I bought this expecting it to be similar to the BBC "Talk" series of brief language courses, which I used for initial study of both French and Italian. Sadly this is very different. The booklet contains some useful cultural information but is really a glorified phrase book. The CD consists of phrase after phrase with no repetition, practice listening exercises or practice dialogues. This really is impossible to use and is not the way to learn a language. It's like listening to a recorded phrase book. I've just discovered and ordered the BBC "Talk Mandarin Chinese" pack. I haven't received it yet so can't yet recommend it. However, the structure and content appear to be very similar to the other BBC's other "Talk" offerings, and based on my experience of using Talk Italian and Talk French I'm expecting it to be a far more useful basic learning aid than this offering.