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A New China (Two Vol. Set) [Paperback]

Chih-p'ing Chou , Joanne Chiang , Jianna Eagar
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 19, 1999 0691010455 978-0691010458 2-Volume Set

China has experienced rapid changes in the past two decades. A New China, written from the perspective of a foreign student who has just arrived in China, has been designed to provide up-to-date material on the changing face of China. The text compares contemporary China with its pre-reform era and emphasizes improvements in Chinese society. As in previous textbooks, A New China aims to provide a solid foundation in grammar and pronunciation rather than teach vocabulary geared toward specific usage. As a new feature, the textbook includes vocabulary words on the same page as the lesson text, making comprehension of new reading passages easier for students. A New China is appropriate for intermediate-level students and includes both traditional and simplified characters.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"The contents of A New China cover topics ranging from student's daily life to actual situations they may encounter in China, from economic and social situations to people's conceptual changes in contemporary China. The cultural elements and information of today's China are rich and abundant.... A very well-written and thoughtfully compiled intermediate-level Chinese language textbook."--Baozhang He, Director Chinese Language Program, EALC Harvard University

"The content of the book is designed specifically to help students get ready to go to China.... A New China emphasizes changes that have occurred in China over the last decade, making it more up to date."--James M. Hargett, State University of New York, Albany

About the Author

Chih-p'ing Chou is Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. He has contributed to earlier volumes in the series of Chinese-language textbooks produced by the Princeton University Chinese Linguistics Project for Princeton University Press. Joanne Chiang and Jianna Eagar are both Lecturers in East Asian Studies at Princeton University.

Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Language Program: Modern Chinese
  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 2-Volume Set edition (July 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691010455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691010458
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 8.6 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Textbook October 26, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I used this book in my intermediate Chinese class at Cornell University. It provides stories and conversations as context for the vocabulary, and the vocabulary is pretty up-to-date and useful. The pair of books help you work through grammar methodically. I don't know if I would use this book for independent study, but I am using it now (three years later) to brush up on my vocabulary. The book does emphasize simplified characters, but all segments of text in the vocabulary book (not the grammar book) are also provided in traditional characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent textbook, terrible typesetting September 22, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've self-studied Mandarin and I believe the lessons themselves to be interesting. Hell, the first lesson mentions slipping a Playboy magazine through customs. When you study a language, if the material itself is not interesting, you will no doubt lose interest in learning the language.

There are informative grammar explanations and definitions for the entire reader, but annoying that the book is split into two volumes; the grammar explanations could easily be put at the end of each section so I wouldn't have to have two enormous books open on my desk.

The reader has a traditional and a simplified section; the traditional font is square (like DF Biao Kai Traditional Chinese HK-W 5, if not that font exactly), but legible. The simplified font, however, is a "cool" HY Bao Song Simplified Chinese, which looks terrible. Strokes are weirdly spaced and out of proportion. The spacing between the characters is a ideographic half-width space, which is completely unnecessary -- usually books in China are printed without this gratuitous spacing between the characters. At the intermediate level, any student should be able to read characters without spaces between them. Aesthetics are important for reading Chinese characters, more so than for reading Latin ones.

Without the terrible typesetting (and bad paper quality), the books could take up half the space that they do. But foremost is the content and quality of instruction, and I think they are excellent. I also believe the title "Intermediate" is appropriate, as I switched to this series from the old-style Practical Chinese Reader after studying the beginner volumes I&II, and my level of comprehension matches what the book expects. So, four out of five stars.
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I bought this book when I ended my one-year sabbatical for Mandarin Chinese study. A teacher recommended it. HOWEVER, I never got past the first few chapters because I found that I needed a teacher to help me. I had some grammar questions, which I think only a real live teacher could answer. Maybe when I retire from my job, I can go back to studying Mandarin full-time and will use this book with a teacher.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this! December 16, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This has helped my Chinese so much! It has both traditional and simplified Chinese. The trad. is on the left page, and the simp. is on the right page. At the bottom is what's essentially a dictionary of the core vocabulary for the current story. This book introduces new vocab and sentence structures at such a quick rate that I never get bored with the content, although the content isn't boring. It follows this person as they right in their journal about their day-to-day happenings in Beijing.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chinese language study March 19, 2006
By Jana
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has no "frills" with it. It is simply short readings in Chinese that have helpful vocabulary. I would not recommend it without a class or teacher but with a good teacher it is a very useful book.
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