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T'ung & Pollard's Colloquial Chinese Paperback – November 9, 1982

ISBN-13: 978-0415018609 ISBN-10: 0415018609 Edition: 1st
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Product Details

  • Series: Colloquial
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 9, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415018609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415018609
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Maginot on February 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Colloquial Chinese" (the older version) is an excellent Mandarin primer, as long as you are aware of its limitations and have a plan for supplementing it. The only real problem with this book is that it uses a lot of Maoist scenarios that were relevant in the early eighties but are now rather comical. Once chapter, for example, talks about going to visit the Clear Mountain People's Commune. Although this will not help you much in China today it is only a minor setback.
To make this series work, I suggest you do two things. First, get the supplementary character text book, as this one only uses the Pyin Yin romanization system. Second, get a tutor, or conversation partner, or someone to help you out. Not only will that person help you learn the material, but the chances are he/she will give you more updated, contextual information to supplement the lessons.
Other than that, this is an excellent book. If you stick with the lessons and listen to the tapes you will develop a foundation in Mandarin.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a strong course for the motivated learner keen to get a solid grounding in the basics of Mandarin Chinese grammar and vocabulary in order to continue their studies at a higher level. Someone who is more interested in quickly learning situational language and useful phrases for travelling or for business would be better served by a different course more focused on their particular needs since the vocabulary given in this one is quite general.
There's another book with the same title and publisher, but by a different author (K Qian). That book is simpler and more suitable for the casual learner wanting to learn Chinese for travelling, but it doesn't reach as high a level of Chinese as this one. But then again, neither is it as hard going!
Back to this one: there are no Chinese characters in the book. To learn these, it would be useful to buy the companion chinese character version of the book, which gives all the texts and grammatical pattern sentences, but not the grammar explanations, in Chinese characters and teaches you how to write the 700 plus characters introduced. That's available only directly from the authors I think. Unfortunately, there aren't any cassette tapes currently available for this book so it's not really suitable for someone learning completely by themselves unless they already have a good knowledge of Mandarin Chinese pronunciation. Nor are the answers to the exercises given. So it's more suitable to use with a tutor or as supplementary reading for someone attending a chinese class.
I have two quibbles with the book. Firstly, the grammar explanations are a bit dryly written so they are not always easy to understand. Secondly, the lengths of the chapters vary too much.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
First off, this book is entirely written in Roman characters, not Chinese characters. It uses the standard Pinyin romanization developed in the PRC. Secondly, it seems quite complete. I'm now halfway through it, and it seems to be covering all basic syntax, and not just the introductions or phrases included in other introductions for popular audiences. I'm using it to review Chinese after having taken an intensive university course a year and a half ago. I'm finding it quite excellent for that purpose, getting me up to speed without the slowing burden of trying to read characters. I expect that next time I'm in China I'll do much better at speaking and understanding than last time.
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T'ung & Pollard's Colloquial Chinese
This item: T'ung & Pollard's Colloquial Chinese
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