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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"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.
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.
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.