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on 18 February 2016
Now this is what I am talking about. This is an excellent book for beginners and so reasonably priced as well. Even if I didn't know any of the language, I would pick it up in no time from using this book and the CD. I am looking out for further books by this writer. Highly recommended.
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on 18 March 2017
I can now order a Number 42 fluently in my local Chinese takeaway. 请42号 Qǐng 42 hào
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on 20 March 2014
I purchased this book before a trip to China, to learn the basics of the language.

It teaches you step by step the foundations of the language, such as numbers, introducing yourself, asking for directions, food, vehicles, small talk etc.

It's very easy to use, with many tips on pronunciation, sentences and exercises to practice it, and the audio CD is great to get used to hearing the language "in the flesh" and understand how to pronounce correctly.

This is an introduction to the language, good enough to satisfy your curiosity, and it served my purpose of learning the basics for a trip to China, to understand to make myself understood at an elementary level; I wouldn't recommend this if you want to learn Mandarin seriously, more exhaustive books are available for the purpose.
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on 4 September 2015
I have only been using this book for a week and if like me you are completely new to Mandarin Chinese then it is a great tool for getting started. It has very interesting sections explaining different aspects of Chinese culture to add context to the lessons and has a great step by step by step guide for writing characters, which makes it much less daunting! The only complaint I would say is that the lessons at the end of each section are useful but only challenge your memory of phrases as opposed to your ability to form sentences. That said I think that's because it is supposed to be for children.
Good for getting started but I will be using it alongside some other books I think.
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on 5 July 2011
My son is learning Mandarin at school and I wanted something that would (a) give him some additional support and (b) help me when he wants to practice for a test - European languages are relatively easy in the respect that the written word gives you some clue as to the sound you should hear from your child... Chinese is not straightforward.

In terms of reading I find hunting through the initial sounds section, followed by the next sounds a little time-consuming; but that isn't the fault of the book - just the complexity of translating the language into something that can be read phonetically in English.

I can't say I could learn Mandarin with this aid alone, although it is very good as a support mechanism.
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on 15 December 2013
Bought this to try and learn and bit of Chinese independently before I went out to China for a few weeks. Having now studied Mandarin for a year at uni and currently living in China I can say that the CD is great and has accurate pronunciation and the book has useful chapters with things that you are actually likely to want/need to say. A great introduction to Chinese for beginners and I still have the CD tracks on my iPod. Lots of pictures and bright colours mean that this would also be pretty good for children and there's a bit of cultural info included as well.
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on 18 February 2015
the cd with the book is brilliant to listen to or I would be pronouncing all the words wrong. Teaches you the basics - the sounds cos there is no alphabet so you need to know the pinyin pronunciation to learn Chinese, hello, goodbye numbers, how to haggle, eat out if your visiting china etc and practice short conversations spoken in Chinese or translating the English into Chinese.
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on 28 July 2015
I bought this book having a limited knowledge of Chinese, and was disappointed. It's layout is quite attractive, and it's good to push people to look at the characters from the beginning (hence the 2 stars), but I think the nice design is at the expense of the content. Some may think it's aimed at kids, but there is so little Chinese in it I think students of any age could learn all the knowledge within inside 2 hours. I'd save your money and invest in something a bit more challenging and likely to last you beyond your first day in China
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on 26 December 2014
I am taking Mandarin lessons and we use this book at the introductory level. However, my teacher has pointed out one or two mistakes so don't rely on it totally. Its a very good way of getting you into the basics of the language, and I disagree with others who have said that you do not need to learn the characters. I found that being able to recognize even a few characters made a huge difference to the way I felt about being in China, which can be so strange and "other" to a visitor otherwise.
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VINE VOICEon 25 January 2014
A beautifully produced book. The pace of the C.D is faster than I would have liked it to be but there is nothing to stop one from pausing and rewinding as necessary. So many positive comments have already been made about the book by other reviewers, it seems almost superfluous to add any more detail and therefore I won't, Trying to pronounce Chinese, via the use of this book is great fun. Suitable for young or old, in my opinion.
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