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Cantonese Phrasebook Paperback – Oct 1 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 3rd Revised edition edition (Oct. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0864426453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0864426451
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 8.9 x 14.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 172 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,468,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I will temper this review by noting that this is a _phrasebook_ and not explicitly intended as a learning tool. The book could be useful as a way of looking up something you want to say (if you can find it) and pointing to the chinese writing, but that's about all.
Cantonese pronunciation is very complicated, and this book isn't very helpful in explaining it. The section that tries to give a broad introduction to the language is terrible. For example, early on it gives a list of 8 "useful verbs" which is missing staples like "to want" and "to have", and in fact only has about 3 that are even remotely useful. One of the listed verbs is "to trick" -- a word that every traveller struggling with a language wishes they could remember.
The majority of this book is organized by topic. Within each topic, it goes into too much depth to be able to find anything quickly, but being a small book it is not comprehensive at all. The dictionary section in the back is tiny and not very useful either.
My copy ended up in a trash can in Hong Kong a few days after I bought it.
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Format: Paperback
This was my first book on the long trek to learning Cantonese. The book provides a detailed food section, which will come in handy when dining with the girlfriend's family. Food seems to be of high importance with the Chinese culture, so it is good that this section is very well done.
The problem I found was that the book does not use the widely accepted Yale romanization. I've been collecting all kinds of books for the last year, and Yale seems to be the most easily understood and most intuitive romanization technique that I've found.
Overall, the book has a diverse collection of phrases and vocabulary. It is a good book to have in your Cantonese collection.
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By Derek on May 9 2001
Format: Paperback
This phrase book has authentic cantonese characters. Cantonese is an oral language and they use a few special characters aside from the "chinese" characters. I have seen another phrase book which uses all "chinese" characters. If you literally read it in cantonese, the pronunciations are all wrong, but the meaning is the same. It is frustrating if you know a little cantonese, and want to know the cantonese characters. This book is good because of the cantonese characters and the correct pronunciations that go along with them. If you have no background in a language and want to learn never choose a phrase book. Go buy a textbook.
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