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Showing 1-10 of 93 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 116 reviews
on February 8, 2014
I really like this visual picture book.
They crammed an amazing number of high-quality and relevant pictoral items and situations into this book.
e.g., my wife hates bell peppers and they get inserted into many meals in China, so it was nice to have the book show multiple colors of them as examples. Now we do not need to attempt to explain the difference between different types of peppers or that green yellow and red bell peppers are really the same, or carry separate photos of these nasty vegetables with us.
It is probably the best point-and-understand picture book I have seen with the Chinese characters.

It would be nice if there was a least a couple pages of reference on how to properly pronounce the pinyin words without going to a different book. If you are not used to pinyin, you will have no idea how to pronounce anything and this book completely skips this important parameter. This seem odd given the attention to detail shown by the authors throughout the rest of the book.
Maybe DK had to edit out a couple pages last minute and let a student intern pick what pages to delete?

You can print out pinyin pronuciation guides and stick them in the book yourself

I still rated this book very high. No such book has everything, but this book covers an amazing amount of ground in a small space.
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VINE VOICEon October 29, 2011
This is a very well made book with great photos. It contains both Hanzi characters and pinyin translations. This would probably be a good book for someone who has Chinese in-laws or someone who is taking Mandarin classes in the US. I really cannot recommend this book for anyone going to China, as there is too much emphasis on Western items. They don't even include the word for chopsticks (kuàizi) in this book. For those traveling to China and are serious about learning Mandarin, I strongly recommend the Fluenz Mandarin 1+2,3 program that is available here on Amazon.

Pros of this book:

-Beautifully photographed pictures
-Pinyin and Hanzi used
-Organized by topic
-Has both Chinese and English indexes
-Many useful topics covered (animals, cookware, tools, human body, etc)
-Amazon's sale price for this is very good for all that the book covers
-Can be a helpful tool for Chinese speaking people new to the US who want to improve their English

Cons of this book:

-Does not include a website download or audio CD to help with pronunciations
-Too small and may be hard to read for some
-Only Simplified characters are used, so not as useful for learning how to read some of the signs in most US Chinatowns
-Little to no emphasis on things that apply to Chinese life
-Doesn't really teach much in the way of sentences or measure words which are very important in Mandarin language

If you decide to buy this book, I would recommend also purchasing Cheng & Tsui Chinese Measure Word Dictionary (available on Amazon) to learn the correct measure word that goes with the items being described here. I also recommend The MDBG website to learn how to pronounce the words properly.
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on May 16, 2015
The idea behind a language-to-language dictionary is that the reader is obviously trying to learn a new language. Therefore, the font-size of the languages should be selected by the publisher such that the reader should not have to squint and guess what characters he or she is seeing.

This is especially true when you have very disparate alphabet sets such as in an English-Chinese dictionary. The eyes and brains that are used to English alphabets may not readily pick up Chinese alphabets, and vice-versa. It might not be so bad if, for example, one is using an English-French dictionary...In that case, it's all Roman alphabets. So no problem.

On the plus, the images in this book are very visually pleasing. Hence, the two stars.

Anyway, I'm disappointed in the fact that the publisher sacrificed the reader's neurovisual processing in order to keep the book tiny (and thus, practically useless, unless it is read under a high-powered microscope!)

I'm dropping this one off at my local Goodwill...Perchance someone with extremely powerful vision may be able to use it.
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on August 4, 2009
. . . all the way to the borders of the U.S. and U.K. (where it's published).

It's a little disconcerting to find a book teaching Chinese that's filled with Anglo people and western activities and interests. The reason for this: It's part of the DK series of *-English visual dictionaries that apparently all have the same pictures and English textual content.

Still, it covers a lot of ground and I'm happy to have it. I do mind that it misses a lot of what makes China unique--for a starter, I was looking for Chinese musical instruments and dim sum, both missing--but my only other quibble is the teeny, tiny pinyin text. It takes 20/20 vision and a bright light to even guess at the tones. The same can be (and has been) said about the characters. But my old eyes + a good magnifying glass let me sit and practice all the pronunciation I could ever wish for.

Five stars for effort, three for execution = four stars total.
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on March 11, 2015
I love everything about this dictionary except the small font. It hurts my eyes when reading too long. Yet the pictures are wonderful and the illustrations cover nearly everything. I have to say though this is a dictionary for Chinese speakers who want to learn English. Most of the content are focused on western life. If you are an English speaker and tries to use this to learn Chinese, then chances are that you will most likely to use it in an English speaking country. I wouldn't recommend an English speaker taking this dictionary on a trip to China. I might be fun to watch someone asking for mozzarella cheese in a Chinese restaurant... Longman Chinese-English Visual Dictionary of Chinese Culture would be a much better choice for such a trip, although it is more bulky and less colorful (actually it is black-white).
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on October 1, 2014
I must state that the categorical approach this book takes is excellent, because it's organization is consistent with how the brain itself organizes things. If I say "foot", you will be more likely to say "hand." That is because they are both categorized in your brain as body parts. This certainly isn't the best book to begin learning Mandarin, but it's good for building basic vocabulary.

The first set of pictures is a naked man and woman that look like Greek statues, and in the reverse view, the man's hand is right on top of of her tún (butt). While some people might find this kind of thing offensive, I happen to find it amusing. It makes the learning experience more enjoyable. =D
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on August 1, 2012
The Chinese (see Japanese and Spanish reviews) visual dictionary works in harmony with the Japanese and Spanish dictionaries so that a word in one dictionary is available in the other dictionaries on the same page so there is a handy reference between languages, understanding, and context.

If sophistication is what is wanted, this is not that kind of dictionary. If a general-use word is needed and a picture helps for context verification confirming an expected relationship to English, then this is the dictionary for you.

The only error, and maybe not an error, I ran across. is for "rappelling." In two of the dictionaries a very uncommon word (abselling) is used for "rappelling" (see page 248 in the three dictionaries mentioned above).

I would recommend these three for anyone needing a basic way to communicate where English is not spoken. It's easy. Find the word in the index, go to the page, point at the picture. This process works even if the other person is not able to read their own language.
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on October 17, 2012
I would give this dictionary five stars except that most of the font sizes are too small. This book is a dictionary, so correctly making out the pinyin and Mandarin is pretty darn important. Yet, in the tiny font that most of the book uses, it's hard to make out the accent marks on the pinyin and the more involved Mandarin characters are even more difficult to discern.

My eyesight is pretty good. I *can* read it, but if my eyes are tired, or the lighting is not optimal, it can take a
bit of work.

The sad fact is that, even in this smaller book format (the book is 5.5" x 6.5"), there is plenty of room to make the fonts larger.

Publisher, please get a clue.

Mandarin Chineseâ English Bilingual Visual Dictionary (DK Visual Dictionaries)
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on May 16, 2008
I just bought from Amazon this fantastic visual dictionary - despite of not looking into it - but I can say I was not disappointed: it is a DK ! Intelligent and pretty.( why DK did not release the "search inside"?)With incredible photos fine printed. An advice: It is in simplified characters.
For my studies, that are in traditional characters it is not a real problem, for the pronunciation ( pinyin ) is the same, so, for each issue I look, I write side-by-side the simplified form, the traditional character. It is a way of memorize both! What one should know is that, besides the numerous chapters, like, people, appearence, health, home, services, shopping, food, eating out, study, work, transport, sports, leisure, environment, reference and all, there are two complete indexes in chinese and in english , at the end of the book.Both in alphabetical order. Easy to search. 360 pages of brilliant paper. Nice layout.
More: the size is perfect to carry in a purse, schoolbag, hands: not small but not too big. Perfect. More: for each new theme, there are examples in using sentences, etc. Who wants more?..................
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on March 11, 2009
We used this dictionary often when we spent 35 days in China last summer. It was invaluable when trying to find postcards, tell the desk clerk the sink was overflowing in our apartment, and telling others what we were looking for in the marketplace. I know if would help if you needed a doctor who didn't speak English.

Our Chinese guide liked it so much we gave it to her. She is trying to improve her vocabulary in English. We bought this book because we are going back to China and I thought I would be lost without it.

We are traveling to Greece, Spain and Japan on our way to and from China. We bought these dictionaries in all those languages too. It's a small price to pay for the added convenience of spending time in a country without learning the language.
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