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Rough Guide Phrasebook: Mandarin Chinese [Paperback]

Rough Guides
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

3 Oct 2011 Rough Guide Phrasebook: Mandarin Chinese

The Rough Guide Phrasebook: Mandarin Chinese is the definitive phrasebook to help you make the most of your time in China. Whether you want to book a hotel room, ask what time the train leaves or buy a drink from the bar, this new phrasebook will help you communicate with the locals in no time with a dictionary of over 5,000 words. The free audio downloads, recorded by native Mandarin Chinese speakers, can be downloaded to your computer or MP3, allowing you to listen to the correct pronunciation of essential dialogues, ideal for practicing before you go or while you're there. There's even a regional pronunciation guide and Rough Guide travel tips, so wherever you are you can get around and speak the lingo. The Rough Guide Phrasebook Mandarin Chinese has an extensive two-way dictionary packed with vocabulary and a helpful menu and drinks list reader, perfect for choosing the right dish in any restaurant. With this phrasebook in your pocket you'll never run out of things to say!

Make the most of your trip to China with The Rough Guide Phrasebook Mandarin Chinese

Frequently Bought Together

Rough Guide Phrasebook: Mandarin Chinese + Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook & Dictionary (Lonely Planet Phrasebook: Mandarin) + CostMad 3/2 Pin to 2/3 Pin China Converter Convertor Travel Visitor Adaptor Adapter Plug - Ideal for Visitors Travelling to China
Price For All Three: 14.08

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 4 edition (3 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848367333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848367333
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 10.4 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 473,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


These phrasebooks don't discriminate - everyone travelling to the countries covered would benefit. (Geographical Magazine)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate 20 Aug 2013
I bought this phrasebook for my son, who knows no Chinese and is about to spend two months in China teaching English. As I left the shop I had a quick flick through (I have a degree in Mandarin) and noticed that the very first entry in the Basics section is wrong. It correctly translates 'yes' as 'shi de' (literally: it is) but gives the characters for 'wo men' which means 'we'. It may be that everything else in the book is correct but I took it straight back without checking.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't go to China solo without this book. You need to know some simple Mandarin & especially the numbers & other simple phrases 20 Nov 2011
By brian komyathy - Published on
If you want something for emergencies and/or desire a phrasebook to use for its written sentences/requests/words; with an intention of showing such written words to others when you need help, THEN a Rough Guide Phrasebook IS NOT FOR YOU. (In such a case consider a Berlitz or Lonely Planet phrasebook---both of those are better for worst-case emergencies such as going to a doctor, etc., but if you want to say I want 2 beers. How much is this? Do you have this in Red? Go THAT way to a taxi driver and you want to eat in a non-tourist restaurant then Rough Guide Mandarin will be more useful to you. (This phrasebook also includes MP3 audio to help you practice useful phrases too.)

Rough Guides are structured completely different from most phrase books: The first several dozen pages give you numbers, days of the week, time, etc., and a 20 minute course in grammar. Oh no, you might be saying, but it is presented very simply. For instance it presents a handful of common verbs and their conjugations. So on one page you can see how to say "I have," "he has, "etc. and "I like," "he/ she likes," etc. The rest of the book is split between, in this case, an English-Mandarin dictionary, a Mandarin-English dictionary (to show to others if need be) and a 20 page menu reader. What makes the English-Mandarin dictionary pages unique, though, is that most every other page (at least) has dialogue boxes relating to the most useful word(s) on that particular page. For instance, when you thumb through the book for the word "live," you get the word itself, but also the phrases "I live in..." and "Where do you live?" It'll take you 10 minutes to find such a phrase in Berlitz or Lonely Planet in their "getting to know others' section. But because Rough Guide is structured as a dictionary, with hundreds of really useful phrases highlighted in boxes within, you can access something you want to say rather swiftly...and actually deliver it just a minute or so after looking for it. Add the grammar section, where you learn useful verbs and the number section, and you can learn easily to chat with someone about where you are from, where you are going, where you have traveled thus far, what you like/liked, and so on. Likewise, knowing have to say "have" makes it easily to ask whether a hotel has rooms, whether the room has a shower (after thumbing through the book for the word for shower), etc. And when the answer comes back that the hotel doesn't have it (in Mandarin this sounds like "may- yo"), or does have it (in Mandarin this sounds like "yo") you can actually catch what they are saying.

If still not persuaded, next time you're in a bookstore compare a Berlitz, a Lonely Planet, and a Rough Guide language phrase book side by side. Lonely Planet Mandarin, for example, is basically several pages of basic grammar followed by many sections of phases you won't likely ever use. For instance, the guide provides several pages each of lists of occupations, nationalities, items of stationary, colors, insects, flowers and so on. Also provided are pat phrases to employ at a hotel's front desk, at a doctor's, at the optometrist, and eating out, among other mini-sections. The book, in effect, is set up to be taken out to be used once a day, if that. It's an improvement on Berlitz phrase books, but not by much. (Berlitz simply divides their books into 10 or so color coded sections such as: "sightseeing," "relaxing," "shopping," traveling around," "money," "eating out," etc.)

So, if you just want a book for emergencies (say, breaking a leg, etc.) then Berlitz and/or Lonely Planet phrase books will serve you your pocket until you are faced with such a situation, since they do have many more specific terms (like 50 different parts of the body), but if you really want to be able to say some things in Mandarin on a daily basis during your trip you'll be much better served by Rough Guide Mandarin. And don't miss trying spicy food (spicy sounds like "la" in Mandarin--lada? Is is spicy? Bu la---no, it isn't)! If going in the summer check out pretty much anyplace, but go someplace other than Shanghai and/or Beijing, as well (if you want to see the real China). If going in the winter between December and March don't miss the crazy ice sculptures that the Northeastern city of Harbin is renowned for. PS: Chinese folk call their version of vodka "white wine." It is more akin to lighter fluid. Try it, but be aware that it is nothing like wine and have a beer handy and at the ready to wash it down. Cheers (or in Mandarin cheers sounds like "gom-bay")!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is worthless 4 July 2013
By Benjamin Kant - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Contrary to the 5-star reviews, I found this book absolutely worthless. For one thing, most of it is composed of a simple dictionary, which is worthless by itself as it has such a limited amount of words, and a simple Langenscheidt pocket dictionary has so much more. The phrase book part is then limited to about 40 pages, and whether they contain some useful expressions is meaningless because they are all given in pinyin only, without the Chinese characters. Guess what: Chinese is NOT a European language, and unless you are an expert in accurate pinyin pronunciation you will not be understood at all when you say any of the phrases in the book. The best way to use a phrase book is to have all three: your language, pinyin, and the Chinese characters. So that when you say something most likely stupid you can then point to the characters and be understood (oh, that is what you meant - got it!). Get these 2 books (besides the Langenscheidt): China Survival Guide by Herzberg and the Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook. Besides, get yourself a Chinese-speaking person to accompany you everywhere, until you learn the language well enough to convey and receive information (six months for me, if I wanted to). Be prepared for a major culture shock if you think you can survive in China with this phrasebook (or any phrasebook, for that matter).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive 8 Aug 2013
By Savvy Shopper - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have gone through this book highlighting words and foods that I think I will need for my up and coming trip to China. It's a good manageable size and contains everything I was looking for.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little handy book! 15 Mar 2012
By Irene - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is compact but you can learn the basics in a short period of time. You can also download free MP3 to practice your pronunciation. Recommended!
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok 13 July 2013
By Sherry - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was ok. It is hard to just read Mandarin and not hear it so I wouldn't buy it again, in any language. The book itself came in great shape, but I do believe you need to hear and not read. That was my mistake.
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