Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars chinese for today book 1, 29 April 2008
This review is from: Chinese for Today: Student's Book Level 1 (Beijing Languages Institute) (Paperback)
If ever there is a Titanium standard for learning Chinese then this is world champion. I would urge anyone who wants to learn Modern Chinese to fluency to BUY THIS BOOK NOW. There are a total of 447 pages with copious exercises to develop your fluency in reading writing and speaking Chinese. The ultimate accolade for any language book is for the student to be understood in the target language and this will do just that and more and the best is that you enjoy learning so much that you don't even KNOW your learning the language!!!. Forget all the old tales that you can't learn the language or that you can't learn the writing as using this book will show you that is total fantasy. There are 4 CD's to accompany the first book and all are in the Chinese language by Native Chinese people. You will not get American speakers as is often the case with other language. From Lesson Two you will hear the language spoken at real speed to get your ear trained to the real time spoken word. 35 graded lessons each adding to the last will develop you fluency to a very high standard. In closing this book and cd's WILL make you a very very good speaker of Chinese. Book two of the series WILL DEFINATELY MAKE YOU A NATIVE SPEAKER. That is no idle boast
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jul 2010 23:43:29 BDT
C. Dragon says:
You cannot become a native speaker in any language from 2 books and definitely not in Chinese. Not even a graduate student in Chinese will call him/herself (near) native and will probably balk at calling him/herself very fluent. According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State Chinese is a category 3 language and this means that it takes at least 88 weeks (2200 class hours, 55 full time workweeks) to attain General Professional Proficiency. As comparison: closely related languages like Danish, French and Portugese take 23 weeks (575 class hours) to achieve this. So this native speaker remark is pure nonsense.

Anyway. Maybe this book is really a good way to learn Chinese but unless you've got perfect pitch I would not recommend learning Chinese from CD's and a book because Chinese is a tone language. Chou (3rd tone) means ugly, Chou (4th tone) means smelly, for example. And nearly all syllables have their own tone (out of 4) and it is wise to have a teacher correcting your pronunciation otherwise it will be very hard for a Chinese to understand you.
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