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Niubi!: The Real Chinese You Were Never Taught in School Paperback – November 24, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
So mostly I'm positive about this book, and I recommend it highly. But I'll concentrate on the negatives, just because it's difficult to judge a slang book, and to let other buyers know what they're getting into. My first complaint is that while the book is largely accurate, it isn't entirely. Maybe a couple percent of them are off. I don't think it's just the vagaries of slang or regional differences, because I asked several people here in Shanghai about them, and they all told me "no way." Anyway, it's worth double checking favorite terms.
Secondly, this is (for the most part) Beijing slang. OK a lot of the vocabulary is universal, and that's particularly true to the (really excellent) Internet slang section. On the other hand, there's a lot of words that I don't think most people would say in Shanghai. For a non-native speaker to use many of these words would be bizarre. I wonder, do people in Beijing swear a lot more? Even though she addresses the issue in the introduction, I think the author drastically overestimates how often and how deeply people swear. And a whole lot of the insults would instantly lead to a fight. Oh yeah, and the book is missing common Mandarin slang words that are used in Shanghai.
Third, it's CRAZY that this book has pronunciation guides for people who don't even know pinyin.Read more ›
Most formal education on foreign languages teaches an artificial "classroom" version of the language. As a simple example, language lessons will teach one how to order tea and stop there. In the real world, however, even such a simple task will require real world vocabulary. I was stopped cold on the first attempt to order tea by questions such as, "Green tea or black tea?"
In contrast, this book makes good on its title, teaching "Real Chinese", usable for real situations, including lots of slang terms,
I would recommend this to anyone trying to learn Chinese for real everyday use in China. Further, I would note that many of the chapters would be especially valuable to students and other young people trying to prepare for social encounters.
I have shown the book to several of my Chinese friends and they have generally endorsed the content as accurate and timely (representing real world usage in mainland Chinese cities in the 2012-2013 timeframe.
I've already used some of the milder expressions from the book to great effect. If you are studying Chinese at any level or visiting China this book is an invaluable resource covering material that simply isn't available anywhere else. Her explanations are insightful and add significant depth to the book. I can't wait for her next book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it was funny and a good read but it's a bit out of date now.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
After speaking with some Chinese friends I learned some terms are a little outdated and no one uses them. Although it is a funny book nontheless.Published 5 months ago by Mason
The Kindle edition has half of the Chinese characters displayed as empty boxes, including very common ones. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Serguei Son
This is a really fun book, but I have to give it 1 star because the transliterations after the pinyin are atrociously misleading, and some of them are just completely ridiculous. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Floogelfish
Good if you want to mess with your Chinese friends. Very funny book, defiently get if your visiting china to see friends or just in genera to mess aroundPublished 10 months ago by Jacob Azizi
Well written and informative book for all skill types. Highyl recommended =)Published 12 months ago by Jiamei Shang
The definitive book on Chinese slang. I was paid to say that it sucks, but after reading the first page the only thing I can do is say 牛逼啊！Published 22 months ago by Wumao Dang