Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Dissappointed, September 27, 2008
This review is from: Oxford Beginner's Chinese Dictionary (Paperback)
The biggest plus point for this book is the collection of "measure words" contained in the middle. Measure words are essential and every noun has one placed between the number and the noun. In english a measure word would be the word "pile" in "two piles of sand". In English only a few nouns have measure word... A flock of geese, a lump of sugar, a shoal of fish..... but in mandarin every noun has a measure word. The dictionary has 92 of them collected together in the middle with usage. For example in the phrase "yi zhang piao" =" a ticket" the measure word is "zhang". The dictionary tells us that this measure word is used for flat things such as sheets of paper, newspapers, tables, beds, pictures, tickets and stamps.

The dictionary also contains a section which helps decipher a chinese charachter to find the Pinyin, which you can then look up to find the English word. I think they are using the standard methodology for this but I found it quite difficult. I wish the chinese characters were a bit larger as they can be very complex.

On the negative side I was dissappointed to be unable to find many words that are in my text books are not in the dictionary. For example, the following words were missung from the English section:

edible
inedible
greengrocer
tough (to eat)
invoice
desire

From the Pinyin Chinese section I found certain words but with different characters and meanings from the ones I was looking up.

I can't type the relevant chinese characters here, but no meaning could be found in the dictionary correspnding to the chinese characters in my text book for the following words:
fa
er
qingcai
chengzhi
hongshi
zhangdan

I am sure my chinese text book is using very simple words, so I am a little dissappointed that these words are missing from my dictionary.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 6, 2008 8:58:29 AM PST
susan says:
Hi, I am not sure if you have found the six Chinese words/phrases that you listed close to the end of your comments? If not, and if you don't mind, please allow me to try a best guess since there were no tones listed. So, I'm just going to guess the words with numbers representing the tone marks below for you:
fa3: hair (from the head only); er2: son or er4: two (as number); qing1 cai4: vegetables or green vegetables; cheng2 zhi1: orange juice or you might also say as: liu3 cheng2 zhi1; hong2 shi4: persimon (a kind of fruit looks like tomato), or you might also say as: xi1 hong2 shi4; zhang4 dan1: check or bill for the restaurant. Hope this helps for your learning of Chinese! Good luck!

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 4:21:17 PM PDT
Sunny David says:
Hi MS Clive,

You have got your text books and dictionary. You may also like to try a new book, Learning Chinese The Easy Way: Read & Understand The Symbols of Chinese Culture, to start with and it is an excellent book for both experienced learners and beginners. ;)
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