Chinese-English Frequency Dictionary: A Study Guide to Mandarin Chinese's 500 Most Frequently Used Words Paperback – 1 Dec 2001
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This text acts as both a traditional dictionary and a teaching guide to Manarin Chinese, providing meaning and gramatical explanations for the use of each word. Entries are presented in both Chinese characters and roman letters with pinyin transcription. There is also a pronunciation guide.
Top customer reviews
I recommend it for all beginners, wishing you good luck and a lot of fun ;-)
500 of the most frequent characters in simplified Chinese, arranged in descending order from the most frequent.
For each character, there is a list of major meanings and usages, together with sample phrases.
For the beginner, this streamlines your learning experience - so that you know that, if you study systematically, you are studying in the most efficient manner.
This supplements other textbooks. You will almost certainly still need an ordinary English-Chinese, Chinese-English dictionary and a coursebook too.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Just one example, for zong3 (frequency 152): Four meanings are given, and 9 compounds (e.g. zong3delai1shuo1 'generally speaking'). For each meaning there is a sentence, e.g. for the fourth meaning 'sooner or later, eventually': wo3 zong3 you3 yi4tian1 hui4 you3 zi4ji1de fang1zi ("sooner or later I'll have my own house"); all the characters in this useful sentence are also in the book, and although the grammar is not explicitly explained here (as it is for 'grammatical' entries such as the de's) the structure is simple enough to infer it. This example also shows typical uses of hui4 and you3; so this sentence reinforces the discussions of those characters, which are easy to cross-reference via the alphabetic index.
Stroke order and radicals are not the point here! Get Tuttle "Reading and Writing Chinese" for the first and a good dictionary for the second. The beauty of this book is that it emphasizes the most *frequent* (as it says) characters, so you can most rapidly approach fluency in common speech and reading, only having to look up the less frequent characters.
The text does not waste words and is concise, similar to Beginner's Chinese by the same author. Main complaint: perhaps in an effort to maintain compactness, the text is tiny (about 8 point type) which is a little small for clearly seeing the details of the characters if you are not already familiar with them (and if you are, you probably would not need this book!).
This book is useful because most beginning texts introduce new words showing only one usage. Chinese has its most common characters in many ways, and this book shows a few of the colloquial usages, all very interesting. Highly recommended for serious learners.
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