Get Talking Chinese
Chinese is an intimidating language to learn. If you are considering studying Mandarin, this little book/CD and accompanying workbook will provide terrific introduction, pronunciation and the Pinyin of over 100 basic Chinese words and phrases.
The book's first section serves as a comprehensive introduction including general information about Mandarin Chinese, an explanation of pinyin, tables of initial and final sounds equated with similar sounds in English, the four "tones," an explanation of characters, details on characters' strokes, tips to remembering characters, and some very basic grammar pointers. The next eight chapters focus on teaching basic vocabulary: greetings, names, family members, simple travel phrases, body parts, numbers 1-100, week days, months, years, seasons and weather, food-related, tourism, and even some basic slang like "ok" and "bye-bye." Conversation Practice pages are scattered throughout, offering opportunities to use the vocabulary they have learned in simple sentences (also always located on the audio CD). A headphones symbol and track number identify where to listen on the enclosed audio CD.
Plenty of large format character drawings, full-color photos, colorful graphics and charts, and details on the history and culture of China keep the language study relevant and fascinating. The book can be used with or without the workbook. The workbook uses the same organization and vocabulary as the book and, like the book, shows the vocabulary in Chinese characters, Pinyin and English. The emphasis here is really on writing. Stroke order is shown and writing squares are provided so your strokes can be more square and uniform. If you are familiar with Pinyin pronunciation, you could use just this workbook on its own as a supplemental introduction (audio is available only with the book). Together, the workbook and book would be a great preliminary introduction before moving on to a more in-depth course. Each book is 128 pp, sc. ~ Ruth