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6 Reviews
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4 star:
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book , bad Romanization
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...
Published on Jan. 23 2004 by joshcruz

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2.0 out of 5 stars You can't learn any Cantonese from this book
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...
Published on March 20 2000 by Leo Dirac


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2.0 out of 5 stars You can't learn any Cantonese from this book, March 20 2000
By 
Leo Dirac (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cantonese Phrasebook (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book , bad Romanization, Jan. 23 2004
By 
"joshcruz" (Phoenix, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cantonese Phrasebook (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price., May 9 2001
By 
Derek (Raleigh, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cantonese Phrasebook (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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3.0 out of 5 stars Good for quick basic phrase lookup, Oct. 10 2003
By 
B. Fang "Audio Mercenary" (Brisbane, QLD Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cantonese Phrasebook (Paperback)
Have found this useful for basic phrases and general conversation, however for anything harder, I've had to go back to a more authoritative source, a native-Cantonese speaker to get the info that I'm looking for. This isn't good for learning as such, but it is a useful tool if you know some cantonese already to reinforce what you know for general converstaion and also if you are stuck in Hong Kong with the characters being alongside the romanization for easy pointing to the locals if you are having trouble with the tones.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good starter for simple, written Cantonese, Dec 6 1999
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This review is from: Cantonese Phrasebook (Paperback)
Explains basic grammar and useful words well classified. Cantonese being a tonal language, pronunciation is very crucial; for which this book can not much help. Rather, I find this useful to convey my own simple messages in written Chinese. Sounds strange but easier than the modulated oral communication which can only come with practicing time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressesed, July 25 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Cantonese Phrasebook (Paperback)
For a small little book, there is a ton of information. Useful and fun. Great value.
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Cantonese Phrasebook
Cantonese Phrasebook by Kam Y. Lau (Paperback - Oct. 1 1999)
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