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Teach Yourself Cantonese Complete Course [Paperback]

Hugh Baker
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 11 1999 Teach Yourself (McGraw-Hill)
Baker and Ho have created a practical course in Cantonese that is both fun and easy to work through. They explains everything clearly along the way and give plenty of opportunities to practice what has been learned. Includes 26 graded units of dialogues, culture notes, grammar, and exercises, a pronunciation guide, and brief introduction to Chinese script, and a Cantonese-English vocabulary.

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Product Description

About the Author

Hugh Baker is a Professor Emeritus of Chinese, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Ho Pui-Kei is one of the most experienced language teachers in Hong Kong where he has been teaching Cantonese for over 30 years.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
In this unit you will learn how to greet and address people, ask questions and use descriptive words. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
If you don't have a friend who can speak Cantonese, then don't buy this book - but do buy the Book + Audio Cassette version instead.
Used on its own, i.e. without the cassette, it provides a good lesson structure which you can follow with the help of a Cantonese speaking friend. I think that knowing a native speaker is pretty much a requirement to learn such a precise language anyway, as a small change in pronounciation makes a whole load of difference to the meaning.
The book uses funny dialogs and cartoons to help you learn, and also has exercises in each chapter to make certain you have understood everything that was taught. For example, making a meaningful sentance out of a 'jubbled up' one. To further check your progress there are revision chapters throughout the book, which are there to consolidate all of what you have been taught so far.
In summary, this book will not do a brilliant job of teaching you to speak Cantonese IF you intend to use it on its own. BUT like I've said, if you have a Cantonese speaking friend to teach you pronounciation then it provides a very good lesson plan for you to work from.
Highly Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have bought most of the books for learning cantonese in the market including the ones with audio input since arriving in Hong Kong. First of all there is no simple or easy way for a foreigner with a language base such as English. One of the main frustration is learning and understanding the various tones. I feel that this is one of the best with a simple to learn and effective pronunciation system (Yale pronunciation)- which can be self taught. However, the input from a native speaker especially with tones is essentialin the beginning.
The chapters are well laid out with new words and phrases as well as a gradual introduction to grammar and language quirks.
The chapters relate to everday situations and are easy to refer back for revisions.
Furthermore once you have mastered the book another chapter on advise in the end does point you the road ahead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustraiting and confusing Jan. 19 2003
By A Customer
This book starts out ok, but after the first few lessons, no longer goes over new vocabulary words on the audio casette, nor provides translations with any of the dialogues. This is especially important, because so much of Cantonese is not directly translatable from Engish, and I had absolutly no idea what I was saying. I have acess to a whole family of native Cantonese speakers and was still completly confused. This book and cassette may be good for business purposes, since all the exercises are very proper, but I found myself having to ask so many questions just to understand, it was hardly "teach yourself".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for the beginner May 11 2003
By A Customer
I am new to learning cantonese. I picked this up at a bookstore. I read Teach Yourself and thought it would be a simple start. It was not! I read the part of the book that was not on the audio and started the tape. The one of the first dialogues was about buying an american car vs. a Japanese car.(which I found out with the help of a chinese friend) English translations are not provided in most cases. The part of the tape that is in English is in British English and talks of European pronunciation. I was so frustrated I have not picked up the book in a while maybe when I know more cantonese it will be useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great program for learning Cantonese May 27 2004
By Laura De Giorgio TOP 100 REVIEWER
Among the few books and courses available for learning Cantonese, this one is will help you to develop a solid foundation of the language.
If you are absolute beginner, you may want to get Pimsleur's Cantonese I and work with it before moving on to Teach Yourself Cantonese.
This program does contain 2 tapes, but you'll find it easier to step into the waters of speaking Cantonese with confidence if you begin with Pimsleur's program. Learning Cantonese will be million times more easier and more fun, and then you'll find working with Teach Yourself Cantonese much more productive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun as well as instructive Feb. 6 2001
By A Customer
This is a really rewarding course to study. The authors have done a wonderful job of conveying what devotees of Cantonese (like this reviewer) love most about the language- its vigor and its humor. The tapes are very good to work from, also- the dialogues of the first two lessons are given in what might be called "classroom speed" and then as in the real world so that it's a gentle way for a beginner to get a "feel" for how Cantonese sounds without losing any self-confidence. There are lots of good exercises with each lesson, also, and the review lessons really do review.
I cannot help but complain about one thing, however. The authors have invented a system of transcription that (for me at least) was difficult to learn, confusing, and totally different from any other Romanization of Cantonese that I've ever seen. I don't have any great feelings of loyalty to the Huang-Kok romanization (I'll spend the rest of my life trying to undo the damage by Huang's "Speak Cantonese", Books 2 and 3) but it is in wide use, it's not difficult to pick up, and most of the other books and courses about Cantonese use it (including the good ones). Going back and forth between different systems of transcription is one of the banes of the life of a student of Asian languages, but up until now it is not a problem that most learners of Cantonese have had to deal with. Even though this is a very complete, self-contained beginning course, it's always helpful to cross-reference and compare other material. What were you thinking of, guys?
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