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Bite-Size Chinese For Business Travel

Bite-Size Chinese For Business Travel

One small bite that is the daily serving size offered by an innovative language course fast-tracking Western travellers through the complexities of Mandarin Chinese.

With a three minute video clip of a new phrase emailed to users every day, Language Bite teaches a range of words and phrases that provide people with the skills and confidence to communicate with local Chinese.

Interest in the new course is being fuelled in part by China's emergence as a popular tourist destination and host of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing next August. As a consequence, an increasing number of Western business people and holiday-makers require "survival skills" to help them communicate with local people and enhance their experience of a different culture.

Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Language Bite owner and linguistic specialist Joanne Lee says the on-line language course is a powerful tool to help travellers achieve these skills quickly.

"We teach useful, simple phrases for everyday interactions including greetings, introductions, eating out, travelling and talking about family. Participants even learn how to ask a taxi driver to slow down, which can be very useful on China's busy roads."

Presented by Ming Jin, a lecturer at a Beijing university and former research fellow at Auckland University, the lessons have won accolades from users in New Zealand, the USA and Australia.

"People love the simplicity and accessibility of the method," says Joanna. "And because each lesson is short, retention of the information is high."

Language Bite has recently introduced an express version of the programme in response to users wanting to fast-track the daily lessons. They can opt to have all 100 lessons delivered at once and get through the programme in their own time.

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