|12 of 12 people found the following review
A Chinese-Character Transliteration of "Beginning Chinese", May 19,
"Character Text for Beginning Chinese" is simply "Beginning Chinese"
written all in "Han zi," or Chinese characters, rather than in pinyin.
("Beginning Chinese" being all in pinyin.)
The above 2 books are the beginning (Mandarin) books in Yale's "DeFrancis
Series," all written by John DeFrancis. But it's a bit more complicated
than that, because in addition to the above 2 texts, there is a third
beginning text, in 2 parts: "Beginning Chinese Reader, Part 1" and "Part
2." The "Reader"s aren't transliterations of the texts -- rather, they
introduce Chinese characters in a different manner (easiest-to-write
characters first, not most commonly spoken words first).
If you're thinking of starting to learn Chinese, or you're already
learning Chinese and looking for another text because the one you're using
doesn't have enough info and/or practice, I would definitely recommend all
these books, if you can get ahold of them, as well as the audiotapes
(EXTREMELY useful), which are available through Far East Publications,
part of the Yale bookstores, I think. The DeFrancis Series comes as close
to being a self-contained, self-explanatory method for learning Chinese as
is possible. I am studying Chinese at home now and I find using these
texts and tapes is much less frustrating than what I went through during
community college Chinese 1 and 2, in which we used the "Integrated
Chinese" texts and tapes (as well as live teachers, of course). (I got an
"A" for those 2 semesters so I'm not saying this out of thirst for
vengeance!) Please see my review of "Beginning Chinese" for more info on
why the DeFrancis Series is, in my opinion, so good.
In regards to this particular book, you could just use the pinyin
"Beginning Chinese" and then, after acquiring a basic knowledge of the
spoken language, go directly to the Readers for a hopefully less
frustrating introduction to Chinese characters, and skip buying this book
altogether. But most people reading this review, I'll bet, have already
studied some Chinese, both spoken/pinyin and written/character, and
struggled through learning to write "wo," "nin," etc., cold. (I still
flinch at these memories.) In that case, get this book, too, and follow
along with it. No, don't consider just getting this book without the
pinyin "Beginning Chinese," since one of the most valuable aspects to the
DeFrancis series is the English translations of all the text, drills, etc.
which are included in the pinyin text but not in the character text.
(Otherwise, you won't know for sure if Lin Taitai is saying she lives on a
big hill or she is a big hill. And don't tell me you never misread like