Teach Yourself Chinese Complete Course Package (Book + 2CDs) Paperback – Apr 14 2004
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About the Author
Elizabeth Scurfieldis a member of the Chinese Department at the University of Westminster, London.
Song Lianyiteaches Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
While this book is a great starting place for beginners, it has many drawbacks. It is deficient in teaching how to read and write in Chinese. The first several chapters do not even make use of Chinese symbols, instead relying solely on pinyin spellings. When symbols are used, they are only the simplified set of characters and not the traditional characters used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. I believe that integrating reading and writing is essential for memorization of Chinese vocabulary.
Another drawback is despite all the author's efforts to teach pronunciation and tonal usage, using this book without a real Chinese tutor is not enough. Most of the setbacks of this book are not its fault, but the fact that the difficulty of Chinese pronunciation and learning how to write make it impossible to learn without a mentor. Perhaps the biggest problem is that "teaching yourself" Chinese using any method is extremely difficult. I recommend buying this if you are interested and very determined to learn Chinese, but make it only one tool in your arsenal of learning materials.
a) The sentences to learn are not always useful. Examples:
"you are really great. Your pronunciation is very clear with no foreign overtones"
"I want to buy a train ticket to Moscow"
"My fiancé likes to recite Tang poems"...
b) No chapters about airport, computer of internet.
c) The first Chinese character is taught page... 133!
d) Advices are not up to date (Examples: "although the word comrade is still used", "always buy whenever you see something you like you may never see it again" ...)
This book is not a good choice.
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