My Chinese Coach

If you’re on the road to being able to speak with most inhabitants of the world, odds are that you’ll want to learn the Chinese language, specifically the Mandarin dialect, the most heavily spoken language on Earth. While this reviewer would rather master Japanese so he could play and understand Japanese RPGs that will likely never see English versions, he nonetheless had an interest in Chinese since Japanese uses Chinese characters, known as hanzi or kanji, although that’s largely where the similarity between the two languages ends, as Chinese has vastly different grammar than Japanese despite using many of the same characters.

Since Chinese is an oriental language like Japanese, however, there are many similarities between My Chinese Coach and My Japanese Coach, and all but one of the games in the former are the same as those in the latter title. The original game in My Chinese Coach is one where the player must select the correct tone marker that belong sin a word among four options, which can be somewhat tedious, however, as pronunciation in Mandarin is undoubtedly one of its most difficult aspects to master. Another problem is that the game delves players into hanzi too quickly instead of introducing the characters ten at a time and focusing upon them individually like in My Japanese Coach. One improvement over My Japanese Coach, however, is that in the Flash Cards game, on the easiest difficulty, the game shows the hanzi compound forming a single vocabulary word.

Like My Japanese Coach, furthermore, My Chinese Coach dedicates its first hundred lessons to grammar while dedicating its remaining of a little over a thousand lessons to new vocabulary words. Completing every lesson can take over a hundred hours, with the games providing plenty of lasting appeal, although this reviewer stuck to the Multiple Choice and Flash Cards games since they actually teach translations of words. In the end, My Chinese Coach, while this reviewer’s first dive into learning Mandarin, certainly isn’t the best software for learning the language, what in particular with its rushed introduction of the hanzi, although it can definitely help those learning Japanese to immerse themselves in the language from which Japanese borrows its kanji characters.


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