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Ideas for my christmas wishlist


hatapota

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I wondered if anyone had any top tips for books I should ask for for christmas (as you can see, I have left it quite late...). My brothers and I are really bad at choosing presents for each other so we normally set up Amazon wishlists and get each other something from each other's lists.

I'm going to Beijing next month so will be able to buy lots of books there much cheaper - I'm definitely going to get the next level up of NCPR and lots more Chinese Breeze books while I'm there - so not these sorts of books. I was thinking of things along the lines of “Chinese Cursive Script: An Introduction to Handwriting in Chinese” and other reference type books... My Chinese level isn’t amazing but it’s not that bad, I can read/write around 1000 characters and I’m interested in etymology and sociolinguistic type things (both in Chinese and other languages).

A bit of a long shot I know – next Christmas I’m going to try to be more organised!!

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I'm reading my roommate's copy of "Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar" (Yip and Rimmington) and so far I really enjoy it; my husband's a linguist, and this falls along the lines of linguistics in layperson-speak. :) I'm thinking of asking for it as a gift via Amazon as well! I'd like to be able to mark up a copy as I go along. I'm at the advanced level, but so far I find it useful for reviewing and clarifying some grammatical points I only learned half-heartedly (or learned through speaking but could not explain to someone else) in introductory/intermediate courses. It offers more precise rules and specifications for certain things--such as when one typically uses an ordinal and when one does not (in classification or gradation 第 is normally dropped) or the rules for unmarked nouns in pre-verbal versus post-verbal situations, ETC with a few examples. So, if you like these types of books, I highly recommend.

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I'm currently working through:

Discussing Everything Chinese: A Comprehensive Textbook In Advanced Chinese (by Li-Li Teng Foti)

It's really good (covers loads of topics) but my traditional characters are not very good so it's taking longer than expected haha..I'm not sure if there is a simplified character version (if so i'll get one too!)

Have a great time in Beijing :)

Clive

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I second Chinese Cursive Script. I have the earlier (1958) version of the book called Introduction to Chinese Cursive Script, and it's great.

I asked a similar question around this time last year, and there are some great recommendations in that thread. You should be able to find cheap copies of 說文解字, 康熙字典, and 古漢語常用字字典 in Beijing.

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I would also think about making some aspirational purchases. I've recently read some books that I bought five years ago in Beijing, which were too hard at the time, but were now readable. For example, I would pick some translation off books you've already enjoyed, and purchase those as well as any native non translated books that catch your eye.

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Thanks for the suggestions! My amazon wishlist is looking much more substantial now - just have to hope that my brothers are feeling generous!

amandagmu - I have the two grammar workbooks by Yip and Rimmington (the basic and intermediate ones). I think they're fantastic with good, clear explanations. My chinese classes have always been quite grammar intensive though the explanations haven't always made total sense to me, so it's great to have these books to double-check or clarify things. "Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar" is now very definitely on my list!!

cliveloughlin - My traditional characters are dreadful too! I always underestimate how different they are and then wonder why I can't read a thing! Good luck :)

bande - Good idea. I'm going to try to take as little as possible with me to Beijing next month so I can buy as many books as possible!

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I like A Guide to Proper Usage of Spoken Chinese. It's a bunch (114 to be exact) of mistakes that native English speakers commonly make in Chinese. [Actually, I hate the book -- it horrifies me every time I read it, all the mistakes I've been making...]

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  • 5 months later...

You started off this thread mentioning 'Chinese Cursive Script: An Introduction to Handwriting in Chinese'. I bought this a while back but only this week sat down and started to study from it. What a wonderful book! It's driving me crazy at times because it uses traditional characters whereas all my learning of Chinese has been with simplified characters, but it's wonderful to find such a systematic presentation of all this. As I've struggled slowly through the first lesson it's felt as exciting as cracking any code! It's a book you have to actually use to appreciate, I think.

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