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Practical Chinese Reader II: Simplified Character Ediction (Paperback)

Practical Chinese Reader II: Simplified Character Ediction (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Beijing Languages Institute
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Reader
Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Note: In Simplified Chinese Characters
List Price: $16.95

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Detailed information

Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: China Books & Periodicals (December 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 7100000890
  • Product Dimensions: 1.0 x 5.5 x 8.0 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 5 reviews.

Customer Reviews
this book is a joke, September 28, 2005
Reviewer: nbehring "nbehring" (beijing, China)

This book represents everything that could possibly be wrong about a textbook. It's boring, it's impossible to learn from, it's outdated... to sum up - buying anything else would a step in the right direction.


Terrible, October 3, 2004
Reviewer: ATacoGuy (Washington, DC)

Disregard the positive review. This book is a nightmare. There's aren't many defects I could point out that the other reviewers haven't done a good job covering already, other than to say they're dead on. Perhaps the only thing I could add would be to say that if the Chinese department at the school where you take classes still uses the PCR series, you should seriously consider a change of major.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Poorly organized, outdated, + little pinyin/romanization, May 7, 2004

Reviewer: James Leonard (Denver, CO, United States)

I an Anglo-American who has been studying Chinese for two years. I was enrolled in a Chinese course for one year in which the Practical Chinese Readers series was used. I found the book to be INCREDIBLY disorganized. For instance, you would learn the words for "cotton-padded jacket" and "X-ray" several chapters prior to learning more useful words such as "son," "age," and "room." Indeed, with the exception of one chapter on sports and exercise (which my Beijing roommate tells me is "outdated"), the words contained in each chapter vocabularly list largely do not relate to one another, and they are further very seldom employed in examples...meaning you'd better have a good teacher who explains them!

Perhaps one of the greatest limitations of this book is its near complete lack of pinyin (romanization-with-tonal indicators). I am familiar with both book I and II of the Practical Chinese Reader series. Prior to getting stuck in class with this text series, I learned Chinese with a textbook that instilled the importance of learning tones and pinyin, so I was incredibly shocked by how poorly this book was constructed. This lack of pinyin, along with a lack of thorough explainations of grammar, is in my opinion a very serious shortcoming of this book, as it can prove counterproductive to learning proper Chinese.

Ultimately, for students who are interested in learning correct tones, and learning the words for "mother" and "father" in the same chapter and not 20 apart, you would be better off avoiding the this publication and, further, possibly be cautious of many others from the Tseng & Tsui (T&T) series that it comes from (I am familiar with the Practical Chinese Reader Texts and workbooks (UPDATE: the "Open for Business" series by T&T is a rather impressive two volume book set that is, while also lacking much pinyin, a wise investment for advanced-intermediate level students). For a more up-to-date book that is organized, published on decent quality paper, has pinyin, and references to useful websites and outside learning resources, I would recommend Yong Ho's "Intermediate Chinese" (there is apparently an elementary version as well). Best of Luck and remember the proper tones do matter!!!


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

A horrible way to learn, June 3, 2003

Reviewer: "wigi25" (Bloomington, MN United States)

I studied out of this book for a semester and I have to say, I thoroughly hated it. If you actually want to learn how to converse in Chinese, the lessons and vocabulary in this book are not useful at all. You learn either esoteric words or, more often, words and phrases that are outdated and not representative of how native speakers talk. Likewise, the grammer is not very well integrated into the lessons, and the excercises are poorly explained and don't help you learn much. Half the time they contain words which aren't in the lesson you're studying and, without outside knowledge, you wouldn't know what they meant and have to look them up. The lessons overall are boring and are pumped up with propaganda and useless facts like how many people can fit inside Tiananmen Square. I much prefer the Zhong Wen Ru Men series produced by Princeton University, which is taught using dialogues, which help you learn how to converse, rather than just stuff you with useless facts and vocabulary.


3 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

Most helpful for foreign learners, October 16, 2000

Reviewer: Chang M T (Portugal, Europe)

I was taught Mandarin in my first years in school and have not had much chance to practice it for 30 years. I have recently re-started studying Mandarin based on this book and find it most helpful and complete, as grammar, Pin Yin phonetics and explanations are concerned. It also comes with a wide and varied selection of exercises.


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