Cody Heiner

Cody Heiner

Rocket Chinese — CA, United States

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I think the overall teaching style of this program is pretty great, but the execution is not there yet.

The major shortcoming is the male's pronunciation. I am a complete beginner to studying Chinese, but it's incredibly obvious his pronunciation is absolutely awful. During the conversations, I can understand the female perfectly fine, but I still can't understand the male speaker well even after studying the lesson. I also worry that I may pick up bad habits myself even listening to his speech.

Another minor drawback is that I do not believe there is a way to zoom in or make the characters larger on the mobile app, which is unfortunate since I tend to study these lessons while exercising on an elliptical or other cardio machine, so the phone is a fair distance away from my eyes.

A feature I wish they would add in the future is increased robustness of the conversations. Instead of teaching us exactly one perfectly scripted conversation, teach us variations. Most of the time there are a handful of different ways someone could say the same thing, so even if the conversation is relatively simple in content, learning just one specific tightly scripted conversation is going to be pretty useless once you step out into the real world.

Overall, Rocket Chinese is founded on good ideas and has solid potential, I hope it will strive to improve and live up to the potential I see.