Pimsleur Mandarin Chinese I

Click here to download my complete Pimsleur Mandarin Chinese I notes

The Pimsleur Mandarin Chinese I audiobook is an excellent tool to jumpstart your language studies, since it focuses on teaching you the essentials and most commonly used phrases and terminology for conversing in Mandarin. The Pimsleur language learning audiobooks are well known for their philosophy of anticipation and graduated interval recall. What this means is that they use intelligently placed pauses and intervals to hardwire the words and phrases into the learner’s brain.

For a more in-depth review of the audiobook, you can read my full review of Pimsleur Spanish I, which essentially covers the same aspects as the Chinese counterpart.

Now, the Pimsleur method focuses almost entirely on speaking and listening, so you won’t be able learn how to read and write Chinese just by relying on the audio CDs. This also raises another problem: it becomes cumbersome to do any revision without having access to written material, unless you take your own notes. But Dr. Paul Pimsleur advises that you refrain from doing anything aside from focusing on the audio program; he believes that multitasking your way through the units only distracts you and decreases the potential of the program.

But worry not. I’ve already done the work for you. As I did with Pimsleur Spanish I, I’ve now also crafted a complete set of notes for the entire Pimsleur Mandarin Chinese I audiobook for you to use.

The 22-page PDF document is broken down into 30 units. Furthermore, each entry comes in three parts: Chinese characters, pinyin, and English. For the Chinese I’ve chosen to use simplified Chinese characters mainly because the language program is taught using a variety of Mandarin Chinese commonly heard in Northern China (e.g. 儿化音). If you wish to learn traditional Chinese characters instead, you can easily convert the characters using Google Translate.


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Please also note that the document may include typographical errors. If you find any mistakes in the notes, please notify me (and everyone else) in the comments below. Xiè xie nǐ.

Feel free to share the notes!

» Download Pimsleur Mandarin Chinese I Notes (PDF 270 KB)