Chinese|October 13, 2011 3:25 am

How to Choose the Best Chinese Language Software

Deciding to learn Chinese is easy–it’s a fun and interesting language, and it’s very useful to know. Figuring out which Chinese language software to use is not so easy. This post is going to give you an easy 4-step process to choosing the best Chinese learning software.

Choosing Chinese Language Software: Step 1

Before you can decide which Chinese language software program is best for you, you have to define what your language learning goals are. Are you planning a trip to the Great Wall? Going to see the bright lights of Shanghai? Or are you planning something a little more permanent, like accepting a job in China.

Whatever your Chinese language learning goals are, they are important because different programs are designed to help learners accomplish different goals. For example, some programs are 100% audio-based. They do not teach any reading or writing skills.

If you’re just planning a holiday, this is great because there is no need for you to spend months learning the intricacies of Chinese characters. You need to learn how to order food and buy train tickets! On the other hand, if you’re moving to China to do business, you’ll need something much more comprehensive, something that covers reading. writing, listening, and speaking.

Choosing Chinese Language Software: Step 2

Once you’ve got your language learning goals defined, you’ll need to get out there and see what Chinese language software programs are available. Fortunately for you, we’ve already done this, so there is no need for you to head to Google and start digging through the sea of advertisements to find what you’re looking for. These are the top 4 Chinese learning software programs.

Choosing Chinese Language Software: Step 3

At this point, you should know what you want to study, and you should have a short list of Chinese language software programs you want to take a closer look at. Now you should go to the manufacturer’s websites and compare features. When comparing them, keep in mind both your Chinese learning goals and what types of learning features you think are best.

For example, some software programs, like the Tell Me More Chinese program,  have high-tech voice recognition capabilities. Personality, I’m not a huge fan of these things. They are interesting, for sure, but they don’t really improve my learning much. Other people, however, absolutely love them. Think you’d like them? Make a note of it. Other programs, like the Rocket Chinese program, are well-known for providing very user-friendly learning experiences. This is something I love. I don’t like programs that feel overly academic. What do you think?

Choosing Chinese Language Software: Step 4

Before you throw down your hard earned money, try out the Chinese language software program that you are considering buying. You don’t have to try all of them out–just your top 2 or 3 choices. If a software program you like doesn’t offer a free trial, you may want to reconsider whether or not you really want to buy it. The two best programs mentioned above are top sellers, and they both have easy-to-get free trials. You can get a free 6-day Rocket Chinese course here, and you can get a free TELL ME MORE 7-day course here.

Best of luck to you! If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below.

 

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