Short summary of the program features from http://ultimatechinese.com/ (check there for screenshots):
***Structured learning module***
Our Mandarin Platform enables you to take many different Chinese
learning courses, from beginners to advanced. We will provide more
courses for you to download to the platform to study. It is your
lifelong learning companion. Your learning platform will never be
"A New Yorker in Beijing", a beginner to intermediate level Chinese
course, comes with the platform. A New Yorker goes to China to study
Chinese. He makes a few friends, and he is totally immersed in the
Chinese way of life in China. This course has 70 lessons, each lesson
is focused on one aspect of his life in China.
Each lesson consists of 1) dialogs, 2) English translation, 3) pinyin,
4) flash movies with real human voices, 5) new characters/phrases
studies with sample sentences, 6) sentence pattern studies with
substitution and extension, 7) simplified form and traditional form
comparison, 8) HSK (Chinese As a Second Language Examination) level
studies, 9) pronunciation drills, 10) flash movies of how to write
Chinese characters, 11) games to test your skills, 12) Chinese
pronunciation throughout the lesson, 13) life assistant in China, 14)
English and Chinese interface toggle. You are totally immersed in the
learning enviornment, and it is a sure way for you to learn and master
the Chinese language.
***Comprehensive dictionary module***
It is a comprehensive dictionary, with over 100,000 characters and
phrases. We provide 3 basic search methods for you to find Chinese
characters or phrases: Chinese, pinyin or English. The powerful fuzzy
searching will help you to find the right character or phrase.
If a character has both traditional or simplified forms, we'll show
them to you side by side.
Sample sentences will show you the usage of characters or
phrases. Listen to the sentences to train your listening skills.
You can take and save notes within the dictionary, a great tool to
help you understand the characters or phrases you just learnt.
Getwords is a convenient tool to capture Chinese characters, phrases
or sentences on the screen for analyzing. It's just like copy and
paste without your doing the actual work. Turn it on, as you move your
mouse on Chinese characters, they are captured and sent to the
***Translator and Assistant tool module***
It's a tool for you to study any Chinese content – unstructured. It's
another lifelong handy tool. Tired of going through each lesson? Want
to do some unstructured studying? Somewhere you find an interesting
article, or an email message or a web site, you want to study it in
depth. This tool is for you!
Content: You can either key in, copy and paste from another source, or
open a Chinese file.
Listening: Not sure of how to pronounce a character or a phrase or a
sentence? Just highlight it, you'll hear the pronunciation. You can
even hear the whole article.
Speaking: Practice your speaking skills by listening to your selected content.
Writing: Watch a flash movie showing the writing of any character
stroke by stroke.
Translating: Use the analyzer to help you understand the whole
sentence by breaking it down to smaller units of phrases and
Idioms: Idioms play an important role to get your ideas acrossed
easily. Many idioms are orignated from real historic stories, and they
are ingrained deeply in the Chinese culture. Learn them, study them
and use them; you'll talk Chinese just like the Chinese!
Learning Experience: You can save your learning experience in the
***Character/sentence analyzer module***
Copy any Chinese text, choose the length of Chinese characters. It will analyze the
sentence for you.
***Chinese text reader module***
If you have a Chinese file, or you visit some Chinese website, this module is
for you to practice your listening comprehension. Just open the file, or copy
and paste Chinese text into it. Start to listen …
Pinyin, based on English alphabet, is a system to represent the sounds
of Chinese characters. Each Chinese character has only one syllable,
which is formed by an initial followed by a final and a tone.
Pinyin module is a total immersion environment for you to learn all
the initials, finals, and their complete combinations. It's a dynamic
system, for each combination, you can also drill down to relevant
characters, phrases to make the learning process fun and easy.
Initials/Finals: All initials and finals are pronounced with real
human voice, once by a male voice followed by a female voice. You can
learn and practice any way you like. Each initial or final is
explained in full detail so you know how to pronounce it correctly.
Combinations: You can learn all the Chinese sounds by choosing an
initial and a final. Perfect your pronunciation by listening and
practicing with single characters or with phrases.
Exercises: To help you perfect your pronunciation, follow the 5 sets
of exercises: discrimination, tones, syllables, listen & read, and
sentences. Each set of exercises consists of a few different
sections. Listen, practice and correct your pronunciation by
following real human pronunciation.
Pinyin Converter: This is a lifelong tool to help you read any Chinese
text, be it a Chinese text file or an email message or a web page
text. Our intelligent converter will add Pinyin on top of each Chinese
character, or you can generate a pure Pinyin output. Not sure how to
pronounce a character or a phrase, just highlight it, you'll hear the
Donwload (each file 90 MB):
Included in mdf/mds format, to be mounted with Alcohol 120% or Daemon Tools. After installation you will not need the original image, so you can unmount it.
ATTENTION: During installation DO NOT CHOOSE the "Install Go2China Simplified Chinese Support", as it will probably destroy your system font, and you will have to reinstall Windows (or use RegDoctor to cure your registry). Every Chinese text will be finely read without this support as well (at least on XP).
Other good materials for learning Chinese (I do not include here the books linked to Avax from the excellent www.hanzi.ru and is predecessor www.polusharie.ru that are far above the level of "just learning", and are listed in their respective sites anyway. But I cannot miss to refer to chinesepod.com that is, in my opinion, the best on-line Chinese course.) Where I do not indicate the uploader, it was me:
• Colloquial Chinese. The complete course for beginners
• Colloquial Cantonese. The complete course for beginners
• Pimsleur Chinese I (becomingman) and another version (bco777)
• Pimsleur Chinese II (bco777)
• Pimsleur Chinese III (becomingman)
• Tell Me More Chinese (becomingman)
• Rosetta Stone Chinese 1-3 (and other languages) (toanjp)
• Практический курс китайского языка (Alexpal)
• Rapid Literacy in Chinese for Beginners
• Teach Yourself: Beginner's Chinese Script
• Грамматика современного китайского языка (Alexpal)
Dictionaries and translators (eventually combined with learning software):
• Большой китайско-русский словарь (электронная версия для Lingvo) (pnkv)
• Kingsoft Power Word 2006 Chine...Japanese dictionary collection
• Dr. Eye 6.0 Chinese-English/Japanese Translation Software
• Wenlin Chinese Dictionary and Learning Software (pakistan1)
• Oxford Talking Chinese English Dictionary and Instant Translator (biotop)
• Magic Translator v6.00.5777 Multilingual (Alexpal)
If anyone finds anything else, please post it, and I will include its url in my next post of materials for learning Chinese.