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The Second 100 Chinese Characters: Simplified Character Edition: The Quick and Easy Method to Learn the Second 100 Most Basic Chinese Characters [Paperback]

Alison Matthews , Laurence Matthews
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

June 15 2007 Tuttle Language Library
This book is a quick and easy way to learn the second 100 basic Chinese characters.

All beginning Chinese language students struggle to memorize and learn to write Chinese characters. The Second 100 Chinese Characters adopts a structural approach which helps students to quickly master the basic characters that are fundamental to this language. Intended for use after The First 100 Characters, this book presents characters that have been carefully selected for rapid and effective learning.

The English meanings, pronunciations in Hanyu Pinyin and alternate forms (if any) for each Chinese character are presented along with a stroke order guide and spaces for writing practice. Printed with gray guidelines, the stroke order guides are designed to be traced over to teach students the standard sequence of strokes used to write the character. Related compounds and phrases are given to assist in vocabulary building. Three indexes at the back allow the characters to be looked-up by their English meanings, hanyu pinyin pronunciations, or radicals. Extra practice sheets of blank boxes are also provided for practice.

This book contains:
- The second 100 most common Chinese characters.
- Standard hanyu pinyin romanizations for each character - Compounds and phrases for vocabulary building.
- Step-by-step stroke order diagrams show you how to write each character.
- Special boxes with grid lines help you practice writing them correctly.
- Compounds and sample sentences provide easy vocabulary building.

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Customers buy this book with The First 100 Chinese Characters: Simplified Character Edition: The Quick and Easy Way to Learn the Basic Chinese Characters CDN$ 12.24

The Second 100 Chinese Characters: Simplified Character Edition: The Quick and Easy Method to Learn the Second 100 Most Basic Chinese Characters + The First 100 Chinese Characters: Simplified Character Edition: The Quick and Easy Way to Learn the Basic Chinese Characters
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Product Description

About the Author

Alison Matthews is a statistician who has worked in the oil, aviation, tourism, medical and software industries.

Laurence Matthews is the author of the Kanji Fast Finder and Chinese Character Fast Finder books.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Matthews' Mess, 100's of errors April 17 2010
Format:Paperback
Another Matthews' Mess, 100's of Pinyin Errors,

April 16, 2010

By Dà Máo Hóuzi

Where to start, 100's of Pinyin errors, yes hundreds!

And the cover!, Alison, Lawrence, do you have an editor?

Three errors on your front cover!!!!!!

And then 6 errors on the back cover page!!!

next time try "Hanyu", "Pinyin and "Romanizations".

Okay, a little tip for writing Hanyu Pinyin. (note the capitalisation on
proper nouns.) You don't cover the rules in your book so I will help you.

I will use simple English.

If two or more Chinese characters are compiled to form a word, the Hanyu Pinyin reflects this.

let me help you with examples

you write zen3 me yang4
however, the correct is zen3me yang4

you have about 600 errors like this, and another 600 in the index!!

now you have made hundreds of errors like this!!!

a new record!!!!!

This could have been a good book if the authors knew more about Chinese language. The effort is incomplete and lacks the essentials to develop good character writing skills.

This book does very little very well. There are absolutely no;

1) no Rules of Hanyu Pinyin
2) no Rules of Grammar
3) no Rules of Pronunciation
4) no list of named Strokes
5) incomplete rules of stroke order

in addition, there are hundreds of Hanyu Pinyin errors.

There are only 4 rules of stroke order mentioned, grossly inadequate.

There are no write over practice drills, just typically 3 huge characters in 48 size font to copy. This does not give the student an opportunity to anchor the motor skills for each character.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'The Second 100 Chinese Characters' vs. '250 Essential Chinese Characters (Vol. 1)' July 27 2008
By Ozymandias - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In general, this book delivers exactly what it claims. Though it only contains 100 characters, it's slim and light weight so it's easy to carry around so you can practice on it when you have a few moments to spare waiting for the train (or what have you). It's rather wide though, so unless you're carrying a large purse or a backpack, it's weight is a moot issue.

The most redeeming aspect of this book is the way it presents each character. While Tuttle's other series '250 Essential Chinese Characters for Everyday Use' also provides the stroke order, it doesn't indicate which direction the stroke should be drawn. In many cases this is actually quite important, especially for beginners aiming to gain proficiency. If you purchase an electronic Chinese-English translator, for example, you won't be able to find the English definitions for Chinese characters with many models. I'm currently living in China, and I've had various people (some of them strangers) literally stop me in the middle of drawing a character and correct the direction of my pen.

Moreover, for students who have never drawn any of these characters before, the gridded boxes provided under each character are particularly helpful. The grids help with drawing the correct proportions, and this feature is absent in the '250 Essential Chinese Characters for Everyday Use' series. However, the boxes are pretty big, so you're learning how to draw the characters about 4 times the size you would normally write them. It's like writing the letter 'A' in size 42 font. Still, for a beginner, that might be best.

That having been said, the 'related compounds and phrases containing each character to assist vocabulary building' included in this book are actually quite limited and of little practical use. For example, the word Hui in 'The Second 100 Chinese Charcaters" gives the character and the definitions (1.return 2.turn around). Then the phrases and compounds are listed (in both chinese and English)

1. hui jia --- return home; 2. hui lai -- come back; 3. hui da -- answer 4. hui xiang--- recollect; 5. xia hui -- next time; 6. na hui-- take back/recover.

This is an example where the book is somewhat vague. Does 'hui da' mean TO answer (a verb) or AN answer (a noun)? There are no sentences in the book so you have to use other reference materials to find out for sure.

Moreover, I found that the characters selected for this book, while useful, aren't necessarily the most common.

In general this is excellent for practicing and learning how to draw characters, but it doesn't offer much practical help in knowing how to apply them. I purchased the First and Second '100 Chinese Characters' in addition to 'Volume 1 of 250 Essential Chinese Characters for Everyday Use'. I recommend buying both, but if you have to choose between one or the other, you get more for your money with '250 Essential Characters'. That book also includes stroke order (but not stroke direction) and moreover it includes other definitions with COMPLETE SENTENCES, quizzes, and review sections. Moreover I've found that '250 Essential Characters' offers a better, more useful selection of characters.
5.0 out of 5 stars "how to" book about Chinese characters Dec 14 2013
By Joel Bjorling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Chinese characters can be a bear. For a long time, I had no idea how people learned (or remembered) them. This book takes the stingers out. It is available in two volumes. The characters are presented in bold type. There are detailed instructions on how to write them. (A professor of Chinese once told me that this was very important--know the stroke order!) This book also gives sample words showing how the characters are used. I use these books along with a text book. If I need to know how to write a particular character (remember the stroke order!), this book will show you. If you are mystified or intimidated by Chinese characters, this is your book!
5.0 out of 5 stars I love to learn chinese Dec 4 2013
By Sussie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Its great, you have excellent vocabulary, exercise sheets and I think for a beginner its just GREAT! I found it very useful.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent June 26 2009
By Juan Abreu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just as the previous one (First 100 Chinese Characters), this book is excellent for beginners.
12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Matthews' Mess, 100's of Pinyin Errors April 16 2010
By DÓ Mßo Hˇuzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Where to start, 100's of Pinyin errors, yes hundreds!

And the cover!,

Alison, Lawrence, do you have an editor?

Three errors on your front cover!!!!!!

And then 6 errors on the back cover page!!!

next time try "Hanyu", "Pinyin and "Romanizations".

Okay, a little tip for writing Hanyu Pinyin. (note the capitalisation on
proper nouns.) You don't cover the rules in your book so I will help you.

I will use simple English.

If two or more Chinese characters are compiled to form a word, the Hanyu Pinyin reflects this.

let me help you with examples

you write (ď§├'Ñù,zen3 me yang4)

however, the correct is zen3me yang4

now you have made hundreds of errors like this!!!

a new record!!!!!

The Second 100 Chinese Characters

by Alison and Lawrence Matthews

978-0-8048-3831-3

Another Incomplete Effort by the Matthews'

Another Matthews' Mess, 100's of Pinyin Errors,

April 16, 2010

Critique by Dr. Michael Howatt

This could have been a good book if the authors knew more about Chinese language. Their effort is once again incomplete and lacks the essentials to develop good character writing skills.

This book does very little very well. There are absolutely no;

1) no Rules of Hanyu Pinyin
2) no Rules of Grammar
3) no Rules of Pronunciation
4) no list of named Strokes
5) incomplete rules of stroke order

and in addition, there are hundreds of Hanyu Pinyin errors.

There are only 4 rules of stroke order mentioned, grossly inadequate.

There are no write over practice drills, just typically 3 huge characters in 48 size font to copy. This does not give the student an opportunity to anchor the motor skills for each character. There is little value in practicing writing mega-characters unless you are going to be a Chinese sign writer. There is no guidance to learn the scalability necessary to write Chinese.

The book gives an incomplete list of the Kangxi Radicals at the back of the book but the officially assigned numbering is very wrong!

The layout and readability of the book is very mediocre.The contents page
is so small that the letters and characters are barely readable. The spacing, page format and font size of the Introduction makes it hard to read. Same for the incomplete list of Radicals at the back of the book, barely readable.

This book uses black in the character writing drills, an improvement over the first book which uses blue. Studies have shown that black provides the best visual anchoring.

The Index is excellent except the Hanyu Pinyin is all wrong......

The choice of characters is excellent.

Scoring

Score

Kangxi Radicals 1/3,

There is an imcomplete chart at the back of the book listing some of the Kangxi Radicals, however, the assigned numbers are wrong. Also, it is very difficult to read due to the size of the font that they used. In order to get the partial chart with 226 (their are 214 numered Radicals) characters on it, they reduced the size of the letters and Chinese characters so that they are difficult to read. However, they do make an attempt. Unlike most books.

Stroke Order 0/3,

Stroke order is deemed to be the basis of literacy in writing Chinese characters.At first I thought that there was nothing written on this. then I found 4 indented sentences on page 9. This is pathetic. A total of 62 words to describe a very important component to writing Chinese characters.

Named Strokes 0/3,

There is nothing on this. Omeone you are supposed to write Chinese characters without knowing the stroke name. Then you can call one of your
classmates and say, "you know, the long one with the little thingy on the end"!

Readability 1/3,

For some reason, the authors used a smaller than usual font size on the first 9 pages of the book. This makes it difficult to read. These first nine pages cover very little that is useful to learn to write Chinese characters.It is hard to understand as to why the authors did not use a bigger size of font.

This book uses black in the character writing drills, an improvement over the first book which uses blue. Studies have shown that black provides the best visual anchoring.

Corrrectness 2/3,

A good indexing system is utilized. However, hundreds of Pinyin errors.

Writing Drills 1/3,

The writing drills are simplistic and do not do a good job at guiding the student. There is a typical page of boxes to practice in but only a monster sized character to use as a guide. Chinese students learn by overwriting characters continually downsizing until they can do it at any size, accurately. This in fact make the book about 80% empty space. Studies have shown that students benefit most from trace over character drills.

Grammar 0/3,

There are no grammar guidelines

Translations 1/3,

The book is a character writing book. There are a sampling of words for each character and they are accurately translated and useful words. The Pinyin is however entirely wrong.

Overall Usefulness 1/3

This book has a good selection of characters for introduction. It does not assault the student with too much information like the books by Phillip Yungkin Lee.

Honesty, Integrity 0/3 The subtitle of the book is;

"The Quick and Easy Method to Learn the second 100 Basic Chinese Characters"

There is not "Quick and Easy" method.

This book fails entirely at providing the essentials to writing Chinese characters. By not providing the names of the strokes, the rules of stroke order and a good representative exampling of characters,a student cannot develop character writing skills.The authors do a further dis-service by not having pronunciation rules of Hanyu Pinyin.

Overall, the student is supposed to be able to write a character without knowing the names of the strokes and the stroke order. Then the student is introduced to words without knowing how to pronounce them. This book is another incomplete effort by the team of Alison and Lawrence Matthews.

Hopefully the book will serve as a template for a more knowledgable author
to write a better book.

The Matthews' keep trying but keep fallng short of providing the student with a useful book.

Overall Score

7/30
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