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Basic Cantonese: A Grammar and Workbook Paperback – Oct 14 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (Nov. 30 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415193850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415193856
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 349 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Virginia Yip is Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Stephen Matthews is a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bridges the gap between an academic linguistic discussion and a grammar workbook. It focusses on grammar and sentence structure, so a basic knowledge of Cantonese is required. Probably most useful for intermediate learners who already have some halting fluency (if fluency can ever be halting).
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Format: Paperback
I first studied Cantonese in 1974, using the Yale University text of Parker P.F. Huang. In 2002 I acquired Basic Cantonese by Yip & Matthews. It was an excellent review and also clarified certain points further. In addition, it had the benefits of more recent linguistic scholarship.
Another good feature was the answer key at the back of the book, which is immensely helpful when the learner has to rely on self-study.
Also, it is helpful when the learner needs to get an informal Cantonese tutor, like a spouse or other family member. The vast majority of Cantonese speakers have no acquaintance with the Yale University spelling system used in this and other books. So one of the first steps is to teach the spelling system to the tutor. And this book does an excellent job. I recommend it without reservation.
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Format: Paperback
Virginia Yip and Stephen Matthews have done it well. This is the clearest, most useful Cantonese language book yet. Each lesson builds on the previous one, as you would expect, but the inclusion of vocabulary that actually is useful in the world, and their clear method for discribing tonal pronunciations goes far beyond what has been available to date. Yip and Matthews draw on film, radio and t.v. for many of their examples, presenting this vital language as it is currently spoken. Using this book in conjuction with their "Essential Cantonese Grammar" will move your studies ahead vigorously and easily.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've seen, and I've seen a few! Nov. 26 2000
By Pam Guthrie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Virginia Yip and Stephen Matthews have done it well. This is the clearest, most useful Cantonese language book yet. Each lesson builds on the previous one, as you would expect, but the inclusion of vocabulary that actually is useful in the world, and their clear method for discribing tonal pronunciations goes far beyond what has been available to date. Yip and Matthews draw on film, radio and t.v. for many of their examples, presenting this vital language as it is currently spoken. Using this book in conjuction with their "Essential Cantonese Grammar" will move your studies ahead vigorously and easily.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent supplement or stand-alone text May 21 2003
By Leganto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I first studied Cantonese in 1974, using the Yale University text of Parker P.F. Huang. In 2002 I acquired Basic Cantonese by Yip & Matthews. It was an excellent review and also clarified certain points further. In addition, it had the benefits of more recent linguistic scholarship.
Another good feature was the answer key at the back of the book, which is immensely helpful when the learner has to rely on self-study.
Also, it is helpful when the learner needs to get an informal Cantonese tutor, like a spouse or other family member. The vast majority of Cantonese speakers have no acquaintance with the Yale University spelling system used in this and other books. So one of the first steps is to teach the spelling system to the tutor. And this book does an excellent job. I recommend it without reservation.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good supplement to other Cantonese learning books Nov. 2 2004
By JK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the few books I've seen that uses phonetics that are

accurate to the Cantonese language, as opposed to the "Romanized" Cantonese in other books. It is definitely a good supplement to other books that teach you words by topic area (i.e. food, travel, clothing, etc.).
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wait for them to fix the electronic version, else it's useless June 26 2010
By Jimzy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I actually own the hard copy but wanted the ebook version for my ipad library for convenience. I wasn't too happy when I noticed that all of the text (though the pictures have it) did not include tone marks for the first (high pitch) tone...rendering the book useless to any learner. To the editor: Please fix and resend or give us back our money!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-buy for cantonese learners! Aug. 29 2009
By Proffy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the one book on Cantonese grammar that every learner of the language should probably buy in addition to their main textbook. Unfortunately, many of the current textbooks on Cantonese, including very good ones such as Baker&Ho, seem to try to avoid grammar at all costs, maybe in order to get people to start speaking as quickly as possible. But after a while, more and more questions about grammar will pile up, with no answers in your textbook, and you will need to get some extra material on grammar.

So, my recommendation: after going through maybe half of your other textbook, buy and read this book. A lot of things will start making more sense. (Then, after another half a year or more of additional study, consider getting the Intermediate Cantonese book by Yip and Matthews.)


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