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Spoken Amoy Hokkien Paperback – 31 Dec 1987

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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a good book for use in China, Singapore, Malaysia... 27 July 1999
By Warren W. Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A very good book, perhaps the only book on the language of the southern Fukianese people. I bought this book for grammatical references to my Spoken Taiwanese, and I must say that you can get details of how words are pronounced and used. The Spoken Language series are different from other language books I've read in that the former didn't seem boring to read after a while. If you want to learn Amoy Hokkien, I recommend to get this book and buy the audio cassettes with it. It's definitely worth it if you're serious about learning the language that's spoken in many southeastern-Asian Chinese community.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The accent of the narrator is wonderfully British colonial 15 Dec. 2005
By kacewang - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a definitely valuable book and set of dvds (if you get that version). I am reviewing an updated version which has the complete set of recordings in 2 boxes of dvds (2015). I am not sure whether to laugh or not when listening to the unit 1 lesson....that's halfway as far as I've gone. The reason is that you know the recording is done, au naturale, in some "native" village near an aerodrome....sounds in the background of children, knocking (on wood?), ?cooking, planes flying above, and the occasional burst of ethnic music from another mistakenly activated tape recorder!!!

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.

Have fun.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mislabeled Product 1 Feb. 2011
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
The audio cassette version of this product being sold is not the full product. It only includes some of the tapes. This product is incomplete. Be careful before ordering it. I ordered through a reseller as well as through Amazon directly and ended up with the same problem both times.
4.0 out of 5 stars great introduction to spoken Amoy Hokkien 19 April 2010
By ksiezycowy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
This text is a great start to learning Amoy Hokkien (a Chinese dialect very similar to Taiwanese as spoken in Taiwan). Unfortunately the text is somewhat dated, but then again I would think that you could learn effectively from this or the courses sister volume Spoken Taiwanese, and simply learn to correct your speech to the modern norm quite easily. After all, if you have all the grammar and vocabulary you need, and understand the language, you should be able to modify it based on how you hear others talking. The base grammar and vocabulary of any language doesn't change that quickly.

As far as my review of the lessons, please see my review of Spoken Taiwanese here on Amazon.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's a really terrible tape recording 10 Dec. 2015
By Rachel G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
I thought this would come as tapes, as advertised, but thankfully it came as CDs. Upon listening to CDs, much of the dialogue, particularly near to the end of the disks, is garbled and extremely hard to understand. It's a really terrible tape recording.

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.
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