- Paperback: 638 pages
- Publisher: Spoken Language Services Inc.,U.S. (31 Dec. 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0879504501
- ISBN-13: 978-0879504502
- Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 2.1 x 27.6 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,084,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Spoken Amoy Hokkien Paperback – 31 Dec 1987
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The accent of the narrator is wonderfully British colonial, and it makes you wonder if it wasn't Bodman himself in the 1950's Malayan Village near a British RAF base (Seletar Airbase?)....makes it so authentic, but in a sense very dated in some of the topics.
For those used to the Peh-oe Ji romanization diacritic markings, there is bound to be some confusion, and negative transfer, Bodman's system has its own logic, and you can learn pretty well with it....but would be facing difficulties when later transiting to the larger corpus of Hokien works using Peh-oe Ji.
My strategy for its use is to half-ignore the romanization used, and concentrate on the way the native speaker utters the words, referring to the romanizations only in order to get some inkling about what phonetics are involved in the sounds....sometimes he does sound way too "curt", and/or a bit soft, especially at the end of some word combinations....but persistence pays if you try hard to discern and differentiate the sounds. Probably budget/opportunity considerations in the 1950's means the part played for male/female speakers are taken by the one unacknowledged male native speaker, an slight adjustment needed when listening (for those of us more used to e.g. Pimsleur or other more "sophisticated" recent language courses).
The sound drills are good for getting a handle on the seven tones (yes, seven !!!) of the language. The drill strategy used is good for helping one differentiate the isolated tones. And the descriptions/explanations of the tone sandhi (called "combination" in the dated text, but roughly means word tone changes depending on its position in sentences) is invaluable, tho you probably need to read it ten times or more and follow the drills conscientiously to get it right
I found, like all other such courses, that repeated listening and active vocalization following the native speakers, does loosen one's tongue appropriately.
Unit 12 of Vol 1 does not exist....and this is appropriately taken care of in the dvds, thankfully.
The addenda mentioned in the introduction does not exist, not in the pages indicated, nor anywhere in the two volumes of the course books. But if you just want to listen to a native speaker....that is not a bother.
A Taiwanese version exists....with updated plots. But It's currently not available here...the sound track, I mean.
In all, very useful easy-to-carry-around (if you get it all digitized) at-you-own-pace immersion program. Well worth the effort.
If you want to Listen to some good Taiwanese monologue......the Christian Bible Readings of the New Testament is available at http://www.bible.is/NANTTV/
You will need Carstairs Douglas (1899) Chinese-English Dictionary of the Vernacular or Spoken Dialect of Amoy (Free download from https://archive.org/index.php.........The Internet Archive) to follow that bible reading.......That gives currently used vocab, so am not sure how close it is to the Hebrew-Greek versions......but that's okay if you're only learning vocab and sentence structure. Get the version with Hanzi characters (Mandarin pictographs) written/added on the margins by some kind soul......I can vouch for some of the words I have referred to, but there are tons........you may also try getting Medhurst's dictionary with these Hanzi characters in its original version, but the diacritical marks/tone indicators may be slightly different.
As far as my review of the lessons, please see my review of Spoken Taiwanese here on Amazon.
All that being said, it's really nice to be able to try and learn a language which doesn't have a lot of resources.