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Chinese in Steps: v. 1 (Please order new edition 9781907838101) [Paperback]

George Zhang , Linda M. Li , Lik Suen , Xu Xian , Zhang Wenqing
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 2005
(Please order new edition 9781907838101)

Product details

  • Paperback: 147 pages
  • Publisher: Cypress Book Co. UK Ltd; 2nd edition (1 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English, Chinese
  • ISBN-10: 1845700023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845700027
  • Product Dimensions: 28.4 x 21 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for learning Mandarin at home 16 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This book is excellently laid out. Every chapter has new vocabulary, speech patterns, additional vocab, listening practice, dialogues and exercises. It even has a section to practice writing chinese words with stroke order included. As someone who knew absolutely no mandarin before buying this book, I found it tremendously helpful and is paced very well. I really am learning mandarin step-by-step using this book!
However, there is one issue that's preventing me from giving this a rating of 5 stars. Even though this book comes with 2 audio CDs, there is only one track on each CD, so if you wish only to listen to new vocab of Lesson 4, when you play the CD, you won't get to it unless you listen to lessons 1-3 first. They really should have put in the effort of separating out all the lessons, sections and dialogues as separate tracks to make it easier for students to play back and repeat. Hopefully if enough people tell them of this issue then they will address this for all future volumes in this series.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hen hao 2 May 2006
I agree with the reviewer ahead of me. This would absolutely be a 5 star product if it wasn't for the problems with the CDs. A little time with the CDs and my ipod mean that I now have each chapter saved as a separate file, but they really should be like that already.

The book itself is excellent, introducing both characters and pinyin (Chinese written with the Roman alphabet) at a steady, but achievable pace. It helps to have a teacher to motivate you, and I'm not sure how I'd cope without the additional guidance that I've received, but this book has been an excellent guide to the language. I'm eagerly awaiting volume 2.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Iviebe
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having done an intensive beginners Chinese language course at SOAS for a month, the first two books of Chinese in Steps was used for the course. I would say that this choice is based on the fact that the author is the Chinese co-ordinator for the SOAS language centre as the Chinese department at SOAS uses a different book to teach their beginners class.

If you are intending to self-study Chinese, I would not recommend this book. The grammar explanation are not explained clearly and do not give enough examples. There are mistakes such as incorrect tones marked - considerably more so in the second book. My classmates had the 2009 reprint of the second book while the teacher and I had the 2006 and it seemed that there were more mistakes with the later edition with missing pages, duplicates pages and some pages not in numerical sequence. You often find that exercises require vocabulary not yet covered which can be irritating to say the least. As it is, the teaching that I received at SOAS was excellent therefore with good supervision then these book are adequate.

Having read the reviews regarding the CDs, the matter of lessons being separated into their constituent parts has been rectified in the Book 1 CDs but this is not the case for Book 2. Although this could be simply pertaining to the CDs accompanying my edition of Book 2 (2006 print).

I am intending to continue studying Chinese by myself and I do not intend to use Book 3 and 4 for self-study.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have been using this book on my language course and whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone wanting to cover the basics. This is THE text book used by SOAS to teach their Mandarin Langage Course (Vol 1 and 2 used for the Beginners Course, Vol 3 + 4 for their Intermediate Course - the equivalent of 2 years study if you are doing an evening or weekend course).The CD's I have has each exercise recorded on a separate track so you can go straight to the relevant one (it would have been nice for them to indicate the track number in the text). The lessons are structured around a specific topic (eg Introduce yourself to others, Order food in a restaurant etc) with a number of exercises within each lesson that develops your grammar, reading, listening and comprehension skills. Each lesson builds on the words/characters learnt by the previous lesson so towards the later lessons, you are having to read and translate whole paragraphs of chinese - quite satisfying! The key thing we have been told on the course and that I learnt in the course of studying this volume is that you have to invest time in repeatedly writing out characters (invest in a child's etchasketch/scribbler toy if you don't want to go through reams of paper) to have any hope of recognising them. However, as with any langauge, you need to spend time practising by talking to a fluent/native speaker to get pronounciation and grammar correct.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Joaquim
I bought this book wanting to improve my mandarin grammar... as a grammar book, I'd say it's ok, but what surprised me the most is how many chinese characters I learned (about 200!) having fun reading in chinese at the same time.

The book has ten lessons,with lots of pinying tone practice which helps me A LOT, it's got some "tone discrimination" exercises, and about 20 characters to learn in each lesson, with their readings and full meanings. At the end of each lesson, you'll be rewarded with a text in simplified chinese to practice reading (from the very first lesson!). The texts get longer and longer as you progress. All in all, a great book if you want to learn how to read/speak chinese, not so good if what you want to learn is grammar.

I just can't wait to get my hands on the second volume just to keep learning characters!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Chinese whispers
An excellent text book for use in class with a teacher. It could be a little daunting if you start off on your own. Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2011 by Ms. Jacqueline Worrow
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing CD
The book is in excellent condition but without one CD it just really isn't complete...
Published on 23 Dec 2009 by Mr. Oliver H. Day
2.0 out of 5 stars chinese in steps
The book I purchased is missing quite few pages (between 8 and 25). I could not afford to return the book because my Chinese course has already started and there would not be... Read more
Published on 16 Nov 2009 by Ms. M. Wierzchowska
4.0 out of 5 stars Chinese 1
As advertised really - quite intuitive and the CDs save onto the phone as a small file so don't soak up memory but makes it readily available.
Published on 30 Oct 2009 by Mr. S. Wain
2.0 out of 5 stars Basic
As an introductory text it is passable. There are still many typing errors in the text, even in the second edition. But it does cover all the basics.
Published on 28 April 2008 by Leon Buker
4.0 out of 5 stars cd has now been changed
I have only just bought this book, so rated it with the existing average.
just don't let the cd put you off, it has been changed. cd1 now has 43 separate tracks.
Published on 12 Jan 2008 by E. Hodges
5.0 out of 5 stars SOAS book of choice
This really is a great series of books for those who are serious about learning Chinese and you'll be hard pushed to find any better. Read more
Published on 16 Jun 2007 by L. Gorick
3.0 out of 5 stars Chinese in steps volume 1
This was a good introduction to mandarin, however, the CD needs to be divided into the same stages as the book. Additionally I had problems with one of the CD's working properly.
Published on 1 Mar 2007 by suzi
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