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Textbook for after Intermediate Chinese


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I have just recently finished Yong Ho's "Intermediate Chinese." I have read several other books and am a relatively good speaker (listening is a big problem for me). I am wondering if anyone can recommend a Mandarin Chinese textbook for me, now that I am done with "Intermediate Chinese." I am clueless what I should be reading now. I am looking for a focus on conversational chinese, although still with some emphasis on written chinese. If anybody has any suggestions, I would be very greatful. Thank you.

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I haven't used that book before, but is it more of a guidebook for Chinese with some short exercises? Maybe you should try one of the readers, like NCPR.

Chinesemall.com has a lot of cds/tapes that train you in listening skills. I think you could stock up on enough material to last a nuclear winter.

How was the Yong Ho book? I have the Beginner's Chinese version by him, but haven't cracked that open. I've been using Pimsleur, on unit 27 level 1, will do the FSI Resource Module on Pronunication after that, pick up Pimsleur level 2 thereafter, and then simultaneously to Assimil while finishing Pimsleur set. I move to China in 6-8 months, so I'm studying Mandarin like a machine before I go.


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There is an enormous or at least very big gap between lower intermediate (500 - 1000 characters) and advanced (ability to read Chinese newspapers and read literature).

I have covered about 10 beginners' textbooks, I know passively about 1,200 - 1,500 characters but I am a way off from being able to read easily books on a native level.

I still need to continue with some simple readers. Hoping to finish NPCR and build up my vocab. I am on book 3 now but using other readers/materials as well.

Myann23, BTW, you can't learn to read with Pimsleur or FSI but you will spend a lot of hours on both. Learning words should be combined with learning characters, IMHO, at least on recognition level. Even if you want learn speaking faster Pimsleur is very slow going, use FSI instead.

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Atitarev - That's actually another thing I regret not doing when I first started learning Mandarin (besides not learning pinyin) a few months ago. I just downloaded ZDT and imported Pimsleur Mandarin Level 1 words into it. It would have been better to learn them simultaneously I one fell swoop I agree.

So you think I should completely ditch the rest of the Pimsleur sets and focus on FSI? I do have a feeling that Pimsleur is slow, and I can see myself possibly getting really really bored with it in the middle of Level 2, Unit 4.

My Pimsleur method is doing each lesson 4 times, and then moving on. I've been doing Pimsleur 1-2 hours a day (yes, studying like a madman) so I usually feel satisfied to master 1 lesson a day, and then move on. Sometimes though I do it twice a day, making my progress slower. I am going to China in May/June though, so even if I repeat a lesson twice and day and do each lesson for a total of 4 times, I should be finished the set before I leave.

Also, a tactic I use is playing Madden football on my Playstation while listening to Pimsleur - Kinda makes it less more and makes the time go faster. :mrgreen:

Have you used Assimil Chinese Made Easier? I'm really curious about what other people think about this program. It's gotten a lot of positive talk on the forums here - http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/default.asp - but there has been little talk about it in Chinese Forums.

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No, I haven't used Assimil Chinese Made Easier.

Don't think Pimsleur was wasted for you, you get more confident and it really sinks in, since you have to repeat the same stuff over and over again but if you feel upto it move to more complex stuff, I'd say Pimsleur is good for people who never learned a foreign language before and have no idea how to do it and for aged people. It might be OK at the VERY beginning too to get more confidence.

Another benefit of Pimsleur you can do it on the go - you don't need a book next to you. Many audio courses lack this feature - Chinese phrase followed by translation, so you don't have to read anything, just listen and concentrate on the sounds.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. Please keep the ideas coming. My knowledge of characters is quite limited, although I can usually recognize them pretty well. What I am looking for is a book that emphasizes conversational chinese, with English, pinyin and Chinese transcriptions, along the intermediate level. Yong Ho's book deals with topics such as marriage, the internet, writing home, and so on. It is more advanced than "Hello" and "family" and so on, but it is not quite at the level of normal intermediate, which is what I am looking for. Thanks for the help.

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I'll throw my usual recommendation out then: David and Helen in China available from Amazon or Yale Press.

It's about $75 but is two textbooks that cover entire second year... It's got the right amount of vocabulay, solid grammar and sentence patterns, tons of audio included on MP3 CD and Doctor Zhang has both posted in these forums and in my experience always promptly responded to emails if you have any problem.

Good preview option = The audio is available on the internet and I believe Amazon lets you look inside the first chapter to see if it's at the level you're looking for.

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