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Teach Yourself Beginner's Chinese Audiopackage (Teach Yourself Beginner's Language Series) (Paperback)

Teach Yourself Beginner's Chinese Audiopackage (Teach Yourself Beginner's Language Series) (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Liz Scurfield, Song Lianyi
Format: paperback
Emphasis: NA
Level: Beginning
List Price: $19.95

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Detailed information
Editorial Reviews
Book Description

For those who find learning a new language daunting, Teach Yourself Beginner's Language series is just what the language teacher ordered. Each friendly and practical course introduces the new language without overwhelming the reader and includes:

  • Lively dialogues and exercises
  • A pronunciation section
  • A vocabulary list
  • A glossary of grammar terms
  • Language and cultural information

    Book Info
    Each friendly and practical course introduces the Chinese language without overwhelming the reader. Covers the Chinese language. Beginner's guide. Softcover.

Product Details
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (November 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0071407375
  • Product Dimensions: 9.0 x 6.8 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 7 reviews.

Customer Reviews

Needs Characters, but otherwise very good, September 1, 2005
Reviewer: BKwomble (Tokyo, Japan)

I have used the Teach Yourself series for a number of languages and have been very happy with the results. As other reviewers have pointed out, this text desperately needs to have characters along with the pinyin. I incorporated that failing into the learning process by looking up every word with the Oxford University Press dictionary. But that was tedious at times. Although you can find most words with just the pinyin, proper nouns are especially difficult to transcribe with only a basic dictionary - and there are a lot of people and places in Beginner's Chinese.

The audio is a must. The track cuts out mid-sentence in Unit 4 (Saying how old you are). Apart from this minor glitch, the sound is good and the speakers are easy to understand.

If you are interested in learning how to read and write Chinese, you should get an additional text (Unit 11 gives a brief introduction).

The book is well organized and grammar/vocabulary prioritized around the needs of a beginning learner/traveler. The Teach Yourself series requires work, but is rewarding. Now that I have finished this text, I am working in Yong Ho's Intermediate Chinese (Hippocrene) and Schaum's Outlines. I am familiar with many of the grammar points and much of the vocabulary thanks to the Teach Yourself Beginner's Chinese.


A good book but would much better with an accompanying Chinese chaarcter text, June 28, 2005
Reviewer: Anatoli T "Anatoli T" (Australia)

The texbook is good and the audio is great. A small number of words were not translated.

What's missing is the Chinese character text - in fact I would buy this separately, if it was available. I am working on inputting all dialogs in Chinese characters. The learner should have this choice (at least at separate pages in the end of the book) and the vocabulary should have the Chinese characters as well.

Otherwise a great book - I give 4 out of 5.


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Great for Newbies, June 26, 2004
Reviewer: A reader
Good teaching for early beginners of the language. Well-organized & easy to learn.


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Great book to begin with!, October 14, 2003

Reviewer: "hanznsolo" (Nashville, TN)

I'm only about halfway (okay, not that far, even) through the book, and I've learned a lot. I've even had a couple of very short conversations with people in Chinese, and they've told me that I speak very well, so the book certainly does its job. The tapes are indispensible.

The book covers pronunciation and the different tones very well. I've got a lot left to read, but I'm very, very happy with the course over all! I WOULDN'T buy it, though, as a new, updated version is coming out in the U.S. in January, I believe.


14 of 17 people found the following review helpful:

Important!, October 4, 2001

Reviewer: "catreese" (Minneapolis, MN USA)

I'm currently studying from this book, and it has been very helpful, and very thourough. However, I had a Mandarin speaking (yes, he's Chinese), friend of mine look at the book. He laughed. Most of the information is correct, but the usage of Ni and Nin (you informal and "formal") is very incorrect. My friend informed me that he has only using Nin once or twice with his parents, and only to suck up. Instead of being more formal, nin is more intimite. He showed me the difference in characters, and the only difference between the two is that nin has the symbol for the heart underneath! There are gross missuses of the word within the book, as in between a student and a teacher. My friend couldn't stop laughing! But other than that, the book is accurate...


15 of 20 people found the following review helpful:

Good introduction to the Chinese language, March 9, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
After completing this book you will have a very rudimentary understanding of the Chinese language. Your vocabulary will be limited, your aural comprehension will be weak at best, and only if you're very studious will you be able to properly pronunciate all the words that you do learn.

That said, this is a good book especially when accompanied the audio cassettes. I had no previous knowledge of Mandarin Chinese before reading this book, although the little bit of Cantonese that I know helped somewhat. Now I can pick out a few words here and there when watching Chinese movies. Only with practice will I improve, although a vocabulary builder would be useful.


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