Learning a language for some can be one of
the most complex things that they will ever do in their lives. Fortunately
for beginners, Fast Track have released four language programs that include
Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese (Mandarin) and French. Although these programs
are strictly aimed at the language beginner, they are in actual fact more
suited for travellers who will be visiting these exotic destinations.
The reason being, is that each language
program features around 150 key words and phrases of each language so not
only can the traveller get around a foreign country a little more easily but it also
increases their stature among another culture because they have actually
made an effort to learn a little of the language.
Each of the programs automatically
installed when the CD was inserted into drive and the installation took only
a few minutes to complete. It should also be noted that the program can be
directly run from the CD which is a bonus for people with small hard drives.
Although all the programs are relatively similar, this review will focus on
Speak Chinese because it is a language that I am completely
What really sets this program apart from
the many language programs on the market at the moment is that the program
is in actual fact a PC video that helps the user pronounce the words by
seeing another person pronounce them. This not only gives the user a huge
edge while learning another language but also makes the tasks of mastering a
language a whole lot easier.
These high quality videos allow you to
watch the teacher closely which is especially useful in the Chinese and
Vietnamese versions because they are not European based languages which are
relatively easy to learn when compared to ones from Asia. Another benefit of the
program is that you can repeat the words quite often so you will have
mastered the word or phrase in no time. For instance, I learnt how to say
hello in Chinese by saying "Ni Hao" or to say thankyou, it was "Doh je".
Even though I'm no master of the Chinese language, I do believe that the
program has taught me enough to assist my future travels.
Speak Chinese the fast track way also
contains an excellent interface that I'm sure even the most novice of
computer users will have no problems in mastering. Speaking of novices, the
program also runs on a variety of operating systems and only required a bare
boned system to run with a minimum requirement of a Pentium II processor and
Windows 98 (including XP) or higher.
In conclusion, I would recommend the Fast
Track collection of languages to anyone who is thinking of travelling and
it's also a great tool for taking with you overseas if you own a laptop.
Although this review only focused Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), French and
Vietnamese, there is also a variety of other languages available that
include Japanese and German to name a few. With a recommend retail price of
$19.95... you cannot go wrong! Zai jian!
- Andrew B