StudyBase Mandarin HSK helps teach Chinese with a variety of study tools. While the program is cluttered, its study aids overcome this handicap and will help students.
The program's interface was the biggest hurdle we encountered. The main screen was, oddly, a beach landscape with several buttons along the bottom. Our visit to the Help file and its definitions of each study tool made this program much less intimidating. The program featured several standard language study tools that provided a lot of simple support, such as a Chinese-to-English dictionary, grammar flashcards, and tutorials based on subjects like conjugating verbs and more. The tool we found most unique and most helpful was the Browse button, which jettisoned us to an online Chinese-language newspaper. With all the stories in Mandarin, we could try to decipher what each was saying and then scroll our mouse over text and have an English translation pop up. This was a real-world application that helped bring the language to life for us. While its reading components were all simple and helpful, we felt it lacked a feature for listening, such as audio flashcards, which we've seen in other programs. However, even without that component, this made for a helpful, though cluttered, introduction into Chinese language.
StudyBase Mandarin's test period prevents access to the Translate tool. While the layout is a headache, the learning tools were substantial enough that we recommend this program for picking up the language.