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So I completed Fluenz mandarin Levels 1+2 and 3...........and it was an incredibly addicting journey, because of the sheer ease of which I was able to fly through each session, largely because of just how sophisticated the course is. And then, because I missed it so much I did it all over again. Yes, I did Fluenz Mandarin Levels 1+2 and 3 TWICE. Which begs the logical question: Will there ever be Fluenz Mandarin Levels 4 and 5? The sheer rocket-like speed at which Fluenz Mandarin brings us from zero to Intermediate Level fluency is stunning to say the least and almost DEMANDS the need for two more levels. Their other languages ALL have it. Anyone else out here feels the same?

So I completed Fluenz mandarin Levels 1+2 and 3...........and it was an incredibly addicting journey, because of the sheer ease of which I was able to fly through each session, largely because of just how sophisticated the course is. And then, because I missed it so much I did it all over again. Yes, I did Fluenz Mandarin Levels 1+2 and 3 TWICE. Which begs the logical question: Will there ever be Fluenz Mandarin Levels 4 and 5? The sheer rocket-like speed at which Fluenz Mandarin brings us from zero to Intermediate Level fluency is stunning to say the least and almost DEMANDS the need for two more levels. Their other languages ALL have it. Anyone else out here feels the same?

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Putting the final touches on the wifi iPad access Fluenz Flashcards--fully optimized for iPad and iPad 2. We'll be posting here as soon as the beta release is ready.

Putting the final touches on the wifi iPad access Fluenz Flashcards--fully optimized for iPad and iPad 2. We'll be posting here as soon as the beta release is ready.

25 comments
The iPad Flashcards are out and Eric did a nice video we've posted on Facebook. As always looking forward to your feedback.

The iPad Flashcards are out and Eric did a nice video we've posted on Facebook. As always looking forward to your feedback.

112 comments
5 people find this helpful
I've been working my way through Fluenz Mandarin 1-3. Love it, but I found I wanted flashcards I could use on my phone. Quizlet has good text-to-speech conversion for English and Pinyin, and a good app, so I used it to make flashcards, using the Fluenz vocabulary:https://quizlet.com/PBoth/folders/fluenz-mandarin-12https://quizlet.com/PBoth/folders/fluenz-mandarin-3 (work in progress - just finished 3.11) Figured I'd share - hope this is useful. (If you come across errors, please let me know which cards in which lessons. There's definitely a text-to-speech issue for some terms, so I've been working my way through re-recording.) Oh, and FWIW, Quizlet is free, but I find their premium "Long Term Learning" feature a really efficient way to practice every day, since Quizlet keeps track of what I need to work on more. (I have no affiliation to Quizlet.)

I've been working my way through Fluenz Mandarin 1-3. Love it, but I found I wanted flashcards I could use on my phone. Quizlet has good text-to-speech conversion for English and Pinyin, and a good app, so I used it to make flashcards, using the Fluenz vocabulary:
https://quizlet.com/PBoth/folders/fluenz-mandarin-12
https://quizlet.com/PBoth/folders/fluenz-mandarin-3 (work in progress - just finished 3.11)

Figured I'd share - hope this is useful. (If you come across errors, please let me know which cards in which lessons. There's definitely a text-to-speech issue for some terms, so I've been working my way through re-recording.)

Oh, and FWIW, Quizlet is free, but I find their premium "Long Term Learning" feature a really efficient way to practice every day, since Quizlet keeps track of what I need to work on more. (I have no affiliation to Quizlet.)

2 comments
1 person finds this helpful
Is Fluenz thinking about making a Mandarin 4+5? It doesn't make much sense to just make 1+2+3 for the most spoken language in the world.

Is Fluenz thinking about making a Mandarin 4+5? It doesn't make much sense to just make 1+2+3 for the most spoken language in the world.

113 comments
21 people find this helpful
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Thanks to all the people who have written us directly and who posted here and on Facebook with feedback about the Flashcards. Clearly this is something the entire Fluenz community has been waiting for. The team that is working on this project is very proud of all the positive comments the beta version has received. We've been slowly fixing some of the bugs users have pointed out and are looking to improve in many areas. There is a pipeline of great additions to Fluenz and hopefully most of them will be received with the same enthusiasm as these Flashcards. The feedback has given us even more energy to finish development and start launching all these new features in the Fluenz learning experience. One of the first things we hope to have up and running is a redesign of the Commons themselves. We realize the navigation is not great and that we need a lot more interactivity--and it needs to be more closely linked to the learning experience. After that we'll launch several new ways to improve your learning, and more ways to access what we've already built. Hopefully I'll have news of all this activity very soon (and Italian users fear not, we're not slowing down on Italian 3). In the meantime please continue sending us feedback for the Flahscards. We can't wait to get to the 2 and 3.0 stages. PS. Where to find the Fluenz Flashcards? As an integral part of the Fluenz programs they are available to all Fluenz users. Register if you haven't (use the code that came in your original red box) or login if you haven't and you'll see the link on the My Commons box, to the right of the screen. If you are logged in you can always go directly to fluenz.com/commons/apps/flashcards.

Thanks to all the people who have written us directly and who posted here and on Facebook with feedback about the Flashcards. Clearly this is something the entire Fluenz community has been waiting for. The team that is working on this project is very proud of all the positive comments the beta version has received. We've been slowly fixing some of the bugs users have pointed out and are looking to improve in many areas.

There is a pipeline of great additions to Fluenz and hopefully most of them will be received with the same enthusiasm as these Flashcards. The feedback has given us even more energy to finish development and start launching all these new features in the Fluenz learning experience.
One of the first things we hope to have up and running is a redesign of the Commons themselves. We realize the navigation is not great and that we need a lot more interactivity--and it needs to be more closely linked to the learning experience. After that we'll launch several new ways to improve your learning, and more ways to access what we've already built. Hopefully I'll have news of all this activity very soon (and Italian users fear not, we're not slowing down on Italian 3).

In the meantime please continue sending us feedback for the Flahscards. We can't wait to get to the 2 and 3.0 stages.

PS. Where to find the Fluenz Flashcards? As an integral part of the Fluenz programs they are available to all Fluenz users. Register if you haven't (use the code that came in your original red box) or login if you haven't and you'll see the link on the My Commons box, to the right of the screen. If you are logged in you can always go directly to fluenz.com/commons/apps/flashcards.

46 comments
3 people find this helpful
This was my first trip to China, and I'm glad I used fluenz before going! At one point I felt like I was reciting complete lessons when I got stuck in a restaurant that wouldn't accept a non-chinese credit card and I was out of cash, had to ask the waiter where I could find a bank, then ask for directions, etc. etc.. Fluenz saved me from ending up washing dishes in the back of the restaurant! One thing Fluenz, for the next Mandarin update: please teach us how to say "no cream and sugar" when ordering coffee. It seems you teach it in all other languages except Mandarin and it happens to be very useful. Thanks again Fluenz, I can't wait to try the updated Mandarin version! Xie Xie!

This was my first trip to China, and I'm glad I used fluenz before going! At one point I felt like I was reciting complete lessons when I got stuck in a restaurant that wouldn't accept a non-chinese credit card and I was out of cash, had to ask the waiter where I could find a bank, then ask for directions, etc. etc.. Fluenz saved me from ending up washing dishes in the back of the restaurant!

One thing Fluenz, for the next Mandarin update: please teach us how to say "no cream and sugar" when ordering coffee. It seems you teach it in all other languages except Mandarin and it happens to be very useful.

Thanks again Fluenz, I can't wait to try the updated Mandarin version! Xie Xie!

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Just returned from my 4th trip to China. I knew the basic greetings prior to starting Fluenz in February. I'd made it to Lesson 30 and must say, I was impressed with my ability to understand the simple things, figure out some context clues, and hold my own with the waiter until my translator arrived. But of course, humbled by the many discussions where I had no clue what was being said!! The first time I asked "where is the bathroom" and the person understood me, I was amazed!! Sounds simple to those of you who have been at this a while but for me, this last trip was amazing and I must say, my colleagues were impressed! Of course, lots to learn moving forward but a big "shout out" to the Fluenz program for providing common words, "real life" situations, and your focus on pronunciation. Please let me know suggestions / fun strategies for increasing my vocabulary (in addition to flashcards / memory exercises). Barbara

Just returned from my 4th trip to China. I knew the basic greetings prior to starting Fluenz in February. I'd made it to Lesson 30 and must say, I was impressed with my ability to understand the simple things, figure out some context clues, and hold my own with the waiter until my translator arrived. But of course, humbled by the many discussions where I had no clue what was being said!!

The first time I asked "where is the bathroom" and the person understood me, I was amazed!! Sounds simple to those of you who have been at this a while but for me, this last trip was amazing and I must say, my colleagues were impressed! Of course, lots to learn moving forward but a big "shout out" to the Fluenz program for providing common words, "real life" situations, and your focus on pronunciation. Please let me know suggestions / fun strategies for increasing my vocabulary (in addition to flashcards / memory exercises).

Barbara

3 comments
3 people find this helpful
I'm in Auckland and have started Mandarin. Anyone to share ideas or linkup with Fluenz lessons ? Please ... Soren

I'm in Auckland and have started Mandarin. Anyone to share ideas or linkup with Fluenz lessons ? Please ...
Soren

This question is unsolved
Hi, I've been aggressively studying Mandarin now for about 6 weeks, using a variety of combined sources including Fluenz, private tutoring, mobile apps, and a couple books. My background is that Mandarin will be my 3rd/4th language (after Latin, Spanish, and dabbling in German), and I also work in product design at a bay area tech company. So hopefully I have some relevant and/or helpful perspective. I've reached a stage where I have some suggestions for the Fluenz Mandarin product. I like Fluenz very much -- it helped me on my beginning journey through Spanish, and it helped kickstart my Mandarin. However, I'm finding myself using Fluenz Mandarin less proportionality compared to other sources, and so here are my suggestions that I feel would keep the product more competitive, especially for a learner using multiple curricula. 1. Be forgiving about which vowel receives the tone marking. According to my tutor (a native Mandarin speaker who grew up PRC), while there is a proper placement for the tone marking, e.g. xiǎo not xiaǒ, and this is emphasized very much in K12 in PRC, for adults it's not paid attention to much, and often the tone markings (when hand-written) are even over and between two vowels, not over a specific one. She says what's important in practice is the tone for the whole word, not which letter it appears over. My suggestion for Fluenz is to copy the behavior I've seen on some websites, where the tone marker vowel position is auto-corrected in real-time as you type. 2. Be forgiving about spacing. If the expected answer is “tài guì le”, I should also be able to input "tàiguìle". If I'm already using an IME, then I have some muscle memory that is slowing me down in Fluenz, having to think about white space unnecessarily. 3. Allow correct recognition of Hanzi characters, in cases where the user is already using an IME and already learning the characters from other sources. For example if the correct response is "méiyǒu", I should also be able to enter "没有". 3a. Allow the option to see Hanzi characters w/Pinyin in the workouts. 4. Teach the third tone rules much sooner. One of my first big struggles starting out, until I realized this from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAqayUpWr_o and my tutor, was that I shouldn't be trying to pronounce the full 3rd tone every time I encounter a 3rd tone sound. 5. I'm on the fence about the pronunciations in the recordings. I visited Beijing for 2 weeks recently, and noticed most people pronounce their tones more subtly. I imagine the exaggeration in the videos is to aide with learning, but I think I'd rather learn more a "normal" way of speaking from the beginning. 6. The market I'm sure you're already aware of -- there are complementary learning approaches that involve spaced repetition models, such as Duolingo, or some of the Chinese-made Duolingo clones. Great for maximizing vocabulary retention and learning rate. Maybe a dynamic vocabulary review can be added to the product. 7. Voice recognition for evaluation of tones and consonants would be very helpful. A mobile app I use has this for Mandarin, and it's accuracy (anecdotally) seems about 80%-90%. Good enough to be useful. Where it fails to distinguish are between x and sh, but otherwise useful. The landscape has changed a lot over the years. I still see value in Fluenz's guided, video & workouts approach, and personally get value from it; however, I think the product needs more functionality to stay effective competitively. I hope this is helpful. I'm happy to discuss further via email (we've exchanged notes a couple times a few years ago.) Sincerely, Clifford

Hi,

I've been aggressively studying Mandarin now for about 6 weeks, using a variety of combined sources including Fluenz, private tutoring, mobile apps, and a couple books. My background is that Mandarin will be my 3rd/4th language (after Latin, Spanish, and dabbling in German), and I also work in product design at a bay area tech company. So hopefully I have some relevant and/or helpful perspective.

I've reached a stage where I have some suggestions for the Fluenz Mandarin product. I like Fluenz very much -- it helped me on my beginning journey through Spanish, and it helped kickstart my Mandarin. However, I'm finding myself using Fluenz Mandarin less proportionality compared to other sources, and so here are my suggestions that I feel would keep the product more competitive, especially for a learner using multiple curricula.

1. Be forgiving about which vowel receives the tone marking. According to my tutor (a native Mandarin speaker who grew up PRC), while there is a proper placement for the tone marking, e.g. xiǎo not xiaǒ, and this is emphasized very much in K12 in PRC, for adults it's not paid attention to much, and often the tone markings (when hand-written) are even over and between two vowels, not over a specific one. She says what's important in practice is the tone for the whole word, not which letter it appears over. My suggestion for Fluenz is to copy the behavior I've seen on some websites, where the tone marker vowel position is auto-corrected in real-time as you type.

2. Be forgiving about spacing. If the expected answer is “tài guì le”, I should also be able to input "tàiguìle". If I'm already using an IME, then I have some muscle memory that is slowing me down in Fluenz, having to think about white space unnecessarily.

3. Allow correct recognition of Hanzi characters, in cases where the user is already using an IME and already learning the characters from other sources. For example if the correct response is "méiyǒu", I should also be able to enter "没有".

3a. Allow the option to see Hanzi characters w/Pinyin in the workouts.

4. Teach the third tone rules much sooner. One of my first big struggles starting out, until I realized this from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAqayUpWr_o and my tutor, was that I shouldn't be trying to pronounce the full 3rd tone every time I encounter a 3rd tone sound.

5. I'm on the fence about the pronunciations in the recordings. I visited Beijing for 2 weeks recently, and noticed most people pronounce their tones more subtly. I imagine the exaggeration in the videos is to aide with learning, but I think I'd rather learn more a "normal" way of speaking from the beginning.

6. The market I'm sure you're already aware of -- there are complementary learning approaches that involve spaced repetition models, such as Duolingo, or some of the Chinese-made Duolingo clones. Great for maximizing vocabulary retention and learning rate. Maybe a dynamic vocabulary review can be added to the product.

7. Voice recognition for evaluation of tones and consonants would be very helpful. A mobile app I use has this for Mandarin, and it's accuracy (anecdotally) seems about 80%-90%. Good enough to be useful. Where it fails to distinguish are between x and sh, but otherwise useful.

The landscape has changed a lot over the years. I still see value in Fluenz's guided, video & workouts approach, and personally get value from it; however, I think the product needs more functionality to stay effective competitively.

I hope this is helpful. I'm happy to discuss further via email (we've exchanged notes a couple times a few years ago.)

Sincerely,
Clifford

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