Eric Etcovitch

Eric Etcovitch

Rocket Chinese — United States

Overall
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In my pursuit of trying to study Mandarin, I have tried many, many, many courses, both in-person and online, and never quite found one that helped me stay motivated. In each case, I never felt like I was absorbing anything and would become discouraged really easily.

After trying a few lessons of Rocket Chinese, I can honestly say that this is by far the best course I’ve tried so far! I can not say enough good things about this course! Among the many things I love about it:
1. The price: the price is extremely reasonable especially given it’s a lifetime membership!
2. The course structure: the fact that the overall course initially focuses on oral rather than both oral and written skills. While I definitely want to learn the written portion and the course has more than enough to cover that in later lessons, I really prefer to focus on my conversation skills initially especially given that pronunciation is extremely critical in Mandarin! Many courses focus on both from the start, which ends up overwhelming and discouraging me.
3. The lesson structure: the lesson structure is excellent from the voice recordings, which allow you to test correct pronunciation, to the exercises at the end of each lesson, which help test and reinforce learning.
4. The points system (Today’s Points, Current Streak, and Leaderboard): the points system also adds another level of motivation to the study as you can gage your daily progress as well as progress in comparison to others taking the same course.
5. The cultural lessons: the cultural information reinforces and expands understanding of the language.
6. The customer support: support is terrific anytime I have a question or issue.

If there was one small thing I would improve it would be the efficacy of the iOS native app. While the app is definitely not essential to the learning since the website is great , I would love if I could leverage the native app better for learning on the go. Two improvements that would really help:
1. Voice recording/pronunciation testing - the app frequently doesn’t recognize speech no matter how loud I speak and and even when it does recognize my voice, it doesn't seem to recognize what I said. But I don’t know if this is just an issue with Siri?
2. Offline learning - the app requires cell/wifi connectivity. It would be great if offline learning was available as well although the ability to download the dialogues as mp3s definitely helps this.

Please note this issue is really small in comparison to all the course benefits and certainly does not stop me from loving it! I would definitely recommend this course to others!

Moderators note: Please contact customer support about the Siri issue. It is probably an easy fix. Also, offline usage on the app is coming soon!