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Classical Chinese for Everyone: A Guide for Absolute Beginners by [Bryan W. Van Norden]

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Classical Chinese for Everyone: A Guide for Absolute Beginners Bilingual Edition, Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 118 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Van Norden has pulled off the seemingly impossible. With his direction, a serious student could make real headway in learning classical Chinese—while learning a great deal about early Chinese thought as well."
—Robert E. Hegel, Washington University in St. Louis

"For most people, learning Classical Chinese is a daunting task, but for those who are fortunate enough to begin with Van Norden's intelligently written and wittily designed Guide, it is far easier and, dare I say, much more fun than one might have thought."
—Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania

Classical Chinese for Everyone is great! Even if you don't want to learn classical Chinese, it is very philosophically interesting on the topic of how language affects thought. It is a corrective to Orientalist errors, and it is entertaining!"
—Eric Kaplan, Emmy-winning writer and producer of
 Futurama, The Simpsons, and The Big Bang Theory

"This is a book for anyone who would like to learn a bit of Classical Chinese. . . . If you, or one of your students, or someone on your holiday gift list are interested in a career as a Sinologist, or would like to learn just enough Classical Chinese to say you know a bit, or just like learning interesting things from a good teacher you should get this book. 
It is by far the most fun language textbook I have ever read."
—Alan Baulmer, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, from a review on the 
Frog in a Well blog

I truly believe Van Norden’s textbook on classical Chinese is one of the best! Pros:
1) It’s very affordable and can be taught in a term.
2) It offers short lessons across a diverse scope of genres and readings, including poetry.
3) It’s self-contained and does not need to be supplemented with additional readings or glosses.
4) By adding related texts in classical Chinese or even in translation, instructors can enhance this textbook to make it more advanced.
5) The introductory section is a perfect introduction to the Chinese writing system.
This is the textbook most of us have been waiting for!"
—Chiu-Mi Lai, The University of Texas at Austin

"[T]his book provides an excellent pedagogical tool for either teaching or self-study. The chapters are very short with very clear learning points presented in concise natural language so the reader never feels overwhelmed and gains a sense of mastery over each point. The size of the book is very manageable. Someone with (even very little) background in Chinese (either classical or modern) could easily work through the book in a couple of weeks. . . . Interested teenagers and adults without a formal background in philosophy, foreign languages, or grammar will be able to read and enjoy playing with translating the passages. It would be an ideal addition to any Introduction to Chinese Philosophy course."
—Mog Stapleton, East China Normal University, in 
Teaching Philosophy

"[A] terrific little book, one that fills a niche. Van Norden is a gifted writer when it comes to material geared to students, and the book is very lucid, engaging, and funny all at once. It is a pleasure to read."
–Hagop Sarkissian, The City University of New York, Graduate Center, and Baruch College

Classical Chinese for Everyone: A Guide for Absolute Beginners is a unique and valuable introduction for novice learners of Classical Chinese. Its uniqueness lies in the author’s extraordinarily detailed and thorough explanations of the selected texts that serve to significantly minimize the intimidation factor that beginning Classical Chinese learners may anticipate. Learners are provided with easily accessible, step-by-step guidance through clear and concise explanations of the readings, as well as through the detailed commentaries that expound upon the circumstances in which they were written. This book should also stimulate language learner interest in furthering their understanding of Classical Chinese and Chinese literature, as well as motivate them to become serious students of Chinese language, culture, and history."
—Haning Z. Hughes, Professor of Chinese, United States Air Force Academy, in the NECTFL 
Review --This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Bryan W. Van Norden is Chair Professor in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University (China) and James Monroe Taylor Chair of Philosophy at Vassar College (USA).  He is author, editor, or translator of ten books on Chinese and comparative philosophy. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07YQHKXGL
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; Bilingual edition (November 15, 2019)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 15, 2019
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 10097 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 163 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 118 ratings

About the author

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Bryan Van Norden is Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professor at Yale-NUS College, Chair Professor in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University, and James Monroe Taylor Chair in Philosophy at Vassar College. He has published ten books, including Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto (2017), Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy (2011), Mengzi: With Selections from Traditional Commentaries (2008), Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy (2014, co-edited with Justin Tiwald), and most recently Classical Chinese for Everyone: A Guide for Absolute Beginners (2019).

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
118 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for any Classical Chinese student
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 2, 2021
Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to difficult language
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on March 6, 2021
Usuario Prime
5.0 out of 5 stars Una nueva aproximación al estudio del chino clásico
Reviewed in Spain 🇪🇸 on December 17, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensável
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Ross Colquhoun
5.0 out of 5 stars Connecting the ideasq and interpretations of Chinese philosophy
Reviewed in Australia 🇦🇺 on July 4, 2020
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