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Colloquial Cantonese: A Complete Language Course [Large Print] [Paperback]

Gregory James , Keith S. T. Tong
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 6 1997 Colloquial Series
Colloquial Cantonese is easy to use and completely accomplishable. Specially written by an experienced teacher for self-study or class use, the course offers you a step-by-step approach to written and spoken Cantonese. No prior knowledge of the language is required.
What makes Colloquial Cantonese your best choice in personal language learning?
* interactive - lots of exercises for regular practice
* clear - concise grammar notes
* practical - useful vocabulary and pronunciation guide
* complete - including answer key and special reference section.
CDs accompany the course to help you with listening and pronunciation skills. By the end of this rewarding course you will be able to communicate confidently and effectively in a broad range of situations.

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Product Details

Product Description


`A must for all China hands.' - South China Morning Post --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Dana Bourgerie is an Associate Professor of Chinese at Brigham Young University.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Only for the Ambitious July 24 2001
You should NOT buy this book if: 1) you are going to Hong-Kong for a week, and want to get the basics of the language. 2) you already know Mandarin or any other language using Chinese characters.
Why? The first 10 or so words you learn are different kinds of fruit. You have to memorize all these to be able to go on to the exercises. This may be fine if you intend to get a huge vocabulary, but for most beginners, 10 different fruits are not the most urgent need. The book goes on in the same way with chunks of specialised but not necessarily useful words.
The next problem is that hardly any Chinese characters are used, so you get little or no help from your possible previous knowledge of Chinese or Japanese. I bought the book, because it provided CDs with the text, and I still think that's its main advantage. I still haven't learnt Cantonese very well, but I've started using another book (Teach Yourself) in parallel, and that helps a lot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Beginner Book July 21 2003
This is a good book if you really want to learn the language and have alot of time. It organizes everything by subject (time, shopping, etc.) with a list of vocabulary and dialogues. There are complete translations for any new phrases, plus they explain grammar so you really understand what you are saying and can apply it later on with new words you learn. The exercises are a little difficult until you really have a handle on the new words and phrases. You may not like this if you are going to Hong Kong and want to learn fast. This also teaches Hong Kong dialect, so there are some differences from Mainland Cantonese (my boyfriend's family is from Canton) but there is nothing that won't be understood anyway. It really explains the tones and I have been told by native speakers that my pronounciation is very good.
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I would not advise anyone to use books from the "Colloquial" series if they wish to start learning a language. The learner is expected to absorb a very large vocabulary and learn a great many new structures at a far greater pace than the average person is able to do. This is hard enough for a language very similar to English, but for a difficult language like Chinese the approach used in this series is quite unsuitable for beginners.
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4.0 out of 5 stars recommended for advanced-beginner Feb. 8 2000
I bought this book + CDs after I finished another Cantonese text for beginners. If you already have some knowledge on Cantonese, this book really helps you learning more words and colloquial expressions.
One thing I don't like about this book is that all the Cantonese sentences are written only in alphabet. If you already know Chinese characters, it is much easier to remember words and expressions if written in Chinese characters.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to understand! June 30 2002
Format:Audio Cassette
I didn't know anything cantonese when I picked up this book and tape set, and like another reviewer, after having spent quite some time with it all I remember is the word mango (an English cognate). I eventually gave up in frustration mainly because I couldn't figure out how to pronounce the words; They're book includes a pronunciation key that is frustatingly useless. If you still want to try it, good luck with colloquial cantonese!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great boot for beginners to intermediate May 24 2002
By A Customer
Of all the Cantonese books I've seen, I find this one to be clearly the best. No funky pinyin - this one is the same as found in most other Cantonese books - clear focus on spoken language only - don't even think of beginning to learn reading or writing with this ! - but very practical, progressive, pedagogical and clear, modern and even (sometimes) funny !
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