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Reading & Writing Chinese: Simplified Character Edition Paperback – 31 Oct 2003

3.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; 3rd edition (31 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804835098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804835091
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 694,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

This is a completely revised and updated new edition of Tuttle's classic Reading & Writing Chinese. This edition focuses on the simplified characters now universally used in mainland China and Singapore, and which are the primary goal of almost all learners. The traditional characters still used in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and in older literature, are also included in order to furnish a complete reference.


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful insight and learning aid for basic and advanced Chinese reading and writing of characters. With brief explanations of pronunciation and containing Pinyin equivalents for each word, I have found no better guide for writing Chinese. Fully indexed in Pinyin and Chinese with brush strokes and correct order.
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Format: Paperback
If you want a concise book on how to write Chinese then this is the book for you. The first 1062 Chinese words come complete with the definition and brushstroke diagrams to teach you the correct method of writing in Chinese. Great book for beginners or for those who have 'forgotten' over the years to write in Chinese.
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Format: Paperback
What so many books forget is how difficult it can be to read chinese characters in normal print size unless you have spent a few years in the subject. This is a catalogue which with a bit of practice will lead you swiftly you find what you need. I would consider it an essential for anyone learning to write the language.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a learning tool and not a reference book. It is very easy to use with clear layout and presentation of the characters. This book is just very handy to have with you, especially when you are in the memorization phase of your first 1000 Mandarin Chinese characters.

Roughly the given characters follows a bit the learning order for beginners of Mandarin Chinese and it builds up to more complicated (and lesser used) characters.

The book gives 1067 characters (with about an additional 2000 characters but those are smaller listed).
Each page gives 5 characters.

For each character the following is given:
1. The character itself
2. Character serial number
3. Stroke count
4. Stroke-order diagram
5. Pinyin: pronunciation and tone
6. Character definition
7. Radical information
8. Radical number
9. Hanyu Shuiping Cihui..list
10. Character explanation
11. Other words with the character combinations (with pinyin-pronunciation, meaning and HSC list)
12. Traditional character

Personally I liked using this book to master the first 1000 characters (and beyond). Very handy as memorization tool! I would suggest though using this book as additional secondary tool to learn Mandarin Chinese.
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By A Customer on 21 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
Not bad, and quite helpful. Useful as a basic written Chinese-English dictionary and as a learning aid for reading printed characters. However, there is a problem in that the indices at the back don't show simplified characters (at least, not in my version!). Since it is aimed at beginners, this is slightly problematic since a few of the common simplified characters look quite different to the traditional characters: e.g. the characters for "book" (thing that you read) and "Han" (Chinese ethnic group). If you're learning Mandarin and working with books from mainland China, this is a slight problem - a shame, really, since it wouldn't've been difficult to list both forms side-by-side in the indices. For some reason, the "character usage" portion of each definition emphasises phrases: it would have been more practical to have emphasised some of the commoner two-character words. The book would then have been even more useful as a beginner's dictionary.
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Format: Paperback
This lovely book lists a couple of thousand characters, but unlike its sibling (which concentrates on traditional forms) the emphasis is on those simplified variants promulgated by the Chinese government to promote literacy at least from the 1950s. These shortened characters were subsequently adopted by Malaysia and Singapore in the 1980s.
Each page holds a few 'letters' which are individually presented according to how they should be written. This is definitely not a workbook though. Sizing of the graphic is no problem and confusion is avoided by the use of block illustrations,ie. cursive strokes which you'd get with native or highly-adept speakers and writers of Chinese are a no-no.
Variant meanings come under the relevant character and the Pinyin index affords a quick lookup - making this good value book also useful as a beginning Chinese-English dictionary. In the main trunk of this physically lightweight tome - and within each character's allocated space - there's an illustration of the traditional version should this be different.
What's probably most important for the new learner is that with the index she'll be able to learn the writing simultaneous to any class she's attending, which will probably most likely just concentrate on the Pinyin transcription regardless of the (few) number of charcters introduced. If you're already familiar with some of the rules regarding stroke order, and are torn between this simplified version and the other traditional volume, I'd personally recommend that you obtain the latter since I've never had any problem with learning how to write simplified Chinese after I've studied the traditional forms. The former are in many cases just truncated versions of the older, literary characters.
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Format: Paperback
At the outset you should realize that this book exists in two slightly differing forms. One provides instruction on simplified Chinese characters, and the other deals with traditional forms used in Hong Kong and Taiwan. This review is in relation to the latter 'traditional' version.
The volume isn't so much a dictionary as a handbook, although with the Pinyin index at the rear it'll be adequate for that purpose. That said the entries in the main body don't provide anything in the way of example sentence structures which you'd imagine is de rigueur for lexicons. What are included are variant meanings. And though initially tricky the additional stroke index also permits a search for characters where you don't yet know the attached pronunciation.
The multi-use value of McNaughton's public-transport friendly volume is the inclusion - on both the front and back inside covers - of radical lists. The front section presents the traditional ordering of roots; this is tied in with the Pinyin index and quite straightforward to use. The list at the back transcribes how the Han-Ying Cidian/The Chinese-English Dictionary arranges things. The author states that this latter group might be more useful for the learner. Incidentally, he recommends learning both.
As I suggested this isn't really a workbook, and you'll definitely struggle to cram in your calligraphy if that's what you're intending. Even so the book presents each character at a more than sufficient size, with the stroke order in separate boxes to aid learning.
Also for all characters here (several thousand in fact) there'll be - at the bottom right corner of each rectangular box - the simplified version should it differ from the traditional form.
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