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Chinese Primer: The Pinyin (3 Volume Set) (Paperback)

Chinese Primer: The Pinyin (3 Volume Set) (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Ta-tuan Ch'en, Perry Link, Yih-jian Tai, Haitao Tang
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Pinyin
List Price: $55

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Four experienced teachers of beginning Chinese have developed this introductory textbook. A pilot edition has been tested widely in classrooms and refined over a period of years. Among its salient features are lessons that are lively, amusing, and relevant to everyday life: concentrated training of ear and tongue in the sound system of Chinese; extensive grammar notes, clearly presented, with attention to mistakes English-speakers are likely to make; a carefully sequenced character workbook embodying a new and effective approach to the learning of Chinese characters; and audiovisual reinforcement via a complete set of audiotapes and two videotapes, one of which offers entertaining dramatizations of the lesson dialogues.

The Chinese Primer is available in two versions, one using the GR system of romanization, which employs different spellings instead of diacritical marks for different tones, the other using Pinyin romanization. The contents of the four volumes are as follows: (1) Blue Book [Lessons]: Introduction; foundation work on pronunciation; lesson dialogues in romanized Chinese and English; appendices; glossary-index. (2) Red Book [Notes and Exercises]: Vocabularies; grammar notes and culture notes keyed to the lessons; exercises. (3) Yellow Book [Character Workbook]: workbook. (4) Green Book [Pinyin Character Text]: Texts of the lessons in both traditional and simplified Chinese characters, and a Chinese introduction for teachers.


Language Notes
Text: Chinese, English

Product Details
  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 2nd Pkg edition (February 7, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0691036950
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 4 reviews.

Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Great set of books. DON'T buy them seperately., May 15, 2003
Reviewer: A reader
As has been stated before, anyone who wants to use the Chinese series books should get at least three -
1. Bluish color, with lessons (mostly dialogues) in pinyin and English
2. Red book, with exercises and grammar notes for the first blue one
3. Yellow book, for character practice.

There is also a green book that has all the lessons from the blue book translated into traditional and simplified characters, which could have been useful to me, if I had only known of its existance...

The three books set comes in two versions, one in pinyin, and
one in GR, here's the explanation:

Pinyin is the standard romanization of Chinese in the People's Republic of China, so native speakers should be familiar with it more - important if you want to take a tutor.

Gr is a kind of romanization that is apparently very popular for teaching to foreigners. Most Chinese people are not used to it, however. So I guess it's better for professional teachers.

Bottom line, ask your tutor/teacher which version they recommend.
If you're not sure, I'd recommend the pinyin - it worked for me so far.

I've been using first three for about 4 months, and I'm already able to use Chinese in simple conversations. Mind you, you need to put a some time and effort and a lot of patience every day for this to work. The people who wrote the book recommended using the Gr set, but I found the pinyin much easier. Just stick to the instructions inside, don't rush things, and follow the yellow brick road!!


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Unfortunately, the other two (so far) reviews are incorrect, October 17, 2000

Reviewer: Daniel Wislocki (NJ USA)

This set is not merely the blue book, but instead all but the green book (dialog text in Chinese characters). That fact is plainly stated in the description itself. Please keep this in mind when reading the other reviews. As for my opinion of the set, I certainly think this is one (three?) of the better Chinese textbooks available, and was what I used when I was a Chinese major at the introductory level.


1 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Need the Other Three!, May 9, 2000

Reviewer: Bret Taylor (New York, NY)

I'm an English teacher in Taiwan and I've found the full four-book set to be the best Chinese course available anywhere. Unfortunately, this book alone is probably just a waste of time and money.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Chinese Primer: Pinyin, April 1, 2000

Reviewer: Nina (Baltimore, Maryland)

This book is a fairly all-inclusive 'primer' on Chinese, set into conversation format. No formal lessons are provided, nor is an English or character translation. This book is of little use to any amateur Chinese student without the other three 'Chinese Primer' books.


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