Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Talk Mandarin Today (Book Only) Paperback – February 4, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-9629961121 ISBN-10: 9629961121 Edition: Bilingual

6 New from $25.98 21 Used from $0.82 1 Collectible from $57.20
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, February 4, 2004
$25.98 $0.82
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: The Chinese University Press; Bilingual edition (February 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9629961121
  • ISBN-13: 978-9629961121
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,514,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hong Xiao has lectured in Mandarin Chinese since 1983 in Beijing University, Trinity College, Dublin, and currently in King's College, London. In 1993 she obtained her M.Phil. degree in linguistics from Trinity College, Dublin. She is now doing her Ph.D. in psycholinguistics.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian F. on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am learning Mandarin on my own (with occasional help from a native speaker) and found this book + CDs very useful. Unlike many other elementary text books, Talk Mandarin Today also covers some essential vocabulary related to business and information technology.

A minor flaw is that a few of the vocabularies and translations in the 3rd section of the book (Lesson 21-30) are incomplete or inaccurate.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Proffy on March 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am using this book to learn some Mandarin on my own, and this seemed like an OK book for doing so. A bit dry, though. It's usable, but there must be better books out there.

The main problem is that this book is business-oriented to the extreme. It follows the adventures of a Mr. Green, who apparently spends most of his time in his office talking about business cards, email, computer viruses, and about a dozen different ways of sending letters and packages through the mail system. Thus, in section 5 we learn the word for "computer software", in section 8 we learn words for "email attachment", "computer virus", "web page", and "telex" (a prehistoric communication device), while section 9 introduces "registered letter by air" versus "express letter delivered by courier" among others.

Fortunately, in the later parts of the book Mr. Green actually gets out of the office, so we finally learn how to order a coffee, buy stuff, or talk to normal people.

I understand this book tries to target the business market, but this goes too far. I guess if you choose to ignore this and get through the first dozen chapters, it's an OK book. And on the plus side, while this book may not help you find friends or get laid, you will be able to talk to your Chinese secretary about every possible detail of office management.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By A. Smith on May 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book was classified as used and that was definitely true. It was not well kept. The content itself does not match the title for people who have little to none background in Mandarin lessons. The CDs are a must for those students and then, I think that they would probably not speak Mandarin today.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mihran Kazandjian on January 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
As the other reviewers have mentioned, this book is for students of Mandarin who wish to do business in China/Chinese. There is nothing wrong with this, as that is an important subset of Mandarin learners.

However, this book is in no way a replacement for a Chinese text book. It is more like a phrasebook of business Mandarin with a little bit of grammar and a few sentence patterns.

For someone who has already studied Mandarin, this book could be useful for learning business vocabulary and certain colloquial expressions. But other people would do best to find another book.

An especially debilitating problem is the horrendous audio component of the course. It comes with two CDs and each lesson gets about 3-5 minutes of audio. Even though the course follows the exploits of Mr. Green, the audio is narrated entirely by a single woman and, since she does both voices in each conversation, this makes it difficult to follow sometimes. Also, the English narrator occasionally butts in and reads off any English phrases in the Chinese conversation, as if the Chinese narrator would have been unable to say those words. It seems as if the audio was done on the cheap, to the detriment of its effectiveness as a teaching tool.

If you already know some Mandarin, wish to learn some business vocabulary and have money to burn, then I recommend this book. Otherwise, I would recommend some other book, perhaps one by Yong Ho. Unfortunately, there are few all-around good books for learning Chinese, as the language (especially the written language) is so vast. If you become serious about learning Chinese on your own, then you will most likely amass a small library of books, each teaching the language from a different angle.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again