- Paperback: 142 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 4, 2012)
- Language: Chinese
- ISBN-10: 1470132907
- ISBN-13: 978-1470132903
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,594,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Knee Howdy: Challenge Chinese Vocabulary to a Duel and Bury It 'Six Feet Under' Inside Your Brain. (Chinese Edition) (Chinese)
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There are huge errors (not even corrected after more than a year?), it is basically impossible to read on a Kindle (keyboard edition) due to the text size issue, even on an iPad (Kindle app) the bold letters dont always show up (or perhaps this is another error and they are not actually there, or perhaps all bold).
There are definitely better books & apps out there, which would also take more time than 20minutes to work through, and are probably cheaper to boot.
The book is a fun way of coming into first contact with the core set of sounds of Mandarin and the often difficult concept of tones. The book uses an approach of presenting some useful high-frequency words and conversational sentences in an approach that I found amazingly well-organized and effective : for each word or sentence, one sees the Chinese symbol(s), Pinyin notation, and English translation with remarks, accompanied by pronunciation advice based on a pseudo-transcription through a sequence of similarly sounding English words (or word parts), and some fun situation or mental image to help the brain make a memorable, vivid association. I find some of those association aids weird, but they do seem to stick -- which is the whole point. Remeber, it's not a run-of-the-mill textbook.
Equally fun and useful are the companion website to the book and the YouTube channel, which contain a lot more : short clips explaining words and sentences and cocnepts of the language, something like a table or directory of sounds, further fun mnemonic aids, and so on.
Definitely worth a look and perhaps more.
Personally, my favorite aspect is the way the book explains Chinese tones by relating them to the tones used in English sentences (for instance, a rising tone like a question). This approach, explaining that we already use tones when speaking English, made the idea of trying to learn Chinese tones much less intimidating and more doable!