This paperback in the Colloquial Language Learning Series is available
individually or as part of a pack. For more information, please refer to the
cassette pack listing for this language.
- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 9, 1982)
- Language: English
- ISBN: 0415018609
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.9 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces.
- Average Customer Review:
based on 4 reviews.
O.K. but not on its own, September 26, 2005
This book offers some insights into the language one would otherwise
not be aware of. Those little thinhs one only knows by actually living
within the country of the language. However, without the audio CDs or
cassetts it is not worth studying. Learning to pronounce words incorrectly
creates a speach base that then becomes difficult to overcome. I
reccommend it...but get the audio that is offered with it.
|10 of 10 people found the following review
Excellent if you know how to use it, February 9, 2001
"Colloquial Chinese" (the older version) is an excellent Mandarin
primer, as long as you are aware of its limitations and have a plan for
supplementing it. The only real problem with this book is that it uses a
lot of Maoist scenarios that were relevant in the early eighties but are
now rather comical. Once chapter, for example, talks about going to visit
the Clear Mountain People's Commune. Although this will not help you much
in China today it is only a minor setback.
To make this series work, I suggest you do two things. First, get the
supplementary character text book, as this one only uses the Pyin Yin
romanization system. Second, get a tutor, or conversation partner, or
someone to help you out. Not only will that person help you learn the
material, but the chances are he/she will give you more updated,
contextual information to supplement the lessons.
Other than that, this is an excellent book. If you stick with the
lessons and listen to the tapes you will develop a foundation in Mandarin.
|7 of 7 people found the following review
solid, traditional course for the long-term learner, May 31, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
This is a strong course for the motivated learner keen to get a solid
grounding in the basics of Mandarin Chinese grammar and vocabulary in
order to continue their studies at a higher level. Someone who is more
interested in quickly learning situational language and useful phrases for
travelling or for business would be better served by a different course
more focused on their particular needs since the vocabulary given in this
one is quite general.
There's another book with the same title and publisher, but by a
different author (K Qian). That book is simpler and more suitable for the
casual learner wanting to learn Chinese for travelling, but it doesn't
reach as high a level of Chinese as this one. But then again, neither is
it as hard going!
Back to this one: there are no Chinese characters in the book. To learn
these, it would be useful to buy the companion chinese character version
of the book, which gives all the texts and grammatical pattern sentences,
but not the grammar explanations, in Chinese characters and teaches you
how to write the 700 plus characters introduced. That's available only
directly from the authors I think. Unfortunately, there aren't any
cassette tapes currently available for this book so it's not really
suitable for someone learning completely by themselves unless they already
have a good knowledge of Mandarin Chinese pronunciation. Nor are the
answers to the exercises given. So it's more suitable to use with a tutor
or as supplementary reading for someone attending a chinese class.
I have two quibbles with the book. Firstly, the grammar explanations
are a bit dryly written so they are not always easy to understand.
Secondly, the lengths of the chapters vary too much. The first few lessons
are quite short and concise (perhaps 20 new words get introduced) but by
the end of the book, the number of new words given per chapter has
ballooned to well over 100. So the later chapters are much more hard going
than the earlier ones. The first point can be overcome by buying a set of
good Chinese grammars, e.g. the books "Basic Chinese" and "Intermediate
Chinese" by Yip and Rimmington and of course by asking your Chinese
If you include learning how to write, I think there's enough material
in the book for 6 months of intensive study or a year for someone who
wants to study more slowly (but still regularly).
After mastering the material in the book and learning the 500-700
associated characters, the learner is well-placed to go on to a
lower-intermediate text, i.e. at the beginning 2nd year college level.
|6 of 6 people found the following review
A very good, and actually colloquial, course, October 28, 1998
Reviewer: A reader
First off, this book is entirely written in Roman characters, not Chinese
characters. It uses the standard Pinyin romanization developed in the PRC.
Secondly, it seems quite complete. I'm now halfway through it, and it
seems to be covering all basic syntax, and not just the introductions or
phrases included in other introductions for popular audiences. I'm using
it to review Chinese after having taken an intensive university course a
year and a half ago. I'm finding it quite excellent for that purpose,
getting me up to speed without the slowing burden of trying to read
characters. I expect that next time I'm in China I'll do much better at
speaking and understanding than last time.