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Mandarin Chinese the Easy Way with Audio CD (Barron's E-Z) Paperback – January 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0764193699 ISBN-10: 0764193694 Edition: 2nd

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Mandarin Chinese the Easy Way with Audio CD (Barron's E-Z) + Reading & Writing Chinese: Simplified Character Edition + Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar: A Student's Guide to Correct Structures and Common Errors
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Product Details

  • Series: Barron's E-Z
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 2 edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764193694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764193699
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mo on January 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have purchased quite a few books, cds, and online training programs, but none of them are as comprehensive as this one. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a pingyin dictionary that goes both ways? True this is just a mini dictionary, but it is most useful. The book also deals with structure without burying you in grammar and grammatical terminology. For the price, this is a really good acquisition. I noticed one reviewer had complained about the vocabulary content. In my opinion that is ridiculous. No one can learn vocabulary for you - you have to do it yourself and there are many resources out there such as BYKI online. No book can do it for you. The point of a training resource is to teach you structure and application using typical content. The only thing I would have liked in this book is pronunciation in brackets for the vocabulary lists. The book relies on your learning the initials and finals of pingyin, and one really must do that first before trying to continue if you want to avoid learning wrong pronunciation. (and no! pingyin bears little resemblence to English phonetics - you have to relearn your alphabet with a whole new set of sounds in many cases eg. c = ts, zh = j, z = ds, etc.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover XYZ on October 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a native Chinese, teaching an adult beginner Chinese class in my community as a volunteer. I've been looking for a suitable text book but failed to find one, until a friend recommended this book. This book doesn't teach reading/writing Chinese characters and is suitable as introductory material for a course up to 1/2 year length.

The pros: The book attempts to explain the language phenomena from the viewpoint of English. For example, it emphasizes that Chinese sentences have more rigid structures. It's good for an English speaker to understand the differences and the fine points that many other books fail to explain.

The cons: The dialogues are somewhat forced at the best and outrageous sometimes. For example, see this exchange in Chapter 8 when a couple is trying to rent a room:

Renter: Are there cockroaches in your rooms?
Landlord: No. There aren't cockroaches in our rooms. There're one or two roaches in my house. But it doesn't matter - they won't bite.

Anyway, I still plan to use this book as a reference book for my class. As for dialogues, I'll pick and choose, certainly skipping cockroaches.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LoveToLearn on November 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not really what I expected. It seems to be all over the place and I would not recommend it for a beginner such as myself. The CD just says what's on the page; it's not really instruction or language structure. I've taken foreign languages before and it would probably take a second book to start talking about the language used for selling things. This book covers such a topic in Chapter 7 and I feel there should be a lot more other basic topics to learn. I was just not impressed and I am in the process of trying to find another way to start from the beginning. I actually find the YouTube lessons/videos more helpful.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Holme on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got to the eighth chapter and realized that after listening to the CD conversations and reading the the lessons in each chapter, that there were fifty-three words to learn, but not enough lessons to fully learn them. I wish there were more lessons. But I am a teacher, so I wrote my own sentences with the vocabulary and searched online for a site that could help me correct my sentences. I wish they had provided more practice with the vocabulary or at least mentioned a website where one could find more practice with the vocabulary. Overall, though, I do like the format of the book and the premise that one must learn a new language through conversation and then practice of the words and grammar through lessons. Each chapter ends with a summary of the skills learned, which was helpful for review. I added tabs with the titles of each chapter, so I could easily find them for review. I can tell you that learning Mandarin is made easier with this conversational workbook, but I really would like it if more practice was included in each chapter. But for the price, it's a pretty good deal.
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I am so glad to have this book for it is very useful and has many interesting tools for learning more about Chinese.
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