English Chinese Dictionary
Lexiconer.com Web
E-C Dictionary C-E Dictionary Language bookstore home Language Video Store TOEFL/GRE/GMAT Vocabulary

Teach Yourself Beginners Chinese Script : An Introduction to Reading and Writing Chinese (Paperback)

Teach Yourself Beginners Chinese Script : An Introduction to Reading and Writing Chinese (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Liz Scurfield, Lianyi Song, Liz Scurfield, Lianyi Song
Format: paperback
Emphasis: NA
Level: Beginning
List Price: $10.95

Buy from Amazon

Detailed information
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Learners are practically taken by the hand and instructed on the Chinese script. Opening the door to the fundamentals of reading and writing, this book includes 100 line drawings, self-testing activities and exercises, and examples taken from signs, menus, and other real-life situations.

Product Details
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0658000810
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.0 ounces.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 8 reviews.

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Upside down book - very unhelpful, October 9, 2005

Reviewer: wongmeister "wong77" (Beijing)

I am in Beijing at the moment, working and trying to learn the language and although I don't normally write reivews I was moved to by the sheer illogical nature of this book. The characters are put alongside the English definitions without pinyin to help with the pronunciation! What is the point in learning characters if you can't vocalise them?
I cant imagine that there is anyone who wants to learn chinese script without being able to speak first or practice their learning by speaking?!! Even if you want to write first then it would be a good and logical learning tool to be able to learn the sound at the same time as writing the character!!!


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

Very poor!, April 12, 2005

Reviewer: M. Rathney-quinn "MRQ" (Near Edinburgh)

As someone whos family is 1/2 Chinese, and who understands a little Cantonese I found this book almost impenetrable! As early as page 4 it asks you to 'remember' things it never told you! By page 10 the average western reader will have resigned this volume to propping up a wobbly fridge, Which is about as useful as this book will EVER be to it's stated target audience.....

I learned more about reading Chinese from my 6-Y/O niece who attends Chinese School!

Presumaby Ms Scurfield understands A Chinese language (which one? I wonder!) and logic better than she does English! to the beginner in Chinese this is worse than useless. To those who might have learned a little of one of the spoken Chinese languages...... Well it didn't help me; and I CAN hold my own in Cantonese!

Don't waste your money; why they spared ink on this is beyond me!


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

A lot reading, few writing, June 21, 2004

Reviewer: "mexbori" (Bronx, NY United States)

When I bought this book, I was hoping I could learn how to read AND write Chinese characters, but this book did not achieve this goal. The book only dedicates one chapter for writing Chinese characters and hardly gives the stroke order of other characters in later chapters. Also, it never shows you the written forms of characters which can be different from the computer typed forms. The book is also very overwhelming by presenting a lot of characters in a short period of time. The only logic I see to this is developing your reading skills, which is good. That's why I give this book three stars. However, when I tried to write the characters, it was very difficult. One last thing I do not like about the book is that it only presents simplified characters. It is necessary to learn both Simplified and Traditional Characters in order to understand Chinese, since Traditional characters are becoming more popular lately. A good book for learnig how to write both Simplified and Traditional Characters is 250 Essential Chinese Characters for every day use (Volumes 1 and 2)By Philip Yungkin Lee.


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Most Poorly Bound Book I've Ever Bought, June 17, 2004

Reviewer: B. Southall (Ripley, West Virginia United States) 

The content is alright, but I'm giving this book a poor rating because of how horribly it is bound. I got this book only three days ago and today it is literally falling apart. I mean there are about fifteen pages coming out right now. I'm a bibliophile and not one to mistreat my precious books, so it is not due to any fault of mine that this book is falling apart; it is just terribly bound. It's like they took Elmer's glue to hold the pages together. Oh my God it is so bad...

The content is okay, but good luck opening it for the first time without twenty pages flying out.

I wish more of these language books would come in hardcover.


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Ambiguous and Dull, November 23, 2003

Reviewer: M. Buscemi "ikimashozwei" (Illinois)

My work with this book has been reduced to memorizing the various characters that come with the book. The exercises, while plentiful, would be a lot more helpful if they stuck to helping the reader learn characters that it had introduced, rather than characters containing the radicals it teaches. I can't imagine I'd have accomplished much if I hadn't already been familiar with many of the meanings of the characters from my work with Japanese. The cultural points made in the book are too few and far between. Overall, making through later chapters becomes drudgery. Perhaps 'Teach Yourself Chinese' is better?


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Understanding - not Memorizing, January 1, 2003

Reviewer: "avid_reader_techie" (Castro Valley, CA USA)

This book is the first I have come across that teaches Chinese characters by helping the reader to understand how they are formed. Other books plunge right into the presentation of characters that must be memorized, quickly overwhelming the reader.

In this book you will understand the logic behind the evolution of the characters, the use of radicals in compound characters, the composition of multiple character words, interpretation of characters in context, and how to correctly write these characters yourself. Elizabeth Scurfield explains the rules behind stroke order and gives many examples as the characters progress from simple to more complex. Each unit builds logically on the preceding unit, so learning is gradual and easy.

If you are just beginning to learn Chinese writing, I couldn't recommend this book more highly. You will need to look elsewhere to learn the spoken language, not much help here (although Elizabeth Scurfield does have another very good book that teaches both reading and speaking Mandarin). Once you have mastered the material in this book, you will need to find a more advanced book if you wish to become proficient. This truly is just a beginning - but a very good one.


Where to buy

Buy from this selected seller

Copyright © 2000-2008 Lexiconer.Com or its partners.

Site Map  Language Bookstore   Language Video  Update History (About Us)   Contact Us   Testimonials   Privacy Policy