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mikeedward

ChineseClass101

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wrbt
The situation is more like selling one liter of soda in a two-liter bottle. Sure, a lot of people will notice the missing soda before they buy it, and the soda's every bit as good, but it's packaged deceptively.

Nah I think that's a terrible comparison. You're mixing an attribute that has no bearing on what the consumer/purchaser gets benefit from (a blurb about how many people use the site) with getting half of what is promised.

If ChineseClass101 promised that if you signed up you had access to 80 lessons but it only had 40, you'd be dead on and I'd certainly be right there with you criticizing the deception. However a sentence on their web page about how many users there are has absolutely zero impact on what this website provides for learning Chinese, so the soda analogy falls flat (hah hah I'm here every weekend try the veal.)

A more interesting discussion, if it's possible to have a discussion more interesting than the accuracy of a stated user base for a website, is whether it's somehow morally bankrupt to do a grab and bag. I ended up doing a subscription for one month and downloaded everything they had then canceling. I did that with Chinesepod once too. Is that evil?

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in_lab
If ChineseClass101 promised that if you signed up you had access to 80 lessons but it only had 40, you'd be dead on
"Over 60,000,000 downloads of over 1000 different educational audio and video lessons and iPhone application choices by people just like you looking to have fun learning Chinese and learn at their own pace."
I looked for their 1000 different lessons and found 130 lessons, 42 videos and 7 iphone apps.

.

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wrbt
To my knowledge, the numbers cited on the splash page are aggregates across the entire Innovative language series, which is ten languages and counting.

With discussion related to things that really impact how good a tool for learning Chinese this site is, I've also noticed they keep up a pretty good pace of new material, at least for the advanced blog.

I think my number on complaint at this point is probably the lack of upper level dialogs, like off-the-cuff conversation between at least two actors. They have great stuff on lingq in that format covering all kinds of topics.

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in_lab
To my knowledge, the numbers cited on the splash page are aggregates across the entire Innovative language series, which is ten languages and counting.

If this quote was on the website, everything would be ok. But it is not (it's from chinese-forums.com), which makes it irrelevant to the argument about whether or not the quote is misleading.

Edit: If you still won't admit the analogy is good, here's an addendum to cover your objection: Somewhere on the interenet, a discussion forum clearly states that there is only one liter of soda in the bottle.

Edited by in_lab

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wrbt

Tell you what let's just agree that it's bad.

That way you can keep grinding your axe evaluating this website based on whatever marketing blurb it has on the web page, I'll keep evaluating on actual usefulness of learning Chinese, and we can both be happy with our different goals.

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stelingo

I signed up for a week's trial last week. I received an email offering me a discount. Since I liked what i saw I took out a monthly subscription. It said $10 on the main page, minus the discount. It seemed a good deal. However it was only after I had signed up that I realised I had been charged for 24 months in advance, $160. I emailed them at the address given on the site to ask for a refund but heard nothing. So I had to ring up their office in New York (I live in the UK) but could not speak to a live person, just an answer phone, which gave me a different email not shown on the website. Anyway I managed to get a refund. In addition to this, I found I was unable to actually hear any of the podcasts on the pay area, although I have no problems hearing the free content. I have emailed the company several times asking for technical assistance but have had no response. So I have subscribed to Chinesepod.

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abcdefg
I signed up for a week's trial last week. I received an email offering me a discount.

Be real careful with these 101 guys. I sure don’t like their style. Too much flash and confusing marketing. The hand is quicker than the eye.

Like you, I signed up for a free week. They converted it to a month of Premium for $10 under some sort of temporary promotion and sent me a useless CD. The premium content was very difficult to access and contained no written exercises to help make the new vocabulary stick.

Later I read the fine print closely and saw my subscription would "automatically renew" every month from then on unless I manually stopped the process by cancelling my subscription, which I promptly did.

I'll stick with Chinese Pod any day.

Edited by abcdefg

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nsauvage

On my side, I have registered on November 17th and it is December 22nd... and I have received 44 emails from them so far. Most of them about amazing discounts if I take their offer straight away. I am keeping the emails to see which offer was indeed the best...

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PhilipLean

After reading this thread I signed up for the free trial. Fortunately this thread made me aware of what to expect. The next page was full of extensive advertising hype telling me that:

"Get the Ultimate Fast Track to Fluency Kit for FREE!

READ CAREFULLY! This is your ONE and ONLY CHANCE."

and

"The Ultimate Getting Started with Chinese DVD with over 60 lessons (this sells for $35.00)

A Full month of Premium Access to ChineseClass101.com - having over 61,410,307 lessons downloaded so far to date I've been told this is, hands down the best way to learn Chinese(sells for $25.00)

Insider 7-day Fluency Fast Course - How to REALLY Learn a Language (exclusive for VIP members - based on feedback from thousands of students worldwide, this is brand new and not available anywhere)"

The page goes on and on, full of hype, and ends with:

"P.S. I'm really only able to send you this today (For Free) since, you've just shown your strong interest in learning Chinese. I truly want to help those who are taking action and getting started with the fascinating language and culture that is Chinese."

Well, I will try their free stuff as long as I don't have to sign anything and all their hype really puts me of what they are trying to sell.

So I clicked on the Nothanks.

Meanwhile and email had arrived. The best was "Welcome to ChineseClass101.com! To activate your free lifetime account and to start your 7-Day Free Trial, please click on the link below:"

So I clicked on that. Eventually I found my way to the free stuff, avoiding the signup pages that wanted my credit card.

The site has an interesting graphic, http://www.chineseclass101.com/theme/images/header-bgrd.jpg it seems familiar.

I looked at a video, about dating and weddings, not bad, clear pronunciation, clear graphics and - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh a heavy piano music score that overrides the spoken audio.

The pdfs containing the notes for the lesson have some good content, though on my system, XP with loads of fonts, the pinyin letters were sort of jammed together.

I listened to an Elementary audio, "Your Father is Santa Clause? "the same people as in PopupChinese, the same high quality, but the theme was straight learning, not the somewhat bent themes of PopupChinese. No loud background music in the audio file, that was a relief. The PDF files had good content, but some still had problems with the pinyin font - I don't know if it is just my system.

I tried Survival Phrases #50 - Certain Medicine in China " the audio was good, different voices, sort of fast and peppy. The pdf content was even more comprehensive, I rate the content as excellent, and this time no problems with the pinyin font.

Conclusions ?

It might be worth it. Though ChinesePod and PopupChinese and Chinesecourse.com are much more straight forward in their marketing and content layout, this one offers some interesting and very useful dialog. I particularly like the lesson on Survival Phases.

I haven't tried the $10 a month, it might be worth it, at least to try it , as long as you are aware of the selling hype, and the need to monitor your subscription.

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