Teach Yourself Cantonese Complete Course Paperback – Jan 11 1999
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About the Author
Hugh Baker is a Professor Emeritus of Chinese, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Ho Pui-Kei is one of the most experienced language teachers in Hong Kong where he has been teaching Cantonese for over 30 years.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Used on its own, i.e. without the cassette, it provides a good lesson structure which you can follow with the help of a Cantonese speaking friend. I think that knowing a native speaker is pretty much a requirement to learn such a precise language anyway, as a small change in pronounciation makes a whole load of difference to the meaning.
The book uses funny dialogs and cartoons to help you learn, and also has exercises in each chapter to make certain you have understood everything that was taught. For example, making a meaningful sentance out of a 'jubbled up' one. To further check your progress there are revision chapters throughout the book, which are there to consolidate all of what you have been taught so far.
In summary, this book will not do a brilliant job of teaching you to speak Cantonese IF you intend to use it on its own. BUT like I've said, if you have a Cantonese speaking friend to teach you pronounciation then it provides a very good lesson plan for you to work from.
The chapters are well laid out with new words and phrases as well as a gradual introduction to grammar and language quirks.
The chapters relate to everday situations and are easy to refer back for revisions.
Furthermore once you have mastered the book another chapter on advise in the end does point you the road ahead.
If you are absolute beginner, you may want to get Pimsleur's Cantonese I and work with it before moving on to Teach Yourself Cantonese.
This program does contain 2 tapes, but you'll find it easier to step into the waters of speaking Cantonese with confidence if you begin with Pimsleur's program. Learning Cantonese will be million times more easier and more fun, and then you'll find working with Teach Yourself Cantonese much more productive.
I cannot help but complain about one thing, however. The authors have invented a system of transcription that (for me at least) was difficult to learn, confusing, and totally different from any other Romanization of Cantonese that I've ever seen. I don't have any great feelings of loyalty to the Huang-Kok romanization (I'll spend the rest of my life trying to undo the damage by Huang's "Speak Cantonese", Books 2 and 3) but it is in wide use, it's not difficult to pick up, and most of the other books and courses about Cantonese use it (including the good ones). Going back and forth between different systems of transcription is one of the banes of the life of a student of Asian languages, but up until now it is not a problem that most learners of Cantonese have had to deal with. Even though this is a very complete, self-contained beginning course, it's always helpful to cross-reference and compare other material. What were you thinking of, guys?
Most recent customer reviews
I definitely recommend this book. It contains wide vocabulary and at the same time, does not overwhelm the reader. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2000
This book is the best book I've seen for learning beginner Cantonese! It uses a remarkably simple, yet effective method for teaching the tonal aspect of the language. Read morePublished on Aug. 7 1999
The book refers to a tape but didn't come with one. If you know someone that speaks cantonese its a good book, but if not, you will have a lot of trouble sounding out the words by... Read morePublished on Feb. 21 1999
Lke most Teach Yourself books, this is a sensible, use-friendly text. You can certainly get ahead with the language. My only gripe is the method for showing pronunciation. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 1998
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