Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book but could use some updates, April 19, 2010
This review is from: Teach Yourself Cantonese Complete Course Audiopack (Paperback)
I am currently using Teach Yourself Cantonese as one of the textbooks for an Intermediate Cantonese class, and think it's an overall great product! The book has some very good dialogues, provides an overview of the grammar, and has fun exercises that help solidify your knowledge. Each chapter covers a different topic (fashion, education, law enforcement, etc.) and is geared towards teaching you the most relevant vocabulary. Grammatical structures are slowly introduced throughout the book, and reinforced through review.

As a word of warning, this book moves extremely fast, and might not actually be appropriate for true beginners (unless you are really willing to put in the work!). Although the first few chapters move slowly, the pace really picks up. Moreover, the dialogs are not translated into English, so you really have to review the vocabulary and make some intuitive leaps to understand the Cantonese. I would suggest this book for people with some background in Cantonese or otherwise, that you check out Pimsleur's Comprehensive Cantonese before starting with this book.

Although I think it's overall a great book, I do think it could use some updating. First of all, the high falling tone is increasingly falling out of favor in Hong Kong, although it is still used throughout this book. Especially for beginners who may already have trouble learning tones, I don't think learning the high falling tone is necessary at all. Also, there are some instances of archaic or outdated vocabulary that could be revised.

Nevertheless, I would not hesitate to recommend this book to someone interested in putting the time into learning Cantonese, especially in conjunction with Pimsleur and the Routledge Cantonese Grammar books by Virginia Yip and Stephen Matthews. Good luck with your learning!
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M. Wang
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Location: San Diego, CA United States

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