I'm proud to say I'm a typical product of the melting pot that is America. I'm a quarter each Irish, Swedish, Greek, and Chinese. I was born and raised in Chicago and naturally comfortable in my Western culture. But I've always been intrigued by Asian culture and curious about, what is to me, the "foreign" side of my heritage. So I decided I needed to do what it takes to be speaking Chinese within the coming year.
Speaking Chinese at first appeared like a daunting task. I started by investigating any available classes I could find. I soon found that, although Chinese was not one of the most popular language offerings, classes were available at several local universities and private tutoring companies. But these were extremely expensive and would require weeks of scheduled classes. What I really needed was a program that I could learn at my own pace from home.
So my search continued to the Internet. There I found several extremely interesting options. After exploring as many self-study programs as I could, I narrowed in on what I felt were the best combinations of price, substance, and ease-of-learning. My decision came down to either Rosetta Stone or Rocket Chinese.
Both of these products seemed to comprehensively cover my needs. Rosetta Stone offered to teach me Chinese through repeated audio exercises. Rocket Chinese would have me speaking Chinese with memory games, quizzes, and audio lessons. Rosetta Stone would cost a little over $ 200. Rocket Chinese was under $ 100. The fun-sounding lessons and lower price of Rocket Chinese were definitely tipping me in their favor. When I discovered that Rocket Chinese also offered a free 6-day trial, access to a member's only learner's forum where Chinese teachers and native speakers were waiting to help, I was sold.
Now, several months later I am speaking Chinese. This year I surprised my grandmother at her birthday party by starting a conversation with her in Chinese. I would recommend Rocket Chinese to anyone, who like me, wants to get in touch with their roots and learn at their own pace.