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Mandarin Chinese the Easy Way with Audio CD Paperback – Jan 1 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 2 edition (Jan. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764193694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764193699
  • Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 20 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #394,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Many a casual foreign observer on a first trip to China focuses upon the uniqueness of China's writing system if asked about the language. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great learning resource Jan. 21 2011
By Mo - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have purchased quite a few books, cds, and online training programs, but none of them are as comprehensive as this one. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a pingyin dictionary that goes both ways? True this is just a mini dictionary, but it is most useful. The book also deals with structure without burying you in grammar and grammatical terminology. For the price, this is a really good acquisition. I noticed one reviewer had complained about the vocabulary content. In my opinion that is ridiculous. No one can learn vocabulary for you - you have to do it yourself and there are many resources out there such as BYKI online. No book can do it for you. The point of a training resource is to teach you structure and application using typical content. The only thing I would have liked in this book is pronunciation in brackets for the vocabulary lists. The book relies on your learning the initials and finals of pingyin, and one really must do that first before trying to continue if you want to avoid learning wrong pronunciation. (and no! pingyin bears little resemblence to English phonetics - you have to relearn your alphabet with a whole new set of sounds in many cases eg. c = ts, zh = j, z = ds, etc.)
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Overall good. Dialogues need improvement. Oct. 10 2010
By Book Lover XYZ - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a native Chinese, teaching an adult beginner Chinese class in my community as a volunteer. I've been looking for a suitable text book but failed to find one, until a friend recommended this book. This book doesn't teach reading/writing Chinese characters and is suitable as introductory material for a course up to 1/2 year length.

The pros: The book attempts to explain the language phenomena from the viewpoint of English. For example, it emphasizes that Chinese sentences have more rigid structures. It's good for an English speaker to understand the differences and the fine points that many other books fail to explain.

The cons: The dialogues are somewhat forced at the best and outrageous sometimes. For example, see this exchange in Chapter 8 when a couple is trying to rent a room:

Renter: Are there cockroaches in your rooms?
Landlord: No. There aren't cockroaches in our rooms. There're one or two roaches in my house. But it doesn't matter - they won't bite.

Anyway, I still plan to use this book as a reference book for my class. As for dialogues, I'll pick and choose, certainly skipping cockroaches.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Mandarin conversations with many vocabulary to learn March 12 2010
By C. Holme - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got to the eighth chapter and realized that after listening to the CD conversations and reading the the lessons in each chapter, that there were fifty-three words to learn, but not enough lessons to fully learn them. I wish there were more lessons. But I am a teacher, so I wrote my own sentences with the vocabulary and searched online for a site that could help me correct my sentences. I wish they had provided more practice with the vocabulary or at least mentioned a website where one could find more practice with the vocabulary. Overall, though, I do like the format of the book and the premise that one must learn a new language through conversation and then practice of the words and grammar through lessons. Each chapter ends with a summary of the skills learned, which was helpful for review. I added tabs with the titles of each chapter, so I could easily find them for review. I can tell you that learning Mandarin is made easier with this conversational workbook, but I really would like it if more practice was included in each chapter. But for the price, it's a pretty good deal.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not Expected Nov. 17 2010
By LoveToLearn - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not really what I expected. It seems to be all over the place and I would not recommend it for a beginner such as myself. The CD just says what's on the page; it's not really instruction or language structure. I've taken foreign languages before and it would probably take a second book to start talking about the language used for selling things. This book covers such a topic in Chapter 7 and I feel there should be a lot more other basic topics to learn. I was just not impressed and I am in the process of trying to find another way to start from the beginning. I actually find the YouTube lessons/videos more helpful.
Oh the Chinese May 12 2012
By J. Yang - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The audio CD that is included just reads the words for you after listing the numbers in Chinese. I wish learning Chinese would have been more fun and they had included some Chinese characters rather than publish the whole book in pinyin. It's a great resource for learning some vocabulary and learn to understand basic usage such as "this is not my sister, this is my mother."