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on 22 April 2001
OK, then. Who wants to learn to speak 101 languages? It may just be that you are planning a quick trip to Lesotho via Reykjavik, and want to gen up on the lingo before travelling. Then again, the new love of your life may find it romantic to be chatted up in Esperanto. It takes all sorts. The program does contain 101 languages - but beware, not all languages are treated equally. Of the 101, only 76 have actual spoken dialogue available, the other 25 are a series of flashcards. Of the 76, minority languages are given a more superficial treatment than their major Western European counterparts. The program does not offer fluency in any of the offered tongues; it is more of a survival phrase book, with emphasis on learning set dialogues, not on grammar, or explaining how to adapt the vocabulary to different situations/sentences/expressions. It will not take you much further than beginner in any of the languages. If you seek to develop skills and fluency in only one of the languages listed, then it may be worth considering purchasing a program dedicated solely to your cause. It is easy to find other programs if you want to learn German or French, but it may not be easy finding other programs dedicated to African languages and obscure dialects of W. Euoropean languages (such as Catalan). For someone who already has a fair understanding of grammar in general, and/or can speak another language, it serves as a great introduction for exploration of other tongues. For the uninitiated, it may prove daunting, as the grammar sections are sometimes non-existant for the lesser languages, and sometimes unclear for those graced with a help file. Once you are used to the fiddly interface, the various sections do prove to be fun. There is a games section, which offers a useful excuse for not cracking on with the project that should have been in yesterday, and useful practise in the various skills. All in all, a good product if you want to learn a little about a lot of languages, learn an obscure language, have only a passing interest in learning a few phrases for your holidays, want to try and impress the girls by introducing yourself in Lithuanian, or just want a brief introduction before taking your studies further.
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on 22 February 2006
The software offers a wide and varied selection of the world's languages. It gives you a concise course for the most popular languages: French, Spanish etc to enticing samplers of the more exotic tongues such as Tahitien or Quecha.
One of the few criticisms I would have would be in relation to the vocabulary lists of about 25 languages. Of the languages in question such as Cornish or Romansch, there are no pronunciation guides or sentence or grammatical structures to assist the user further. Also, I found the information on Provencal inaccurate. This language within the Provence region is not considered a dialect of Occitan and the spelling on offer is not a system recognised in this region. I may seem to be splitting hairs but this is a very contentious issue in this area.
Lastly, some of the languages such as Breton have no reference grammars unlike for instance Arabic or Chinese which would be of interest to those of a certain approach to language learning.
However, for the price and the selection on offer it is a good enough method to start off with and it has given legitmacy and space to the many languages under threat in this day and age.
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on 28 August 2002
This is an excellent program. The languages offered are:
Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belorussian, Bengali, Brazilian Portuguese, Breton, Bulgarian, Canadian French, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, Flemish, Galician, Greek, Guarani, Haitian Creole, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Korean, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luganda, Luxembourgish, Malagasy, Malay, Norwegian, Pidgin English, Polish, Portuguese, Quechua, Romanian, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Somali, Sotho, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tahitian, Thai, Tswana, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, Wolof, Xhosa, Yiddish, Yoruba and Zulu.
Vocab flashcards are provided for Asturian, Aymara, Bemba, Blackfoot, Cebuano, Chamorro, Cornish, Ecuadorian Quechua, Faroese, Frisian, Inuktitut, Kongo, Macedonian, Maori, Maya, Mohawk, Nahuatl, Papago, Provencal, Romansch, Romany, Ruanda, Samoan, Sepedi, Shona, Sicilian, Sorbian, Swazi and Tongan.
You can also make your own flashcard sets up from any of the other languages in the program, which is really useful for drilling tricky words.
The languages aren't covered in huge depth, but for language-obsessives this program is the perfect chance to get a taste of more languages than anyone could possibly need to know.
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on 23 October 2007
I bought this because I'm interested in languages, and to learn a few basics of the less commonly offered European languages covered.

OK, it is written by Americans for Americans - the Spanish offered is Latin American Spanish, but most holidaying Brits mis-pronounce it anyway! And there is a plethora of Native American languages, while 'other' Indian languages, such as Punjabi and Gujerati, spoken by tens of millions of people, are omitted.

But so what? What other piece of software can let you read and hear so many basic (but useful) phrases in so many languages? AND have a device for s-l-o-w-i-n-g down the speed of the audio part so you can keep up with it. AND have a grammatical breakdown of every phrase.

For the price, it's a bargain, an absolute gem and fun to use. Purists should save their criticism for more 'high-brow' courses costing ten, twenty times this price. Enjoy!
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on 23 February 2003
Still discovering all the goodies in this amazing package. There are all kinds of interactive features to help you with the mundane stuff like vocabulary learning and getting the spelling exactly right. Suddenly, learning a bunch of words doesn't seem that boring any more, when you can fill in crosswords and play other little games.
Just a couple of things puzzle me. There's a separate facility for Canadian French and European French, and also for Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese. But there's only one learning track for English (for Spanish speakers) and also for Spanish, despite these being major languages with distinct European/American varieties....why??
Also, why do I only score "good" and not "wow!" when testing my pronounciation of my own native language??? (OK so I didn't really need to do this...)
Despite the above comments I think this is a fantastic buy, worth every penny, and unlike all the teach yourself language packs I have bought in the past (which just got stuck on the shelf collecting dust), I am actually using it and learning from it. Highly recommended!
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on 28 May 2006
This is a great CD-ROM for learning basic phrases for holidays (sorry, you won't be fluent), and just for pleasure. One slight gripe is that seeing as there are far superior courses for languages such as French and Italian, the publishers could have concentrated more on languages such as Slovak or Hungarian, for which there are no Pimsleur/Michel Thomas - style courses available from public libraries. It's still a superb product though.
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on 18 July 2004
This is the best value for money I have came across. It can have the whole of one language spoken normaly or a word at a time. It can have them at a phrase, at a time or a word, at a time. You can also controll the phrase or word by clicking for it to be repeated you can click for the last phrase or word spoken again. It is geared up for absaloute beginners and the oppositie in fluency. If you print out a major language you have 20-24 A4 sheets of one language and may be, 6 in a less important language, like Scottish Gaelic. I would say this is more than enough. Price, lets say £30, but two languages are £15 and you could break this down. I have paid £20 on one language with less ability than one of these.
It is great to even have the ability to greet a person in various languages so it may be worth it here alone.
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on 12 January 2011
This is software that is intended to help you learn foreign languages. The amount of information is amazing. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt its correctness.

Firstly, the female speaker of my native language has a slight but obvious foreign accent. She has clearly been born and raised abroad. I assure you that nobody in my country would talk like that.

Secondly, the Irish pronunciation is ridiculous. The speakers are obviously native English speakers who are incapable of pronouncing the Irish "light" consonants.

I feel betrayed and I do not recommend this product.
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on 21 January 2001
At first sight, this product may seem too good to be true, surely 101 languages cannot all be done justice in one package?- wrong. The main program itself offers an excellent way of teaching a language from scratch, and there is always detailed grammatical information at your fingertips. For a Russian student like myself, the included universal typing program is also excellent, as it makes it possible to type in languages outside of the Latin alphabet. All in all, an excellent product ideal for students of almost any language.
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on 5 August 2013
Although it uses the same phrases as most other his programs of type, the sheer quantity of languages of both popular and little known, make it stand out. All in all, a very good product for a ridiculously low price.
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