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I have too many books about Studying Chinese... how about you?


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I've been studying Chinese since 2000... not long... but I've accumulated tons of books on how to study Chinese or related to the Chinese language over the years... But I study very few of them.

I study maybe one or two.

Just wondering what you all think about that and if you have the same "problem" too.

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I've always thought that people spend way too much time talking about or looking for the perfect Chinese language book. If you have a decent book in your hands, stop looking and start learning. No matter how bad the book, if you know what's in there, you know way more than you did before.

Can't say I have collected many books on the topic, although I do have quite a few HSK books sitting on my shelve that I have never opened and if I am lucky enough, never have to open.

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I'm in a similar situation - been studying since about 2000, and have accumulated loads of books.

One problem is that most of my books are in the UK whilst I'm in China. Therefore I can't look at them even if I want to.

I initially purchased them because I thought once I'm back in the UK, I won't have the same kind of access to these materials as I have here in China. But as my time in China gets longer, and the prospect of returning is fairly distant, those books sitting in the UK are becoming more and more redundant.

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  • 4 months later...
unfortunatly it's easier to buy books than to study them

This is so true.

Also, it's easierr to buy food than to eat it. And it's easier to buy makeup than to use it.

Too bad it's so much easier to spend money than to earn it. :mrgreen:

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Same here, I have almost every textbook series for preschool through college.

But I constantly loan them out to my fellow teachers, so at any given time only half my books are actually here.

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Let me have a look. I started dabbling in Chinese some time in 2001, I believe. I have:

10 textbook from 4 different series

3 paper dictionaries

1 HSK preparation book

1 book with character etymologies

1 copy of "The Chinese Language" by DeFrancis.

So it's not too many. I'll need to invest in a good grammar book and possibly a book on chengyu one of these days.

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I spent too much time, rather than money, downloading free stuff and studying opinions and reviews of Chinese textbooks, software, etc. But, after a few false starts, it is very nice to be "settled", having full confidence in my materials.

I don't regret purchases that helped me decide *against* some line of study. Some of this is inevitable since reviews are only opinions reflecting others' tastes and priorities.

I finally settled on a series intended for children, "New Concept Chinese for Children" BLCUP, with (adult) audio. But you see, no review alone could have led me there; it was unexpected, and cost me some trial and error.

But if you don't want to spend/risk any money I'm certain, thanks to this forum, that a fully satisfactory, top quality program can be assembled for free. (fsi, pep yuwen, pthcs test, transcripts/flashcard sets for the most popular books, etc.)

Edited by querido
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I have an obsession with buying books about studying Chinese. :lol: So far I've accumulated more than I could possibly read during the summer vacation, and I'm sure that when the new semester starts, I'll go into my book buying frenzy again.


If you're looking for a good grammar book, consider 实用现代汉语语法 by 刘月华 and 外国人实用汉语语法 by 李德津. I have both and so far they've been perfect references. They both have exercises with answers at the back, and the latter is written both in Chinese and English.

Edited by Don_Horhe
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There's this bibliophile tradition running in my family - I grew up surrounded by books in many languages, so I guess it's in my blood. Can't help it! :oops:

But there's one great thing about buying books in China which no one here mentioned and which makes you want to buy more and more (even if you never read them) : they're very affordable (I just don't feel like using the word cheap to refer to books)

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