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Chinese in a Flash, Vol. 1 (Tuttle Flash Cards)

Chinese in a Flash, Vol. 1 (Tuttle Flash Cards)
Author/Publisher: Philip Yungkin Lee
Format: flashcard
Emphasis: Flashcards
List Price: $24.95

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Detailed information
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Whether on a train from Beijing to Shanghai or sitting under a tree in Berkeley, you can be practicing your Chinese with this quick and easy-to-use set of flashcards. Chinese in a Flash Volume 1 has a full range of features to help beginners and intermediate learners through character recognition, vocabulary recognition, revision, and testing. It includes indexes by radical, stroke count, and alphabetically by pinyin romanization.

About the Author
Philip Yungkin Lee, a native speaker of Chinese, is a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He has published several language learning titles and has received a Teaching Excellence award form his University.

Product Details
  • Misc. Supplies
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Package edition (November 2003)
  • Language: Chinese
  • ISBN: 0804833613
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 10 reviews.

Spotlight Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful:

Useful Tool for Memorizing Chinese Characters, October 30, 2004

Reviewer: Laura De Giorgio "www.deeptrancenow.com" (Canada)

Since I have both "Chinese in a Flash" and "Chinese Character Flashcards 888" flashcard sets, I wanted to offer a comparison between the two.

Flashcards 888 are organized in the order of frequency of use of characters; Chinese in a Flash are arranged in the order of frequency and complexity. Someone learning Chinese language is more likely to encounter characters in the order presented in Chinese in a Flash cards.

Flashcards 888 are of a sturdier quality than Chinese in a Flash cards.

Both are approximately the same size.

Both have radicals mentioned. On Flashcards 888, radicals are provided in the upper right corner on the front of the card; on Chinese in a Flash cards, beside the radical is also noted the name of the character as well as character components.

On Flashcards 888, you'll also find a stroke order, helpful to know when you practice writing characters; Chinese in a Flash cards, do not provide a stroke order.

Both sets also mention several character combinations, together with their pronounciation in pinyin and the meaning in English.

Chinese in a Flash also provide a sample sentence where the particular character / word is used; Flashcards 888 don't.

Flashcards come in one set of 888 cards; Chinese in Flash come in two sets of 448 cards.

I am very happy with both sets and enjoy using them both.


22 of 22 people found the following review helpful:

As good as it gets, October 11, 2005

Reviewer: Kim (Shanghai, China)

These are really wonderful aids and do all that a flashcard can be asked to do. Also, they DO provide a very detailed stroke order- I am puzzled why so many reviews comment that there is no stroke order. Perhaps there was an earlier edition? I will take and upload a photo, so other customers can see for themselves.

I find them superior to "Chinese Character Flashcards 888" and wish I would have saved my money as I purchased both sets. There is another review comparing them that is incorrect. These flashcards are more sturdy, have a more detailed stroke order (they break down every single stroke while the 888 set often groups them), provide a sample sentence as well as additional words using the character (888 only has a few sample words), and provide the traditional character along with the simplified when applicable (888 does too, but it's very small). They are superior in every way to the 888 set- I haven't even looked at the other set since the Tuttle set arrived. In fact, this is the first Amazon review I've written, and I do so to correct the misinformation I based my purchasing decision upon.

Another useful feature is that the first 500 flashcards in the set coincide exactly with the two Tuttle Language Library volumes "250 Essential Chinese Characters". So, if you're working your way through these books, these flashcards are the ideal study aid. (The labeling numbers coincide exactly...if learning character number 115 in the book, you can refer to flashcard 115.)

I am very happy with the cards and encourage their use as part of a well-rounded study program. It has been commented that individual characters have no real "meaning", so these cards have limited use. I disagree. Individual characters do have meaning and are used to represent a particular sound and tone. You must learn what sound goes with which character since characters are written individually with equal spacing- when reading Chinese, you need to pronounce each sound as you go along since characters are not grouped together to signal they are being used to build a particular word. Thus, each character needs to be learned individually since it can be used with many different characters to build different words. For example, "pengyou", meaning "friend", is written with two characters: one representing the sound "peng" (which means friend) and one representing "you" (which also means friend). But the character for "you" can also be combined with the character for "yi" which result in "youyi", meaning "friendship".

As far as the samples sentences go, they may potentially be confusing since they do not provide an exact word-for-word translation, but for someone with moderate experience (I've been studying Mandarin for 3 months now) they are very easy to understand. An exact translation wouldn't be very comprehensible anyway. I rarely find myself confused over which word represents which meaning, and if uncertain, it's easy enough to look up a troublesome word in the dictionary. It's all part of the learning process.


Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

Do not buy these cards from this publisher - they may be defective, February 7, 2006

Reviewer: New World Order

I bought volume one of Chinese in a Flash, and - what can I say? - I was impressed. The cards were well made (I don't have the problems with sturdiness that other customers have) and well-put together. The only problem I had with Volume One was that I needed more - more characters, more information, more flashcards.

Many basic characters are missing from this volume, but it's called Volume One for a reason. Volume one leads quickly to Volume Two and Volume Two to the soon-to-be-published Volume Three. Any review of this product has to bear in mind that Volume Two (and possibly Three) are necessary for even the most casual learner.

This is where my trouble began. The set of cards I bought for Volume Two were defective. They were printed upside down on the back of the card. A defect that meant I couldn't use volumes One and Two together (as Volume One were printed one way and Volume Two the other). Not thinking that Tuttle (the publisher) would object, I emailed and asked them about their returns policy - and they promised a speedy resolution if I would only mail my cards in.

A problem, considering that I'm an international customer, but not insurmountable. Expensive, though, as mailing them cost about half the price of the cards as new! Once the cards were mailed, I was informed that they had arrived at the destination, but I would not get any cards for a few months.

Then I cracked and asked for a refund. I have not received a reply from the publisher regarding the refund. The email address I've been using to correspond with them has stopped working. I am left out of pocket for both the cost of an international packet and a set of cards and without even the defective cards!

Before you buy any products from this publisher, ask yourself what you will do if they're defective. Would you even know? Will your Chinese hosts be subjected to senseless or offensive gibberish? Will you be eating what you ordered at your local restaurant? I'll tell you one thing - you won't be getting your money back.


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Great Tool, December 31, 2005

Reviewer: Levi Rowland

These cards are extremely useful to any student of Chinese. I have been studying language for years, studying six myself, and dreaded the complicated charachter system of Chinese. After these cards their mystery and complication has been stripped clean. I cannot in any way say how much these have helped, and actually Chinese has become one of the easier languages for me to learn. I reccoment these cards highly to anyone who is a student and worried about the writing system of Chinese.


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:

Excellent cards, great price, and better than the reviews, November 11, 2005

Reviewer: Carolina Hernandez Diaz (Santiago, Chile)

First, i would like to declare that i read all the amazon's reviews before add to my shopping cart this cards. Some include false information.-
I hope that you compare this review with the others, because i bougth this item in amazon, i study chinese, a i'm talking about something that i'm using.

I have to say that my purchase was excellent.
This cards are not for beginners. It's for students that have some knowledge of chinese characters, grammar and pinyin.
You dont try to buy if you are looking for something to learn by yourself with no training.

Second, this cards include a lot of practical information:
a) Simplified and Traditional chinese symbol
b) Order to write the strokes.
c) A proverb or an interesting sentence using the symbol.
d) 5 common word that include the symbol.
6) the radical of the symbol
7) The meaning of the symbol.

It's a really useful tool and the box have the shape of a book so it's easy to carry instead other cards that i have the chance to use.

The only negative part it's that this cards are not too resistant.


From the South of the world.

Carolina from Chile


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful:

Essential study aid, July 27, 2005

Reviewer: Steven Larsen (Philadelphia, USA)

Some people seem not to be aware that these cards are designed for use with the author's books. The card order follows the order in the books exactly. What the books give you are instrucion in and ample opportunity to practice writing the characters. Also, the book is in larger type, and easier to learn from at first.

It is true that these do not have the stroke order on the cards, but they are flash cards and I wouldn't expect to use them to practice writing, but rather for character recognition.

I haven't seen the other competing set of cards, but I am very happy with these. The characters are in simplified form, but the traditional form is shown where differences exist. The physical quality is excellent as well.


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