- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (20 Oct. 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 041508945X
- ISBN-13: 978-0415089456
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,180,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar (Comprehensive Grammars) Paperback – 20 Oct 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
I rate this 4 stars, because it does a very good job in presenting Cantonese grammar and syntax in a way which is understandable and enjoyable. But, for people who have learnt Chinese in another form, say Mandarin, don't think this is an easy book, because you can read Chinese. There is, in fact, no chinese characters in it at all. It would have been very helpful had they put them in, but over the years, having been a speaker of a similar language - Hakka, I've come to the conclusion that to learn another Chinese language from already knowing one initially, it is probably more work, but ultimately less fallable if you start anew, and not resting on your laurels just by getting the gist from Chinese characters. Often, Cantonese surprises you with constructions and vocabulary totally different to Mandarin, and Matthews and Yip's choice not to put in Chinese characters (for me at least) is sound. Some people will not like it for that reason.
Concepts are explained with many examples using Yale romanisation. Ideas are laid out in a very structured manner, as you might expect of a textbook. As said in a previous review there are no characters at all (due to the high level of inconsistency between spoken and written Cantonese), so bear in mind this is a book for people interested in speaking the language.
The only downside in my opinion was the high price of this book (probably due to the relatively specialist area). If you are seriously considering studying Cantonese however, this is the best book I've come across - the content more than makes up for this downside. If you have a more casual interest, you might find "Colloqiual Cantonese" by Keith S.T. Tong and Gregory James a good start.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
The book is also user-friendly. There are many examples which are very up-today. Moreover, the grammar in focus is on bold in the examples that help reader understanding the grammatical point easily.
I should say the book will be better if Chinese characters are provided
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