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PC Reviews: Speak Spanish, Speak Vietnamese, Speak Chinese (Mandarin) & Speak French the fast track way




The Final Say!


Speak Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese (Mandarin) & French the fast track way
 - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: October 2004
Review Score: 8.0/10 
Distributor: Manaccom

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 unfamiliar with.

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

Copyright 2004