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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've found so far!
I've recently undertaken the momentous task of learning Mandarin Chinese and am not new to language learning. I am more or less at a high intermediate/advanced level in Spanish and a high beginner in German and Japanese. I've used all kind of sources and have an extensive language learning collection and the approach used in this series (There are 2 volumes) reminds of...
Published on February 19, 2009 by T. Phillips

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for learning in your car
I owned this for about 5 days before I decided to sell it for whatever money I could get. I had intended for this to be a "learn while you drive" program, since I spend a lot of time commuting, and most learn in your car CD's are aimed at people who are going to travel. So instead of learning how to ask about buses, trains, airplanes, and taxi's, which will not be of much...
Published on February 6, 2011 by Doug


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've found so far!, February 19, 2009
This review is from: Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation: Volume 1: with Audio MP3 (Paperback)
I've recently undertaken the momentous task of learning Mandarin Chinese and am not new to language learning. I am more or less at a high intermediate/advanced level in Spanish and a high beginner in German and Japanese. I've used all kind of sources and have an extensive language learning collection and the approach used in this series (There are 2 volumes) reminds of the more effective approaches I've encountered such as with the "Basic Berlitz" but better. Now, what this series does that others seem to fail at is give you steadily graded approach. The first listen has I think maybe 10 words and some grammar. You start by seeing a dialogue that has audio with it. Then there is maybe some cultural or grammar pointers/ more dialogue, practice etc..as stated in the summary but no translation, which forces you to actually think in the language and form your own sentences! Practically everything is given with the English, pinyin, and Chinese characters. In the back is a list of the words and grammar used so it's not like you won't know what the words mean but it gives you a good jump start at not translating from English to Chinese which is just a crutch. Now you won't get tons of vocabulary, maybe 400 words or so and 800 with both but the words you do know, you will know WELL. The lessons build on each other but unlike other series doesn't try to cram a lot towards the end. This series is like a gradually increasing incline in knowledge that pushes you but never to the point of overwhelming. On that note, this book assumes you are familiar with certain grammatical terms such as "modal particle" and will have pronunciations as list by international standards so you may need some sort of grammar dictionary but even if you didn't know certain terms it wouldn't really hinder you with this series too much.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Very useful for conversation, September 26, 2009
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This review is from: Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation: Volume 1: with Audio MP3 (Paperback)
I love this book! In learning languages quickly in the past, I have found that this kind of approach works well -- master a number of useful, basic sentences and the situational dialogues that use them.

The MP3 recordings included in these volumes are very well done, neither too slow nor too fast -- just right for beginners.

The books do not emphasize writing, so this would not be the book to get if you want to learn to write. Chinese is the only language that I would recommend NOT studying conversation and writing in the same course. The reason is that writing is such a difficult undertaking that it slows down dramatically learning actual conversation. I believe wholeheartedly that one should learn the characters, but from a different course specifically oriented towards that purpose.

One absolutely essential key to learning conversation is adequate vocabulary. For example, "Integrated Chinese", the textbook popular with colleges and universities, only presents 350 vocabulary words for the first year -- not adequate for much conversation. No doubt the learning of the written characters at the same time slows down the pace. But these two books cover 800 words -- far more useful.

The book bills itself as "the most popular Chinese textbook in the world". The previous incarnation of this book must be "Conversational Chinese 301", a book developed at the well-known Beijing Language and Culture University, a learning institution dedicated to teaching Chinese to non-Chinese.

Since my 2nd semester Chinese class, using "Integrated Chinese", was canceled at my college for this semester, I am using "Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation" to gain basic conversational skill, which will put me at an advantage when the college class reconvenes next semester. I am studying this book with a study partner, a tactic which has really enhanced the learning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, January 26, 2011
This review is from: Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation: Volume 1: with Audio MP3 (Paperback)
I am learning Mandarin Chinese. Fortunately I have some language base and this book has been extremely helpful in pronunciation and reinforcing what I have already learned.

I am at an intermediate level in Spanish and know some rudimentary Japanese. I've been interested in Asian languages for years and learning Mandarin is for me a global handshake. I find this much better than Berlitz.

What I like about this product is that you see as well as hear the spoken dialogue. You also learn about the language base and about the cultural background of the words you are learning. The part I like best about this product is that it gets users to think in Mandarin and figure out how to construct sentences. Readers learn the pin yin and Mandarin characters and learn how to read, decode and apply them. These are provided alongside of the English text.

You also reinforce what you have learned with the glossary and the grammar lessons. You learn to think in Chinese instead of thinking in English and then trying to translate it, which is tedious and time consuming. While you learn several hundred words, you will learn them thoroughly and you will learn to use them correctly and you will learn to pronounce them correctly as well. The distinctive feature this particular book has is that it is a "gentle" guide; it does not bombard learners, but rather presents material in manageable sized portions so that newcomers and intermediate speakers/readers of Mandarin Chinese come away with a richer language base and a better understanding.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book review, May 22, 2014
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This review is from: Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation: Volume 1: with Audio MP3 (Paperback)
I like the book a lot. Think it is well designed and covers very essential elements. Wish it would have given the English translation on more parts of each chapter, but otherwise pretty satisfied.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good text book, February 26, 2014
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This review is from: Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation: Volume 1: with Audio MP3 (Paperback)
I bought this book 3 years ago, it is recommended by my friends, it is good to learn Chinese.
I recommend this as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful, May 16, 2013
By 
Janice S Eden (Kalamazoo, MI, US) - See all my reviews
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I am going to China and I find this very helpful for pronunciation and sentence structure. I think that I will be able to say more than just the polite phrases.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I wish there were more books like these, March 10, 2013
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This book was nice because it presented the material in Pinyin, Characters and in English. Much better than that book "Chinese for Dummies" (Chinese for Dummies only has pinyin). This is great for people who are still beginning chinese or for the people who are at a low intermediate. The bad thing is that I wish there were more books like this but for the people who are in the intermediate or high intermediate level. I guess this is because by they expect you to be able to read Hanzi.

I also recommend Chinese Demystified and Chinese in 10 minutes a day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS BOOK! YOU LEARN EASILY & IN A FUN WAY! AWESOME!, January 30, 2012
By 
Daria Long (Chevy Chase, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation: Volume 1: with Audio MP3 (Paperback)
It teaches you chinese in such a simple, easy, & fun way. I love love this book! I will buy the 2nd volume too! Such a fun book. Teaches you very efficiently :)
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for learning in your car, February 6, 2011
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This review is from: Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation: Volume 1: with Audio MP3 (Paperback)
I owned this for about 5 days before I decided to sell it for whatever money I could get. I had intended for this to be a "learn while you drive" program, since I spend a lot of time commuting, and most learn in your car CD's are aimed at people who are going to travel. So instead of learning how to ask about buses, trains, airplanes, and taxi's, which will not be of much use to learn if you want to talk to Chinese friends here in the states, I thought a "conversational" book, including a CD, would be of great help.

After I got it, I immediately was lost. Unlike a normal CD, which introduces the sentence in English, and then you practice in Chinese, the CD simply blasts off the whole CHAPTER in one track without pause. It doesn't teach you the words or anything. It's a whole conversation for you to just listen to, and teaches you absolutely nothing.

In regards to the book, it didn't serve much purpose for me since I have very little time to sit and read it. But, I did study it, since I wanted to feel like I wasn't totally wasting my money. The book itself I found similarly difficult to use. It teaches you all of the sentences first, and then the words about what you said later. So first memorize, then go back and try to understand? Sorry, but I am not a person that learns that way. Luckily I was able to sell it back to amazon for a whopping $2.50. Wish I had the original amount back.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars save your money!, October 18, 2010
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This review is from: Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation: Volume 1: with Audio MP3 (Paperback)
This book is not worth trying to read. I am at least a level three chinese speaker. I lived in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, China for a year and a half. I was completely emerced in the culture and had to speak chinese 90% of the time. This "learning" tool was clearly written by Chinese scholars who were too highly educated and wanted to impress their peers. It is overly complicated. Try the Ultimate Mandarin Chinese series. It was my bible while in China. I haven't found anything better. Good Luck!
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Mandarin Chinese Learning Through Conversation: Volume 1: with Audio MP3
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