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English-Cantonese Dictionary: Cantonese in Yale Romanization Paperback – Dec 19 2000

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: The Chinese University Press (Dec 19 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9622019706
  • ISBN-13: 978-9622019706
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.9 x 18 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #443,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

The New Asia–Yale-in-China Chinese Language Center is one of the largest institutions of its kind worldwide. Founded in 1963 under the auspices of New Asia College and the Yale-in-China Association, it became part of The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1974. Three to four hundred students from over fifty different countries or regions attend the Center each semester, including summer, to study Cantonese or Putonghua from beginning through advanced levels.


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This dictionary just came out as a companion to the Yale-in-China Chinese to English dictionary. It has a lot of the charm of the earlier volume: waterproof cover, handy size, useful appendices on grammar and pronunciation, and broad vocabulary. The English is not excessively British, and there are a lot of idioms which are nicely translated into equivalent Cantonese phrases. That being said, there are several real problems:
1. There are printing errors in the pronunciation section where the IPA symbol for Cantonese phoneme "s" is the IPA letter pronounced "sh"--a BAD error, especially for beginners, especially as Cantonese uses no "sh" sound.
2. There are many English spelling errors, not such a big deal most times.
3. Worse, there are errors in the Cantonese transliteration, putting in entirely wrong words by leaving out letters. This was a minor problem in the earlier Chinese-to-English book in only a few words. But when you're using the book to learn the pronunciation, such errors are especially annoying.
4. English synonyms often have different Cantonese translations, for instance check out "maybe" and "perhaps"--this is a minor problem.
5. There are no Chinese characters in this book. While it makes the printing a lot simpler, it hinders the mastery of phrases, not knowing the precise meaning of particles which are homonyms with identical English spelling and tone, but different connotations in Cantonese. If you want to write a translation, you're on your own! I'm not sure this was a great editorial decision.
6. As always happens in a first edition, many idioms are lacking, but I can't complain too much about this.
7.
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This dictionary doesn't have traditional or simplified Chinese characters per English term entry. This was something I wanted. :(
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x98f96384) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99191a74) out of 5 stars If you're waiting for THE dictionary, buy, but keep waiting Oct. 1 2001
By S. Glicken - Published on Amazon.com
This dictionary just came out as a companion to the Yale-in-China Chinese to English dictionary. It has a lot of the charm of the earlier volume: waterproof cover, handy size, useful appendices on grammar and pronunciation, and broad vocabulary. The English is not excessively British, and there are a lot of idioms which are nicely translated into equivalent Cantonese phrases. That being said, there are several real problems:
1. There are printing errors in the pronunciation section where the IPA symbol for Cantonese phoneme "s" is the IPA letter pronounced "sh"--a BAD error, especially for beginners, especially as Cantonese uses no "sh" sound.
2. There are many English spelling errors, not such a big deal most times.
3. Worse, there are errors in the Cantonese transliteration, putting in entirely wrong words by leaving out letters. This was a minor problem in the earlier Chinese-to-English book in only a few words. But when you're using the book to learn the pronunciation, such errors are especially annoying.
4. English synonyms often have different Cantonese translations, for instance check out "maybe" and "perhaps"--this is a minor problem.
5. There are no Chinese characters in this book. While it makes the printing a lot simpler, it hinders the mastery of phrases, not knowing the precise meaning of particles which are homonyms with identical English spelling and tone, but different connotations in Cantonese. If you want to write a translation, you're on your own! I'm not sure this was a great editorial decision.
6. As always happens in a first edition, many idioms are lacking, but I can't complain too much about this.
7. The books are somewhat flimsy--my copy of the earlier text is about 3 months old, and a section has already fallen out. For a reference book, this is not good.
Overall, not a bad reference for pronunciation of Cantonese, with some useful grammar, but with significant flaws.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a9ee408) out of 5 stars The worst bi-lingual dictionary I have ever used. March 8 2005
By Jus Qrious - Published on Amazon.com
Probably the worst language dictionary I have used so far.

I am attempting to learn my 2nd asian language and find this dictionary to be of almost no value whatsoever.

I have some major issues with this book:

1) For starters, there are no "Chinese" characters in the book, making it nearly impossible to truly learn the language.

2) The publisher of this dictionary claims to have "15,000 of the most popular words and phrases", yet a majority of the words are obscure deriviatives of common words or will never come up in daily conversation.

- For example, how often have you used the following words: "Cogent","Elf Land","Quayage", or "Trepang"???

3) Worst of all, there are various spelling errors in both the English and Cantonese languages.

Not a bad reference, but not very useful for the beginner.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1f4ed74) out of 5 stars good dictionary Nov. 28 2011
By chamelean75 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This dictionary isn't perfect but it's very decent. The dictionary uses yale pronunciation. It does not have chinese characters. It does however have most of the words you would use in daily life. Another thing I like about the dictionary is that it gives you the measure word for the nouns. I can't even begin to tell you how essential that is. I recommend all Cantonese learners to buy this book. It's one of the best Cantonese dictionaries out there.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1f4edd4) out of 5 stars A handy guide April 21 2009
By Pierce C. West - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book's one short coming is that it does not include the Chinese characters to go with the Yale Romanized Cantonese words so that if you need to translate something you need another book. So it is a very good book for looking up the pronunciation of the Cantonese word you need, but of no help at all in translation of written characters. If I could afford only one book, it would be the Chinese?English version, but if I could have two books, this is a good addition.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1f4ee04) out of 5 stars half way there! Nov. 2 2007
By K. Pang - Published on Amazon.com
The dictionary is a great step for learners of Cantonese. However, what would help would be separating each word so for each word it is not a complete string of roman letters. For example, the word "computer" is two characters in Cantonese but would appear as "xyzasb" in the dictionary. Chinese is character based so separating the pin yin words would greatly help. Using the same example, then this would be "xyz abc". Furthermore, why not just throw in the Chinese characters to make the dictionary complete and appeal to all levels of competency and learning styles?


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