- Series: Dirty Everyday Slang
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Ulysses Press (February 9, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1569757275
- ISBN-13: 978-1569757277
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews
It has been a long time since I've read anything that was written as well or had so much good-natured humor in it. Now my Chinese friend is laughing at more than my mistakes with the Chinese characters or grammar and we are both having lots of fun because of the great material in this book. I had been rather bored learning body parts--this changes everything! Most surprisingly, I already knew most of the words--just not how to put them together to alter their meaning just enough. I am convinced that one cannot learn Mandarin without understanding a great deal of the cultural differences between the US/Canada/Western world and Chinese culture. This little book is better than a history lesson in providing cultural insights and the humor makes the lessons stick. The stereotypes are dead on if you know anyone in China--it takes more than a little understanding to have the insight the author has in his comments; one has to be a purveyor of the human condition and part-psychologist, part-sociologist, part-anthropologist to gain the little tidbits of insight given in this tiny book. I am having difficulty even imagining the depth of knowledge this author has and then am blown away that he has been able to condense it so efficiently and with such great humor. I'd love to spend an evening with this guy just to pick his brain (especially if we were drinking and watching a steady stream of people pass by on whom we could comment). It would probably be the funniest evening of my life. This is MUST READ if you are American and have no Chinese friends and plan to visit China. Don't go without it!
Given that background, my guess is that this book is about 70% an authoritative accounting of Chinese slang, and maybe 30% Westerners' impression of said slang. So, I think it's probably fairly successful in its stated goal, but some of it, I suspect, is just hyped up to give that impression.
Some of the slanginess seems to me to be more in the English sentences used as examples than in the actual Chinese sentences/phrases they translated them to. That is, some of the English sentences are poised in 'street talk," when the translation to Chinese is pretty straight-forward and matter-of-fact (and accurate). So, if you were to use some of the translations presented here, you might think you're sounding like a gangster, when in fact you're really just sounding like an "average Joe" (or should I say an "average Zhou"!).
But all in all, it probably is largely what it's claimed to be, and an entertaining read.
Warning-- some of this stuff is a wee-bit graphic. Would recommend for responsible adults. Had a 13 year old neighbor try to steal it and his dad called me demanding to know "who taught him XXXX."