and has a good technology/finance bend for business people. Other drivers may think you’re slightly deranged as you babble to yourself, but remember: you’re in this for self improvement!
If you’re determined to order your ownÂ chop sueyÂ in Bejiing by the end of the year, you can pick up the gold star of language courses: Pimsleur’s Mandarin Chinese. Offered in 2 parts, Lessons 1 to 30 and Lessons 31 to 60, this is a marathon, not a sprint, but by the endÂ you’ll have the most complete understanding of Mandarin you can get this side of the Great Wall.