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Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 13 reviews
on June 19, 2013
So far, this is the course everybody should buy when first being introduced to Cantonese. It is, indeed, a complete Cantonese course that will teach you how to read, understand, and speak Cantonese Chinese up to an intermediate level, although not write but writing the characters correctly is something else entirely that can quickly be learned another time. I came to this book with an intermediate level of Mandarin so it made this course much easier to me, although still challenging to me in how the content progresses later on throughout each lesson. It comes with two audio CDs that will read you the dialogues with native-Cantonese speakers of the language.

Strong points of this course

-Audio with dialogue in characters and Yale, really helps you to learn Cantonese

-Audio is clear

-True written Cantonese, what I mean by this is the fact that the book uses characters in the way colloquial Cantonese is spoken as opposed to standard Chinese which is the Putonghua (Mandarin) Chinese standard.

-Lots of content and the book does a good job of knowing what kind of questions you are going to have.

There are just a few problems I had with this course in which I will point out.

-Not enough audio and not much repeating the dialogues; To me, it is very helpful if I hear words and phrases constantly repeated like the Pimsleur courses.

- Too fast; I feel it advances too fast for me with all the vocabulary being thrown at you by the second part of the first lesson. So it is important to truly master each lesson before even thinking of moving on to the next where more vocabulary and grammar will be thrown at you.

-No English translation on dialogues on later lessons; I don't mind this although just a head-up for everyone who really feel they need a translation of the dialogues.

This course overall, is very good and I like it! I recommend it to everyone starting to learn Gwongdongwaa :) One of the best courses out there for learning this beautiful language.
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on June 14, 2015
Although not Canadian born, but immigrated at a young age, this book is great for those who have picked up the language over the years and want to expand their vocabulary and knowledge beyond usage with close family members. From my previous understanding, this book may be too fast paced for those completely new to the language, which is why it is great for those with a head start because it doesn't get tediously slow.

My objective when I got this book was to learn to read and write chinese characters of spoken words I knew and also to learn new words I don't often use. Because this book focuses on teaching how to speak the language, there are many areas of the book, such as the revision chapters that only use yale romanization. This is a let down for me because the rest of the chapters have great reading material in Chinese characters with yale, allowing me to read and learn those characters.

Some of the conversations in the book span two sides of the page, making me flip from front to back to compare the character and the yale. This can get frustrating as you often lose which area of the yale pertains to the chinese, and spending those couples second finding your place could be spent learning the language. Which is why some books with side by side romanization is good formatting in my opinion.

So far I have only come across one phrase which I have never heard in my exposure to cantonese and was the only time I required the CD as I can usually determine the chinese character pronunciation through the yale or through the meaning of words I already speak. The brief time that I heard the audio CD was a let down. Because the book uses phrase in a more formal manner, as you become more fluent in Cantonese you tend to shorten phrases, and these shorten phrases (although still retain the same meaning) do not follow word for word of the text - which definitely shouldn't be the case if the CD is to accompany the learning of the text.

Overall, the book is definitely a great start to push yourself forward for those who have basic exposure to the language but want to refine it further. I have been reading the book on and off for several months now, often going back to the beginning and reading again. It has really helped boost my character recognition but I know I still have a long way to go.
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on December 29, 2014
There is a lot of good material in the book. It is easy enough to follow, but poor integration with the audio tracks makes it very frustrating.

The book's references to the audio tracks quickly diverge from the CDs. Tracks are lumped together by chapter rather than individual dialogs, vocabulary lists, and quizzes. The only way to navigate efficiently is to put in time to rip and edit the tracks.

It is far worse that some sections in the book claim to be narrated, but the audio is missing. Just a few chapters in, they stopped having audio for the vocabulary lists. I have only seen it in one chapter, but I assume it will be the same for each following chapter.

Cantonese is difficult enough as it is for somebody with no experience in tonal languages. It takes a lot of listening and speaking. Now I have to put in a lot of legwork to make this product useable.
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on December 1, 2013
I have a friend that is Cantonese and the auther has put the translation in his own words so when you try to translate a letter from someone in China the words won't be found. Also my two CD's don't have all the (1-10) sections on each CD, there is only 4 on one and 2 on the other. Also the CD's are in Cantonese only with no English unless that is on the parts missing from my CD's. If your going to teach yourself find a better book or get help with this one.
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on November 30, 2014
Solid Cantonese language course. For the complete beginner though, it may be a slow go to get through it, as after the first couple chapters, the course proceeds quite quickly and covers a lot of material. For the complete beginner, I would recommend the course Colloquial Cantonese, as it tends to be a little more beginner friendly.
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on April 2, 2014
The information itself is accurate, and the pronunciations are just fine according to a colleague who is a native speaker. The main problem I have with this book is that the exercises and answers are all in the Yale Romanization system ONLY, no Chinese characters. This is a huge disservice to learners!
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on June 11, 2013
FIne beginners course on Cantonese. No easy, but thorough. Really does test your will to learn, at least a few phrase, of one of the world's most diffcult languages to learn. I thought, even knowing Mandarin would give me some edge. Bu Shi, bu shi - No, no. Excellent CDs and solid textbook for those who truly want to speak the Southern Chinese language
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on November 20, 2013
I have test with it almost every week. Great book for beginners if you know how to utilize it correctly.
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on December 10, 2013
I've only managed to crack it open to look at the cds inside, but I think it's going to be just what I wanted.:)
Looking forward to learning Cantonese!
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on August 31, 2011
This is a great set to begin learning an amazing language.

I know a large amount of Japanese and decided that I would like to study Cantonese and Mandarin (there a a lot more manderin books available than there are Cantonese books.

This book uses the Yale system of romanization.

Two CD's will definatly help you with pronunciation - I find pronunciation of Mandirin and Cantonese to be the hardest part of learning the conversational language. Cantonese has more tones than mandarin which adds a litle to the difficulty.

I love this book and am finding it to be a very fun and effective text.

This book focusses on the Cantonese spoken in the Hong Kongg (SAR).

The book and CD's come in a plastic case with the CD's on one side and a compartment for the book on the other side.

NOTE: If you want a introduction to Mandarin also I recomened "Chinese for Dummies" it is a easy guide to study with it does not have hanzi though, but there are a few really good books I have found to learn characters:
1. "Reading and Writing Chinese Traditional Character Edition" Tutle Publishing or "Reading and Writing Chinese Simplified Character Edition" also a Tutle book. These books contain stroke order diagrams to instruct you on the proper order to write the characters - which is very important.
2. "The Oxford Pocket Chinese Dictionary" This dictionary is really good and contains both traditional and simplified characters (Where they differ).
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