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Chinese textbook recommendations for beginners - Part 1

waveChinese 6th September 2016

<Chinese Made Easier> Book 1 (second edition) 

《实用速成汉语》第一册,第二版

Chloe's view:

1. Why did you choose <Chinese Made Easier>?

It's a good starter textbook for beginners. The grammar is clearly explained and logical and the lessons are fairly practical, focused around daily conversation.

If you would like to learn how to write or recognize characters, this textbook is designed to reduce your dependence on the pinyin from lesson 6, with 8 characters to learn in subsequent chapters. The pinyin of learnt characters also disappears in the following lesson.

Many Chinese textbooks are designed to be taken as part of formal courses - and can be a bit stuffy - but this one is far more suited to practical, everyday Chinese.

2. What might you want to be careful about?

The Chinese characters are simplified only (mainland), which means it's not suitable for studying or working in Taiwan or Hong Kong where they use traditional characters.

Some of the words are a little outdated. It was published in 2007, and as an example, in lesson three the words ”yóujú 邮局”(post office) and ”ɡuàhàoxìn 挂号信”(registered letter) are rarely used in China nowadays. You may need a teacher to supplement the words, e.g. for “kuàidì 快递” (express delivery) which is commonly used now in China.

3. Anything else?

On average there are 30 words, 3 grammar points and 3 dialogues in each lesson. It's content rich, so it's best to have some dedicated time to Chinese and to be prepared to enjoy the challenge...!

There's a few more bits below, but hope this review has helped !

Chloe

Basic stats
Suited for: New learners
Author: Martin Symonds, Tian Haohao
Publishing house: Shaanxi Normal University Press
Number of pages: 302 

Content of this textbook:
Vocabularies: 308
Chinese characters: 40
Grammars: 32
Topics: 10
(1) Introducing Yourself
(2) The Classroom
(3) The Post Office
(4) The Market
(5) Describing
(6) Telling the Time
(7) Days & Dates
(8) Giving Directions/Address
(9) Getting Public Transport
(10) Eating Out

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