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Rocket Languages Review

Monday, May 20th

2024 Chinese Lesson Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Rocket Languages Review 5 Star Rating

Rocket Languages

5 Star Rating
  • Starts at $149.95, with packages for different learning levels
  • Approachable video lessons to simplify the Chinese writing system
  • Friendly audio lessons simulating casual conversations
  • Inclusion of cultural lessons for a deeper understanding of Chinese culture
  • Voice recognition tool, Rocket Record, for speaking practice
  • Hanzi Writing Tool for learning stroke order of Chinese characters
  • "Survival Kit Lessons" for relevant vocabulary in specific scenarios
  • Gamification with leaderboards for a fun, competitive learning experience
  • Community forums for asking questions and getting help
  • Audio lessons downloadable as MP3s for lifetime access
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Rocket Languages, a leading language learning company, was founded by friends Jason and Mark in 2004 to help people like you master new languages. As a Chinese learner, you'll appreciate their approachable video lessons that simplify the Chinese writing system, their friendly audio lessons that feel like casual conversations, and their platform's design that clearly displays your progress. They also include cultural lessons that enhance your understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture.

Three different course packages starting at $149.95

Rocket Chinese provides you with three tiers of courses to guide your Chinese language learning journey. If you're a beginner aiming to achieve an advanced level of conversation, the comprehensive package, including Levels 1, 2, & 3, is suitable for you, priced at $449.85. For those targeting a very good conversational level, you can opt for the Levels 1 & 2 package costing $299.90. For beginners hoping to attain a good conversational level, Level 1, priced at $149.95, is your best bet. Each package comes with an array of features: voice recognition phrases, audio and language lessons, cultural insights, practice conversations, writing lessons, a free survival kit, a 60-day guarantee, and lifetime access. We think it'd be great if Lifetime Access included all of the languages on their platform like some of Rocket Languages' competitors in our review, but we can understand why they don't - each course provides a lot of value and is clearly the product of a whole lot of time, energy, thought, and research.

Flexible payment and refund options

After purchasing your course, you can try it out for 60 days and if it's not right for you, you can contact the Customer Support Team for a full refund, no questions asked. There's a payment plan available for the 3-level package of Rocket Chinese, which includes Levels 1, 2, and 3. Using the code ROCKETDEAL, you can save $28 per month, paying just $47.00 for six monthly payments. Remember, you can cancel anytime. If you're interested in purchasing individual levels, you can also buy Rocket Chinese Level 2 and Level 3 separately. To start your free trial of Rocket Languages' Chinese course, all you need to give them is your name and your email address.

Each course is custom-made for the language

There are 3 levels of the Chinese course which are broken down into 7 modules and a Survival Kit in each. Level 1 has 29 Audio lessons, 30 Language & Culture lessons, 28 Writing lessons, and 10 Survival Kit lessons. Rather than reusing the same template over and over, Rocket Languages creates their courses with a special focus on each language's unique aspects - which we're really happy to hear for a language like Chinese that uses a different writing system than the Romance languages. The time and care they've put into their Chinese course is evident right from the start. Rocket Languages makes sure that your course content is practical, related to the language, and useful for you.

Best Chinese Lessons

Audio lessons let you role-play conversations

You'll start with audio lessons that range from 15 to 40 minutes. These lessons, centered around Chinese conversations, offer you ample opportunities to practice speaking. In your first lesson, you'll learn how to greet in Chinese. Rocket Chinese also features a voice recognition tool, Rocket Record, to help you speak Chinese accurately. You can engage in a "Role Playing" activity that simulates real-life Mandarin conversations in a relaxed setting. Moreover, there's a "Lesson Vocabulary" section where you can practice words and phrases that aren't part of the lesson's conversation. Besides these, you have access to extras like flashcards, quizzes, and specific exercises for listening, speaking, writing, and composing in Hanzi.

Get a handle on Chinese culture through language

The Language and Culture lessons aim to deepen your understanding of Chinese language and culture. As you embark on your first lesson, you'll be introduced to the basic elements of the Chinese language. You'll learn how to pronounce Chinese words by reading pinyin, a system that translates Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet. The lessons will also provide you with different ways to greet people in Chinese, offering a glimpse into the social customs of the culture. Also, you'll gain an understanding of Mandarin Chinese's place within the broader Chinese culture. There's a helpful explanation that Chinese is not an alphabet-based language, but one that uses characters (Hanzi). Each character represents a syllable and takes up one full space on your digital device. You'll be introduced to "morphemes" (yusu), the smallest meaningful units of a language, which can consist of one character or more. We really love these practical examples and real-life applications, and we think it would be hard to get bored with these lessons.

Tool to learn history and stroke order of Hanzi

Unlike many language learning platforms, Rocket Languages recognizes the importance of being able to write in Chinese, not just speak it - after all, no native speaker would consider you fluent if you couldn't read and write. Rocket provides you with writing lessons and a helpful tool called the "Hanzi Writing Tool." With this tool, you can see animations of the correct stroke order for each character and then practice drawing the characters yourself. If you find it difficult, don't worry: the tool provides hints after a few unsuccessful attempts. They also provide mnemonics and historical context for each character to help you remember them better. For instance, when you're learning the character Zi (Son), you can visualize a baby with its arms outstretched making little gurgling noises. We also really enjoyed seeing how the characters evolved from Archaic script forms (or "oracle bone" script), the oldest extant Chinese characters.

Best Chinese Lessons

Survival Kits for relevant vocabulary

In Rocket Chinese, there's a feature called "Survival Kit Lessons" that's designed to equip you with the kind of vocabulary you'd need to converse if you were in particular scenarios. Although the free trial doesn't give access to these lessons, some of the topics you can expect include "Clothing and More," "Life in the City," "Around the House," "Talking about Tones," and "Parts of the Body," among others. We think Rocket Languages is doing a great job of balancing practicality and depth in this course.

Compete against other users and ask for help in forums

You can also find the popular gamified learning experience in Rocket Chinese, with leaderboards located under the "Tools" section on the desktop version. The leaderboard tracks your learning points and ranks you among other learners. This adds a fun, competitive aspect to your learning, but the lessons remain high-quality and thorough - it's not quick dopamine junk-food for the brain like some other language apps that rely too heavily on the gamification aspect. You can also find community forums under "Tools" , which offer a place for you to ask questions and get help from tutors and other learners on topics like grammar, Chinese culture and travel, conversation in Chinese, and more.

They're the best

We're big fans of Rocket Languages' Chinese course. Not only does Rocket teach you stroke order for Hanzi, it also teaches you the history behind them as a mnemonic strategy, which is absolutely amazing for retention, and can even help you guess the meaning of characters you've never seen before. While the Chinese course is linear and structured if you want it to be, you can also jump around based on what interests you - you're not locked out by tests you have to pass first. All of the audio is spoken in clear, natural Mandarin Chinese; no choppy AI audio here. We love the opportunity for friendly competition with other Chinese learners, and that you can download your audio lessons as MP3s, which means you own them forever. Basically, we see no significant downside to Rocket Chinese. These lessons earn our highest rating of 5 stars.

Where Can You Get the Best Chinese Lessons Online?

The motivations for learning Chinese are as diverse and compelling as the language itself. Perhaps you're fascinated by the rich history and culture of China, eager to read its classical poetry or modern literature in its original form. Maybe you're looking to expand your business skills and communicate directly with the vast Chinese market. Or, you might dream of traveling through China, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes, all while engaging with locals in their native tongue.

Learning Chinese, however, presents a unique set of challenges unlike those found in learning languages like Spanish or French. For one, there's the intricate system of Chinese characters, each carrying its own meaning and pronunciation, which can seem daunting at first glance. Then, there's the tonal nature of Mandarin Chinese, where the meaning of a word can change dramatically with the pitch of your voice.

The Best Chinese Lessons Compare Chinese Lessons Compare Chinese Lesson Reviews What are the best Chinese Lessons Best Chinese Lesson Reviews

Chinese Lesson FAQ

With China being the most populated country in the world, it will come as no surprise that an estimated 1.31 billion people speak Chinese - approximately 16% of everyone on the planet! And, that only includes those whose first or native language is Chinese, not those who are learning it as a second (or third!) language.
There are seven primary dialect groups in Chinese: Mandarin, Yue (or Cantonese), Min, Kejia, Gan, Xiang and Wu. Mandarin is the most widely used and is the dialect you'll most likely use if you travel to Taiwan, Singapore, or China, particularly in the northern regions. Most Chinese lessons are based on Mandarin.
Chinese is one of four languages ranked as a Category IV by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute: a designation that means that, for native English speakers, Chinese is "exceptionally difficult" (along with Arabic, Japanese, and Korean). However, if you're patient and hard-working, you can learn to speak and write in Chinese!
Many experts recommend focusing first on learning how to speak Chinese. The written language is extremely complex, because it's based on pictographs and not a phonetic alphabet, and most learners have a bigger need to communicate orally than in writing. Chinese is a tonal language, where shifting the "shape" of one's voice can change a syllable into a different word. (In Mandarin, for example, the syllable "ma" can mean everything from "mother" to "horse" and even "to scold" depending on the tone!) That can be very tricky for non-Asian learners to master, making it a great place to start.
There's no way to study Chinese that's more convenient than online lessons. You don't have to worry about making it to class on time, being able to register for a course, or turning in homework! Studying Chinese online is also much more affordable, and it lets you take things at your own pace.
Depending on whether you're using a Mac or PC (or an iPhone or Android), there are different steps you can take to enable a Chinese keyboard. Your best bet is to do a search based on the operating system you've got and follow the steps to turn on the Chinese language functionality.
No! You can choose classes with one-time fees for a complete course or a monthly subscription for continuous access, but both types of Chinese lessons are very affordable. For example, one popular program has a 12-month membership for just $16.66 per month, and another offers two levels of Chinese lessons for $249.90. You'll have a hard time finding an in-person class for less than that!
Sometimes. If you've subscribed to a monthly plan, you'll probably be able to cancel future recurring payments. If you've paid for a package of Chinese lessons, some platforms will allow you to request a refund within the first 30-60 days of use. However, your best option is to use any free lessons or resources that the language program offers prior to purchase: many sites have partial or full lessons you can try before you buy, or a 7-day trial you can use before your payments kick in. That's a great way to find out if the Chinese lessons you're considering are a good match for how you learn and what you want to get out of your studies.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

But don't let these hurdles deter you. With commitment and the right resources, you're on your way to fluency. Mastering Chinese opens up a universe of cultural, professional, and social opportunities, allowing you to connect with over a billion speakers worldwide.

Online Chinese lessons offer a variety of approaches to suit different learning preferences. For auditory learners, there are programs focused on immersive listening practices, helping you attune your ear to the nuances of the language. If you're game for a challenge, gamified learning platforms make acquiring new vocabulary and grammar points engaging, rewarding your progress with points and badges.

For those who prefer a more structured learning path, comprehensive courses provide a blend of video lessons, interactive quizzes, and writing exercises, ensuring you develop a well-rounded skill set, from character recognition and writing to speaking and listening.

And if personal interaction is what drives your learning, tutoring services connect you with native Chinese speakers for real-time conversation and cultural exchange, enriching your study with authentic experiences.

Feeling overwhelmed by the options? Here's what to consider as you begin your journey to learn Chinese:

  • Current fluency level. Assess whether you're starting from scratch or if you have some knowledge of Chinese. Choose lessons that align with your starting point.
  • Learning medium. Determine whether you prefer app-based lessons, audio files, desktop platforms, or another format that fits your lifestyle and learning habits.
  • Skill focus. Decide if you want to concentrate on listening and speaking, reading and writing, or a combination. Remember, Chinese characters are essential for reading and writing, and tone practice is critical for understanding and being understood.
  • Pinyin vs. characters. Consider if the app emphasizes learning through pinyin (the Romanization of Chinese sounds) or focuses more on teaching Chinese characters. Some learners may prefer starting with pinyin to master pronunciation before moving on to characters, while others might want to dive directly into character recognition and writing.
  • Cost. Evaluate whether the lessons are priced as a one-time payment or require a subscription. Consider the value of free options and the benefits of paid upgrades.
  • Learner reviews. Look for feedback from other learners. Their experiences can provide insight into the effectiveness of the platform and the time it may take to see progress.

To guide you to the best Chinese lessons for your goals and preferred learning style, our team at Top Consumer Reviews has tested today's leading options and provided honest feedback on what each one offers. So, what are you waiting for? Embark on your Chinese learning adventure today!

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