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Chinese For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Wendy Abraham
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $24.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $24.99
Kindle Price: $13.99
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Book Description

The fast and easy way to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese

China has become a major influence in the world today, and Mandarin Chinese is the world's most widely spoken language. Not only is China full of opportunities in business and politics, but Chinese culture, continues to make its way into the western world.

With an updated CD including real-life conversations, Chinese For Dummies expands grammar, verb conjugations, and pronunciations—and includes a refreshed mini-dictionary complete with even more essential vocabulary.

  • Basic vocabulary
  • Everyday conversations, including phone dialogue and small talk
  • Speaking in perfect pitch and tone
  • Easy-to-understand grammar rules
  • Getting around in a Chinese-speaking country
  • Cultural references like maintaining face, dining etiquette, and social mores

Also included is an audio CD that features actual Chinese conversations by native Chinese speakers, which allows you to hear how Chinese is really spoken. Written by a leading Chinese language teacher in the United States, Chinese for Dummies introduces an often-daunting language to you in a fun-and-easy For Dummies manner.

CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of the e-book file, but are available for download after purchase.



Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Learn to:

  • Grasp Chinese vocabulary, grammar, and cultural references
  • Get around in a Chinese-speaking country
  • Make small talk, ask for directions, and order food

Real-life conversations by native Chinese speakers included onthe CD

The fast and easy way to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese

Whether you're a student, a traveler, or you just want to pickup basic Mandarin Chinese, this unintimidating guide will help youstart speaking the language in no time. Inside you'll find a wealthof fascinating cultural facts and handy references — includingChinese-English and English- Chinese mini-dictionaries, lists ofcommon expressions and verbs, and much more!

  • Chinese 101 — get a grasp of Chinese sounds and writingsystems, essential elements of Chinese grammar, and words andphrases you can't live without
  • Get going — hone your small-talk skills with Chinese wordsand phrases you can use when asking for directions, dining out, andmore
  • Take it to the streets — take your Chinese on the road anddiscover how to plan a trip, make arrangements for a place to stay,discuss transportation, and handle emergencies while you'reaway
  • Mind your p's and q's — find a collection of simplephrases you can use, popular Chinese expressions, and reminders ofwhat not to do in a Chinese setting

CD Includes More than 25 real-life conversations that give you achance to listen to and mimic Chinese pronunciation, pitch, andinflection.

See CD appendix for details and complete systemrequirements.

Open the book and find:

  • How to pronounce Chinese sounds
  • What Chinese script looks like
  • Chinese grammar basics and essentials
  • Tips on forming sentences in Chinese
  • The lowdown on Chinese numbers, times, and measurements
  • Chinese phrases and words used in everyday situations
  • Cultural conventions in China
  • Ten tips to help you learn Chinese quickly

About the Author

Dr. Wendy Abraham has taught Chinese language, literature, and culture at universities throughout the United States. She has Master's degrees in both Chinese Language and Education, an EdD in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, and was a PhD candidate in Chinese literature at Stanford University. Dr. Abraham has lived in the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, where she conducted post-graduate research on oracle bones and the origins of the Chinese writing system.


Product Details

  • File Size: 2824 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (May 3, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B0H9RGK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,174 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very basic steps and more... July 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was interested in the basic undertanding of the chinese language structure and got a lot of enthusiasm after watching to a TED dot com video (you can find it by searching for "Chineasy" at the mentioned site). So the next level was to go for a book and found this one. I am a fan of the "for Dummies" collection and this acquisition was another success - the very purpose of this book is to show you the language structure and teach you the basics. So go for it, you would not be dissapointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm no linguist, so I feel I fall into the "dummies" category for Chinese. The book is quite large, seems logically laid out (order of learning), and has a good little CD as a learning aid. I don't know if Chinese for Dummies would really take someone who hasn't heard any Chinese up to a basic conversational level, but it would be a good introduction to the language. There are neat tid-bits on China, and the details on the culture are also very interesting and nice to have. Overall, I like the book, but if I sought to learn the language I think I'd take a class - it's really a tough one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes Learning Chinese Easier April 5, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I haven't found a bad Dummies book, yet. This book comes with a CD & the pronunciation is very good; the conversation is said at regular speed, then slowed down for time to practice & broken into pieces that are quite manageable. Each chapter focuses on one aspect of the language with English, Pinyin & character. Sections on talking the talk take you to the CD & there are words to know in every chapter. Throughout the book there are small tests at the end of a chapter to test your memory; with an answer key in the back of the book. I have been through literally hundreds of books & this one looks like the most useful. If you want to start learning Chinese, this is a good place to begin your journey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Foundation March 27, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Dummies book franchise is well known, well established and very popular. Like all Dummies books Chinese for Dummies assumes you know nothing about the subject matter and begins teaching you in a logical sequence. One of this books strength's is that it includes both the Chinese characters and the pinyin for each word so the language student can be both fluent and literate. It even includes a section on the correct stroke order for writing Chinese characters.

The dialogues and conversations are interesting, for a language book at least, and don't feel forced. The topics and situations in the book vary widely and cover quite a few scenarios I haven't seen in other Chinese languages books. The audio CD is quite good, again when compared to other language CDs. The topic index and mini-dictionary at the back of the book enable the reader to easily target certain situation on an as-needed basis.

My one quibble, more with the idea of the book rather than with the book itself, is that the Chinese language isn't something you can study for a short while and expect to achieve any kind of useful fluency - the book does pack a lot of information into each chapter. Unlike many Dummies books in which a reader can skim the occasional chapter, for this book, the reader would be well served to repeatedly study each chapter before moving on to the next chapter. Overall this book is either an excellent starting point for Chinese language studies or a good augmentation to your existing Chinese language studies.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars At Best an Adjunct Text for Rosetta Stone April 14, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Every one of the "LEARN A LANGUAGE FOR DUMMIES" books contains the EXACT same format and formula. I didnt care for the way RUSSIANS FOR DUMMIES was laid out, and I care EVEN LESS for the way CHINESE FOR DUMMIES fits their mold. Poor choices abound in the book and CD, no doubt from forcing Dr. Wendy Abraham to adhere to the DUMMIES rigid format. Allow me to explain. Chinese consonants only differ from english with a couple of sounds. (DS and TS) So what does the 1st lesson on the CD teach? Each and every consonant, nice and slow, in case you cant pronounce "P" or "W". However, when it comes to Chinese vowels and dipthongs, many of which are not like english at all (cos they're umlauted, or palatanized) does the CD cover those sounds? NO, of course not. The CD does cover the five chinese tones, tho not sufficiently. The third audio lesson involves a conversation incorperating vocabulary and grammer that is simply NOT covered. I often had no idea what the individual words meant, nor could I reproduce all the tones correctly. When it comes to speaking a language as complicated as Chinese, you MUST crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.

As with RUSSIAN FOR DUMMIES, the third chapter covers deep grammatical concepts, before even the basic essencials of the language are introduced. When learning ANY new language, you start by saying "hello", "My name is..", "I cant speak Chinese", "I'm british", etc. These "Dummies" language books reserve "Basic Expressions" for the fourth chapter. However, before you even get thru the third chapter, you'll be so overwhelmed and confused, you'll throw down the book. Chinese incorperates many linguistic ideas totally foreign to indo-european languages, which makes the grammer in the third chapter a nightmare.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars He loved the book
bought this for my nephew who is a Finance major and studied Mandarin in China. He loved the book!
Published 2 months ago by dreaRose
4.0 out of 5 stars Bad for learning, good for a refresher
After trying the first couple chapters and loosing interest real quick I pretty much quit. Too much is thrown at you all of a sudden and random Mandarin words are put in without... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars It's wonderful!
I am so glad to have this book for it is very useful and has many interesting tools for learning more about Chinese.
Published 7 months ago by Juan Carlos Parada Leyva
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Fun!
Chinese for Dummies is a fantastic addition to the language Dummies series, especially this second edition with the actual Chinese characters included. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Marilyn Abraham
1.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakingly poor
I can probably sum this book up by pointing out that Chapter 4 (page 50) begins with the words (excuse the lack of accents): "Ni hao! Read more
Published 19 months ago by King Rollo
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly inadequate.
No matter what the language, the idea that you can learn a foreign tongue in a short time from a single book of carryable size is baloney. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Fuzzbean
2.0 out of 5 stars There are better choices available
I've tried a lot of language programs, from Rosetta Stone on down, and the bottom line is that the more you can hear and speak, the better off you are. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Steve
4.0 out of 5 stars adequate instructional program for acquiring Mandarin (not Cantonese)...
I have struggled too late in life to grow in some familiarity with the beautifully written and intriguingly spoken language of Mandarin Chinese. Read more
Published 22 months ago by C. Scanlon
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for serious study
I have a couple of other Chinese language books and this one just doesn't measure up. It seems like it isn't quite sure who its audience is; casual learners/travelers, or serious... Read more
Published 22 months ago by J. FELLA
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