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A Practical English-Chinese Pronouncing Dictionary: English, Chinese Characters, Romanized Mandarin and Cantonese (Tuttle Language Library) (Paperback)

A Practical English-Chinese Pronouncing Dictionary: English, Chinese Characters, Romanized Mandarin and Cantonese (Tuttle Language Library) (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Janey Chen, Ena G. Simms
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Dictionary
Level: Beginning - Intermediate
Note: In Traditional Chinese Characters
List Price: $24.95

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Detailed information
Editorial Reviews
Language Notes
Text: English, Chinese

About the Author
Janey Chen is a graduate of the National Southwest Associated University of China. She is a former teacher of Mandarin at the Taipei Language Institute in Taiwan and of Cantonese at the Chinese Language Center, the New Asia Colllege, and the Chinese University in Hong Kong.

Product Details
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle Co.; Reprint edition (September 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0804818770
  • Product Dimensions: 8.0 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 6 reviews.

Customer Reviews


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

Great, but with serious typos!, July 1, 2005

Reviewer: Dan (California, United States)

I found this book pretty useful - many of the phrases are the ones you normally hear in everyday (Taiwanese) conversation. The characters are in traditional form. The compiler/author, Janey Chen, also does a good job compiling a list of religious terms in the back.

However, I do want you to watch out for WRONG TONE MARKINGS! Sometimes the romanization gives the correct tone while the bo po mo fo phonetics gives the wrong tone - and thus ANOTHER MEANING. The author seems to know what she means, but it's probably the blurry typesetting or careless typist that creates serious mistakes. If you want to learn a phrase from the book that is very important to you, be sure to VERIFY the tone markings in a reliable dictionary (like the Far East Chinese-English Dictionary). The romanization is also not standard, and it's something about this book that I don't like.

Basically, the translations are great, and you can learn new characters quickly, but it would be very helpful if a native Chinese speaker can help you verify that the tone markings are correct. Also, rarely the bo po mo fo pronunciation even goes wrong.

NOTE: Old-styled binding and typesetting. Published in 1970 and not revised, a little too old.


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

bo po mo book helped me., January 2, 2005

Reviewer: houston student (houston, tx United States)

I have been looking for a dictionary with bo-po-mo notation, and this book came to my attention. It helped me to demystify and to get familiar with the bo-po-mo stuff which is popular in Taiwan but nowhere else.Needless to say that the bo-po-mo give you a lot of headache if you do not live in Taiwan, but most of books with pinyin notation do not have traditional characters, only simplified ones. Moreover,the pinyins in this book are not typical pinyin.That the reason I gave it 4 stars.


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Delighted to find English-Chinese with Bo-Po-Mo, January 12, 2002

Reviewer: Cheryl Campbell (DC)

Given the popularity of the Yale series books for learning Chinese in the USA, this dictionary is a real find. In my course of instruction, we are using the Yale series with Yale romanization, but migrating to Bo-Po-Mo (Zhuyin-Fuhao), as part of our progression to reading/writing Chinese. What great fortune to find this dictionary that has both systems! Yes, some words are dated, but this is the only dictionary I could find that provided Mandarin phonetics free from the association with Latin characters.


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Useful reference in back, decent main vocab list, January 10, 2001

Reviewer: E. Chan (Bay Area, CA USA)

This book consists of a long vocabulary list and a reference section. The vocabulary list is kind of old. I got a real kick when I opened its map of China and still see "xikang" province - I did an internet search and found out that this province was split up between Tibet and Sichuan provinces back in the 50's! Kind of shows you the dating of the vocab list, which uses the bopomofo/Yale mandarin romanization (NOT the commonly used Pinyin) and Yale cantonese romanization.

A useful part of the vocab list is that it lists the "spoken" Cantonese pronunciation. For example, a cockcroach is written as jeung1long4, but spoken as gaat6jaat2.

I find myself using the reference section more than the vocubulary list. It includes the pronuncations for christian and bhuddist religious terms, including the books of the bible (protestant & catholic), as well as a list of military terms. It also has lists of Simplified/Traditional Chinese characters, chinese calendar solar terms, summary of chinese dynasties, 100 surnames, and a pretty deep discussion of family relation appellations.


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful:

Do not live up to my standard, April 4, 1998

Reviewer: seoklee@mtholyoke.edu (USA)

I have high hopes for this dictionary when I learned about this dictionary. I bought it because I wanted both Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciations. However, the book does not live up to my high standard. It has too few words to be useful to me. Even in the instance when the word do appear in the dictionary, sometimes I could not find what the phrase that I really wanted. Also, I found the pinyin (Mandarin translation) to be quite unconventional. Cantonese translation, however, is better than what I usually encounter in other books! Recommendation: Look for better dictionary elsewhere.


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Good for Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciation., December 22, 1997

Reviewer: Dale Dellinger

This dictionary's strong point is that it has both Mandarin pronunciation (bo-po-mo-fo and Yale romanization), and Cantonese for each word. There are also appendices on religious terms (apparently for use by missionaries) and military terms.

On the downside, the book appears to be from pre-WWII so newer terms are not present. Also, the definitions have no explanations or usage examples. The typeface for the Chinese characters is a serif style which makes it harder to read than it should be.


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