Beginners Chinese Paperback – Jan 1 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
While I have an decent grasp of the Taiwanese language which is that of my parents, I have barely any grasp of Mandarin Chinese except a word or two. At the urging of my Cantonese girlfriend, I have recently purchased this book to learn Mandarin which is the predominant dialect in Chinese society. I have found the book to be well-organized as it builds on the vocabulary and sentence patterns learned in earlier chapters. Exercises in each chapter provide ample opportunities to use your vocabulary in a variety of ways. The repetition really helps you get used to the vocabulary and structure. The Language Points in each chapter explain the rationale for the language's structure. Fortunately, structure in Chinese is usually simpler than that of English. Cultural Insights provide information about the people of China and show how language is used to show politeness and respect in certain situations.
All that being said, you cannot learn a language simply by picking up a book. No book will ever get you to pronounce the words correctly or get you comfortable with the language. No fault of the book but I find pinyin, at times, to be counter-intuitive. To really excel at the language, you have to hear and listen to it. Fortunately, my girlfriend is a living, breathing language lab. I also suggest practicing a little bit each day otherwise you will rapidly slip back down the learning curve.
Yong Ho is an excellent author. This is the best introductory Chinese course, I've come across thus far. His logic in the introduction is correct. Language should be heard and spoken first before it is ever read. Does anyone ever stop to think about the children of this world? We would all be lost if we had to read a language first. How does one read without exposure sound process or vocabulary (audio)?
Fall of 2002, I took a course at the local community college and this book was recommended. I still thank my teacher for her insight in selecting this book. I've always been turned off by language courses, particularly in academia, that were geared more to structured academics as opposed to the beauty of learning a language (the oral/conversational aspects). I've seen people take intensive language courses and even get degrees but still couldn't get past basic introdcutory conversation. Another aspect of learning a language is learning the culture of the people so you can understand the how and why of thought/speech patterns. This book does this at the end of each chapter with the wonderful cultural insights under "Language Point." There is definitely plenty of repetition which is essential for any type of learning. The only criticism is that the characters are in the simplified format,used mostly on mainland. I will now move on to the Pimsleur series, another highly recommended course, I've seen the results for myself. However, I'm forever grateful to Yong Ho for his delightful book.
Most recent customer reviews
For the complete novice, this is an understandable approach to Chinese grammar, but the lack of a pronunciation guide (which would take only a couple of pages, as in "Chinese... Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by Thomas E. Steele
The material is on practical daily life but despite the blurbs it is not a phrasebook; it is organized into ten lessons but it seems to have about a first semester's worth of... Read morePublished on March 7 2004 by eldil
This book wont help you to learn speak chinese at all if you dont have a teacher who can tell you how to pronounce the words.Published on Feb. 18 2004
The feature I liked the most about this book was that it explained the confusing sentance patterns and word order with great clarity, making my understanding of why the Chinese say... Read morePublished on Aug. 15 2003 by Geri Rinna
I have to say, Yong Ho is an excellent writer, and teacher. I loved all the cultural tidbits along the way. Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2002
Unless I have totally missed it somehow, there is no explanation in this book as to how the language is actually to be pronounced. Read morePublished on May 30 2002 by Kris Rhodes
this is a fantastic intro to mandarin. it packs alot into it's 160 or so pages. very insightful. it offers a good broad introduction to the language. Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2001 by brian isabelle
This is a good book to get a quick taste for the Chinese language, but it certainly would not be a good tool for someone serious about language study. Read morePublished on July 25 2001 by Steven Carroll
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