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The Rough Guide to Mandarin Chinese (a dictionary phrasebook) (Paperback)

The Rough Guide to Mandarin Chinese (a dictionary phrasebook) (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Lexus
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Dictionary, Phrases
Level: Beginning - Intermediate - Advanced
List Price: $8.99

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Detailed information

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 2nd edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1858286077
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 4.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 8 reviews.

Spotlight Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful:

Simple, Catchy, Extremely Helpful!, June 8, 2004

Reviewer: The Oracle "lancelot916" (San Francisco, CA)

I've been to Taiwan 5 times and learned Mandarin for 3 years. This book teaches beginners to learn the PinYin system and learn how to utilize it immediately. It even has helpful tips for touring China.

EX: Do not take pictures of strategic buildings or bridges or structures. The government is very protective of these and will consider you a spy.

Anyhow, it does the English-Chinese and Chinese-English deal so you can look up either one. If you are an intermediate to advanced user I would buy this along with the "Langenscheidt Pocket Chinese Dictionary" which is a complete 40,000 word dictionary. I find the Rough Guide more than rough. It is helpful, fun, and very unique. A definate KEEPER!


Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

A Must Have Guide to Mandarin, February 13, 2006

Reviewer: Clare E. Barger "Clare B." (Chicago, IL)

I spent a month in Beijing this past summer and this particular guide was absolutely invaluable. I went to China with about 30 other Americans and we all agreed that of all of the guides we had, this book was by far the easiet to use. It provides short phrases in Mandarin, Pinyin and English. I used the book to buy "Bandaids" and special order a birthday cake. You simply have to point to the phrases that are applicable. I also liked the book because of its compact size.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Very good phrasebook, November 2, 2005

Reviewer: A. B. Skinner (Guangzhou, China)

For the first year of my life in China, I carried this phrasebook with me at all times. It covers most of what you need in a very small package and also (essential to learning Mandarin) has tones accurately and clearly marked over pinyin characters. If "worse comes to worst," you can show the Chinese character in the book to the person you are trying to communicate with. There are helpful explanations in various places in the book as well. For instance the listing for train carries an explanation of the different categories of seats available (hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper, and soft sleeper). There are sample conversations, there's a very brief section for translating some Mandarin back into English. For those who are trying to learn the language more in depth, the introductory sections in the front are helpful when it comes to grammar and verb tense. For what it's worth, this book is sold for double its face value in bookshops located inside hotels that cater to foreigners within China.


1 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Very disappointed, July 7, 2005

Reviewer: Chinese dude

My copy is actually missing pages. (I bought it brand new) As I was flipping through it when I received it, I saw blank pages throughout the book. I thought maybe these were placed there to write notes or stuff so I didn't pay much attention to it. Then about three weeks later as I was looking up an entry, I flipped from page 25 to 26 and 26 was a blank page. So was 27. I flipped again and there was page 28 in tact. But the words made a huge jump and I then realized these weren't blank pages for notes, they were blank pages because the information didn't get printed on them. This book is full of this missing data! I assume it's too late to return the book now so it's not very useful to me. Also, from what I did see, it is quite a bit different from the Chinese I have been learning by using the Pimsleur method, Rossetta Stone and my ABC dictionary. So if you're not used to seeing the differences in Chinese for the same word, it may be a little confusing. I won't buy another book from this publisher.


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:

A very useful, nearly indispensible, guide to Mandarin, September 2, 2002
Reviewer: A reader
This book was the handiest thing and I got my friends and I out of a bind more than once with it. By looking up words and showing the characters to taxi drivers, waitresses, people on the street, I navigated through a large chunk of China. It was particularly indispensible ordering in restaurants, the majority of which (even in Beijing) housed no English speakers. I managed to set up a day tour (including date and time) with a random taxi driver by using the main dictionary and the special section on public transportation. A number of the larger tourist attractions are listed in the dictionary too, and as I encountered nearly no one who could read pinyin, the Chinese characters were crucial.
Although, as one reviewer noted, the dialogs seem to be laid out in odd places, with a little observation it can be seen that they are inserted where one would look up the verb (usually) or major noun. So "how do you do?" is under "do." But I hardly used this book as a phrase book as practially no one will understand your pronunciation anyway, especially outside of Beijing (if you haven't already had heaps of practice listening and speaking Mandarin).


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful:

A well set out, easy to use phrase book, May 20, 2001
Reviewer: A reader
I was inspired to write this review by the rather negative review I saw displayed. Contrary to that reviewer's opinion my experience with this book is that it is well set out and easy to use. I have used it in China and whilst learning Mandarin at an evening class. It has a very useful English-Mandarin dictionary (and vice versa) with characters included. I found this most useful as when my pronounciation failed me I was able to show a native speaker the appropriate character. It also has a good introductory section on the basics of the language, a menu reader and much more. On the downside it sometimes requires a little hunting through to find what you are looking for, but all in all I highly rcommend this as an excellent travelling companion.


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