Friday, December 23, 2016

LingQ vs. ChinesePod

Since it's supposed to be the language of the future, I've been trying to learn Mandarin Chinese. To do this I've been using two different web based courses: lingq and chinesepod. Today I'm going to be asking my usual question about them: which is better?

So, LingQ or ChinesePod? Which do we go for if we're just starting out on our road to learning Mandarin Chinese?

As usual, for those of you who don't want to read a long comparison, I'll first of all provide you with the short answer to this question. So:

Which is best? - The Short Answer:

It's a draw!

So there it is. If you just want a quick answer to know "which one is better?" "which one should I buy?" I'm afraid there isn't one. They're both great. Feel free to sign up to either without hesitation!

For those of you looking for a deeper understanding of how these courses differ from one another though here's the longer answer. So:

Which is best? - The Longer Answer:

Well, normally I spend this part of the review explaining why I think one course is better than the other but since I feel they're more or less equally useful for the Mandarin Chinese beginner level student, I'm instead going to explain how they each work.

Both courses function essentially by getting you to learn to understand by first listening. They remind me a lot of Assimil and Linguaphone to be honest. Essentially you listen to the various recordings they have (and they have a lot) and then you use the text and translation support to understand what they have said.

Over time, you begin to understand the meaning of the dialogues and can start to use the language yourself. It works well and I feel is really good for developing early listening skills and good pronunciation. There's also software to help you remember the vocabulary you're taught.

One thing I would say going in though is that it's going to help a lot if you've learned a little Mandarin Chinese before you begin, as listening when you know absolutely nothing can be really hard at first. So I wonder if perhaps these are especially good materials to use to supplement a class you might be attending in the language. That's just a thought but I think the two things could well work effectively together.

Nevertheless the materials that make up these two web-based language learning course are good and some can be quite amusing. Both websites offer free trials which I recommend you take advantage of to help you decide which one is for you. Or, if you're like me, you can simply use both!

Congratulations LingQ and ChinesePod - it's a draw!

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