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Spoken Taiwanese

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Spoken Language Services Inc.,U.S. (1 May 1980)
  • Language: English, Tai Languages
  • ISBN-10: 0879504617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879504618
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 3.8 x 28.3 cm

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book language book I've ever seen! 10 July 2000
By Wang, Chao-Hong - Published on
Format: Paperback
I totally disagree with the other reviewers. I bought the book on the strength of their positive comments. Big mistake. This book has no explanation of pronuciation, tones, grammar, or language usage. Example:
"Have you eaten yet Mr Iu? Iu sian si ciaq-pa bue"
How would you know the pronunciation of these words? How does the romanized system work? What is the the grammar structure? You won't find any answers in this book. In Taiwanese they say Iu Mr. the other way round to English and usually put the name at the beginning of most sentences. Again different to English, where don't always use peoples names. Also, have you eaten yet is equivalent to the English, "how are you doing?" or "how are you?". It's not an invitation or suggestion to get some food. There is no valuable info like that in this book.
To cap it all, the language it uses is very old fashioned and different to how most people use Min nan hua in Taiwan today.
Sadly, I agree with the reviewers on one point. There are almost no Taiwanese language books available :O(
I taught myself to speak and read Chinese successfully, but I won't be able to make any progress in Taiwanese with book like this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to spoken Taiwanese 19 April 2010
By ksiezycowy - Published on
Format: Paperback
This textbook is a great introduction to the Taiwanese language. It is unfortunate that this book has gotten a bad reputation because of misunderstandings of it's usage. As a few other reviewers pointed out this book is meant to be used with Spoken Amoy Hokkien (2 Volume Set). Spoken Amoy has all of the relevant grammar that makes Spoken Taiwanese understandable and usable.

That out of the way, the lessons in the book are good, and the audio (though a little dated in sound) is clear and audible. The speaker (yes, there is only one speaker on the tape) seems fast, but then again it is best to listen to people the speak at a conversational level early, rather then at a slow and artificial speed. The lessons texts seem a little dense at the start, but it levels out latter on. The text is dated to the mid-80's but is still mostly relevant (I would imagine). All in all a great way to learn Taiwanese, especially seeing as there are few such texts on the English market.

The only thing I would have loved to seen is the use of Chinese characters in the text (for either Amoy or Taiwanese [or both preferably]), thus the 4 stars instead of 5. But seeing as this is still a great introduction to spoken Taiwanese, and seeing as picking up spoken Taiwanese (as is the case with any dialect of Chinese) is much easier then picking up the written form, this is still a great textbook.

As far as the age issue of the text, please see my review of Spoken Amoy Hokkien here on Amazon.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book on learning to speak Taiwanese 27 July 1999
By Warren W. Lee - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's hard to find books on learning Taiwanese but I like this one a lot. I never knew Taiwanese but I think I learned a lot from the way the material is presented. Each chapter goes through basic phrases in everyday life from eating out, visiting a small rural village, and meeting friends. This is perhaps the best I've seen on Taiwanese (Tainan dialect) because the the pronunciations from romanized words are easy compare to other Taiwanese books. The words are considered to be not modern (perhaps 1940's,1960's words are used), but the difference between that and modern Taiwanese isn't significant. Here's a recommendation: buy the audio cassettes (for listening) from the company and buy the Spoken Amoy Hokkien book (for grammatical reference). Buying these would significantly improve your Taiwanese instead of just having the book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defense of book 29 Aug. 2012
By Afu - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The reveiw which says that this book is worthless is unfair. There is an accompanying audio for the book, and this makes the book very useful. Audio and visual material are both necessary to learn a foreign language with any degree of fluency. The audio for this book is available on tape or disc.
It is very easy to follow this book while listening to the audio, and I consider it a valuable asset to my language learning materials.
3.0 out of 5 stars In response to Chao-Hong Wang, Spoken Taiwanese is book ... 17 Feb. 2015
By David Chen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In response to Chao-Hong Wang, Spoken Taiwanese is book 3 of a series. It is preceded by Spoken Amoy Hokkien Volume I (book 1) and Spoken Amoy Hokkien Volume II (book 2). Book 1 discusses tones and phonetics. Nicholas C. Bodman books have their own Romanization System that is distinct from the original Chuch Vernacular Romanization (POJ). I am currently publishing a handbook that covers top five Taiwanese Romanizations used, including Bodman's.
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