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Rough Guide Phrase Book Mandarin 2e Paperback – Apr 27 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 2nd Revised edition edition (April 27 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858286077
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858286075
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.4 x 14.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,802,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

This book was the handiest thing and I got my friends and I out of a bind more than once with it. By looking up words and showing the characters to taxi drivers, waitresses, people on the street, I navigated through a large chunk of China. It was particularly indispensible ordering in restaurants, the majority of which (even in Beijing) housed no English speakers. I managed to set up a day tour (including date and time) with a random taxi driver by using the main dictionary and the special section on public transportation. A number of the larger tourist attractions are listed in the dictionary too, and as I encountered nearly no one who could read pinyin, the Chinese characters were crucial.
Although, as one reviewer noted, the dialogs seem to be laid out in odd places, with a little observation it can be seen that they are inserted where one would look up the verb (usually) or major noun. So "how do you do?" is under "do." But I hardly used this book as a phrase book as practially no one will understand your pronunciation anyway, especially outside of Beijing (if you haven't already had heaps of practice listening and speaking Mandarin).
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By A Customer on March 31 2001
If I could find the receipt, I would return this book. I can speak a fair amount of Mandarin, and I find this book a mystery. For someone who knows no Chinese, it would be pretty near worthless. First, dialogues are almost all in English and pinyin (transliterated). If you are really stuck, you want a book you can hand to your Chinese counterpart to read your question or find a reply. Second, those dialogues that are there are scattered throughout the dictionary section. For example, introductions are found under the letter "D" for "How do you do?" Who would think to look there? Third, The dictionary approach might be more useful when you have time to plan and anticipate your needs. On the fly, I doubt it is much use.
I swear by the Rough Guide Guidebook to China. It eschews the annoying "cool speak" of the Lonely Planet series. I expected to be similarly wowed by the phrasebook. I am going to leave this one at home.
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I was inspired to write this review by the rather negative review I saw displayed. Contrary to that reviewer's opinion my experience with this book is that it is well set out and easy to use. I have used it in China and whilst learning Mandarin at an evening class. It has a very useful English-Mandarin dictionary (and vice versa) with characters included. I found this most useful as when my pronounciation failed me I was able to show a native speaker the appropriate character. It also has a good introductory section on the basics of the language, a menu reader and much more. On the downside it sometimes requires a little hunting through to find what you are looking for, but all in all I highly rcommend this as an excellent travelling companion.
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