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Colloquial Cantonese: A Complete Language Course (Colloquial Series) Paperback – 28 Apr 1994

3.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (28 April 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415082021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415082020
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.6 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 536,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

 

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Dana Bourgerie is an Associate Professor of Chinese at Brigham Young University.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
i've got about 30 cantonese learning books and would say this one, overall, is about as good as any beginners' book. on the plus side, it features: a passable glossary, clear presentation and covers most everyday situations. drawbacks are: no chinese characters, not enough repetition exercises. it seems to take approx 1 year for a beginners' class to get through the book (1.5hrs/wk tuition, along with other activities). the cassettes are crucial to get anything out of the course. Remember, the romanisation is only a means to an end (speaking). the book is geared to "situations" and as such may help to get you prepared for a short trip to HK, but it would not get you far for working or formal study. for the former, "A Cantonese Book" is more appropriate, whereas for the latter, the Sidney Lau series (difficult to get in Britain) remains, in my opinion, the best for those willing to invest the time. an excellent companion grammer is the Yip/Matthews.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a very good and sound introductory course in the Cantonese dialect spoken in south China (including Hong Kong), and elsewhere in Asia, as well as by many members of the Chinese diaspora throughout the world. Although their are considered to be four varieties of Cantonese - this course teaches the 'Yuehai' or 'standard' version of the dialect. In the official language of China (Putonghua), Cantonese is referred to as 'Guangdonghua', which translates as the 'language of Guangdong province', this is the place where the Yue people live, and the area that the dialect is thought to have developed. The British referred to the Guangdong area as 'Canton', and the Yue people residing there as the 'Cantonese'.

The paperback (1994) edition contains 248 numbered pages, an Acknowledgements section, and Introduction and 15 distinct chapters:

Acknowledgements.
Introduction.
1) Maaih-yeh - Shopping.
2) Gaaujai-Meeting people.
3) Sihou - Interests and Leisure activities.
4) Sihgaan - Telling the time.
5) Ngoihbiu - Physical appearance.
6) Gachihn - Prices.
7) Faan-gung - Commuting.
8) Keuihdeih jouh-gan matyeh?
9) Bong Ngoh jouh di yeh - Do me a favour.
10) Hai bindouh? - Where is it?
11) Giu yeh Sikh - Ordering Food.
12) Tinhei - The Weather.
13) Yifuhk - The clothes we wear.
14) Leuihhahng gingyihm - Travelling expenses.
15) Da-dihnwa - On the telephone.
Key to exercises.
Cantonese-English Dictionary.
English-Cantonese Dictionary.
Further Reading.
Index of grammatical structures.

This book is available both separately and accompanied by 120 minute audio CD that mirrors every written lesson chapter.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I would not advise anyone to use books from the "Colloquial" series if they wish to start learning a language. The learner is expected to absorb a very large vocabulary and learn a great many new structures at a far greater pace than the average person is able to do. This is hard enough for a language very similar to English, but for a difficult language like Chinese the approach used in this series is quite unsuitable for beginners.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book costs about £18, then it turns out you have to buy the audio format as well.
I'm willing to buy the audio format too, but it costs £49!!!!
It's too expensive,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8bafe378) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d43087c) out of 5 stars Great Beginner Book 22 July 2003
By brooklyngirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a good book if you really want to learn the language and have alot of time. It organizes everything by subject (time, shopping, etc.) with a list of vocabulary and dialogues. There are complete translations for any new phrases, plus they explain grammar so you really understand what you are saying and can apply it later on with new words you learn. The exercises are a little difficult until you really have a handle on the new words and phrases. You may not like this if you are going to Hong Kong and want to learn fast. This also teaches Hong Kong dialect, so there are some differences from Mainland Cantonese (my boyfriend's family is from Canton) but there is nothing that won't be understood anyway. It really explains the tones and I have been told by native speakers that my pronounciation is very good.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c14d024) out of 5 stars Only for the Ambitious 24 July 2001
By Magnus Lewan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You should NOT buy this book if: 1) you are going to Hong-Kong for a week, and want to get the basics of the language. 2) you already know Mandarin or any other language using Chinese characters.
Why? The first 10 or so words you learn are different kinds of fruit. You have to memorize all these to be able to go on to the exercises. This may be fine if you intend to get a huge vocabulary, but for most beginners, 10 different fruits are not the most urgent need. The book goes on in the same way with chunks of specialised but not necessarily useful words.
The next problem is that hardly any Chinese characters are used, so you get little or no help from your possible previous knowledge of Chinese or Japanese. I bought the book, because it provided CDs with the text, and I still think that's its main advantage. I still haven't learnt Cantonese very well, but I've started using another book (Teach Yourself) in parallel, and that helps a lot.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bc48138) out of 5 stars Great Course - Highly Recommended but not the easiest to get into if you know NO cantonese at first. 3 Dec. 2006
By M. Rhode - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I bought this system AFTER purchasing and using the Pimsleur language system and practiced both systems at the same time and found that an excellent way to pick up the language. The pace of these lessons goes quickly and the speed is a conversational speed so it is extremely helpful to have a small familiarity with the language to really excel with this course. My family is from Canton and my grandmother was my tutor as well. I would have her listen to both language courses and she as a native speaker felt much more confident with this course than the Pimsleur course, which tends to teach more formal speech. I highly recommend it. Especially a good tool if you live near a Chinatown like I do and want to be able to order food or buy items and use your conversation for everyday tasks.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bba7180) out of 5 stars "Colloquial" books are not suitable for beginners. 2 May 1999
By Marty Pilott pilott@the.net.nz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I would not advise anyone to use books from the "Colloquial" series if they wish to start learning a language. The learner is expected to absorb a very large vocabulary and learn a great many new structures at a far greater pace than the average person is able to do. This is hard enough for a language very similar to English, but for a difficult language like Chinese the approach used in this series is quite unsuitable for beginners.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8dad29f0) out of 5 stars recommended for advanced-beginner 8 Feb. 2000
By K. Okada - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book + CDs after I finished another Cantonese text for beginners. If you already have some knowledge on Cantonese, this book really helps you learning more words and colloquial expressions.
One thing I don't like about this book is that all the Cantonese sentences are written only in alphabet. If you already know Chinese characters, it is much easier to remember words and expressions if written in Chinese characters.
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