Beginning Chinese Reader, Part 2: Second Edition Paperback – Sep 10 1977
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Top Customer Reviews
The books start off teaching you ten characters a lesson. They build up from the simpler ones to the more complicated, and also drill you on forming words from the characters you already know (most Chinese "words", if you can use the term, consist of two characters, each with a meaning of its own).
DeFrancis apparently produced the book "Character Text for Beginning Chinese" in addition to the Readers because some educators balk at the system of teaching the writing system independently, preferring to teach their students the words they learn to speak as they go along. I've tried both ways, and I really believe that it's a mistake not to treat the writing system as a separate subject with beginners.
You can probably teach yourself to write from these books without too much trouble. However, learning to write Chinese is an aesthetic experience as well as a linguistic one, and I don't know how authentic your handwriting will be without a teacher.Read more ›
The author stresses a couple of key points: Learning characters has to come AFTER the sound system and after at least some grammar has been introduced. And secondly, the number of characters you know is not nearly as important as the number of character combinations that you've learned, and the amount of practice that you've had with the characters.
Each lesson introduces 10 new characters, and 20 to 40 character combinations built up from the new characters and characters previously learned. All the new characters are used in "Illustrative Sentences", which are translated into English at the end of the chapter. The bulk of each lesson consists of readings, both in dialogue form and expository prose.
By the end of the 2 books, you will have learned app. 400 characters, and about 1,200 character compounds. But these are the most frequently utilized 400 characters; according to a study cited, these 400 characters account for 73% of all the characters found in books, periodicals, and other sources.
The book uses traditional characters, although in the back of volume 2, the authors gives the simplified versions, and a small bit of practice using these. Like the companion "Beginning Chinese", the topics are somewhat dated ... you constantly read about so-and-so not having enough money to send his children to college. But overall, if you're seriously interested in the Chinese language, and you're willing to invest the time and energy to do it right, the DeFrancis series is the surest way to get a sound foundation in Chinese.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is an excellent means of practicing reading Mandarin chinese in Traditional characters, but has little to no guidance on grammar, pronunciation, or traditional uses. Read morePublished on April 2 2003 by Edward E. Shumaker
I'm not going to repeat what has already been said but DeFrancis states that this book and volume 2 combined contains 120,000 characters of running text using just 400-500 distinct... Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2003 by esseyo
this is one of the few teach-yourself books that you'll actually find yourself following from beginning to end. Read morePublished on July 3 2000 by alistair ross
This Chinese reader was the best I've found on the market. I just jumped right in and feel like I can really get a handle on the language. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2000 by Mia
This book will help you learn Chinese sentences. From basics onward (always using big-size ideograms) you start reading fairly adult sentences and paragraphs. Is it challenging? Read morePublished on July 27 1999 by Evan Stansbury (email@example.com)
The book moves along quite quickly. Within the first 4 lessons(about 10 pages) I was reading simple and basic chinese sentences. Read morePublished on June 8 1999
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