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Which book to use?


the_p0et
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Hey there!

I was looking for some books to learn Chinese from and I'm not sure what to buy. Should I even be buying books? Classes are too expensive. I currently have the Pimsleur mp3 course and since I'm living in Taiwan, I have language exchange in person twice a week.

One Chinese person said the 2 best books to get are: Practical Chinese and Far East Everyday Chinese. I couldn't find the first one but I did find the Far East book. It looks like it's a course in itself. The student book is 600NT, and there is also a workbook, a CD and a Character guide. All of these come out to $1600NT! ($60Cnd) That seems like quite a lot to me!

What books or methods have worked well for you?

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Hi there! I used to live in Taiwan too.=) I went to Uni there for a year on an intensive Chinese language course and the books that are normally used as texts in most unis and language schools over there are the 'Practical Audio Visual Chinese' series. There are 5 main textbooks, levels 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b and 3 as well as lots of optional tapes, workbooks and so on. The most important things are the main textbooks and you should be able to get hold of them quite easily over there as they are TW publications. If it helps, they are all white!!! The main textbooks should set you back about NT$500 each and, of course, you don't have to buy them all at once, just get whichever one is the right level for you to start with and take it as it comes from there. If you've only learnt to speak but not to read thus far, you'll need to start at level 1a in order to learn the characters.

Hope that helps!

Hugs,

Elisabeth=) (UK)

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You say there are a lot of tapes, workbooks, etc... I am wondering if I need to buy those to get any results from Practical Chinese or will the main Reader book 1 be good enough? I think this is the book I saw for NT$600. I'm mainly wanting to learn conversational Chinese so I can converse with the locals in the shops, etc... Learning how to read the store signs and characters in general would help too! :wink:

Thanks.

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Hi! The texts I have that were bought only last year say NT$500 on, but I don't know about level 1. You said you'd found the Far East one, which I'm not familiar with. 'Practical Audio Visual Chinese' can usually be bought from university bookshops etc. I was there a few years ago now when the series was being revamped, but you couldn't get it in regular bookshops back then.

I think that, if you have a few TW friends who can read the dialogues etc for you, then you can skip the tapes, but you could always get them as you need them to spread the costs etc. Ditto any workbooks. Just get what you need to start with and take it from there. It might set you back NT$1000 or more, but you'd have to pay 3 times that to buy those things from abroad, so it isn't expensive really. If you're serious about Chinese, then it's a small and worthwhile investment.

What are you doing out there? Working? Teaching English?

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Yes, I'm teaching English here to pay off my student loans. I'll probably end up spending it on travel afterwards though! :lol:

I'll look for "Practical Audio visual Chinese 1a" tomorrow. Do they have CDs or VCDs with them or do I pay seperately? Did you just by the textbook or did you buy the CD/VCD too? If so, was it that much more useful?

Thanks.

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I'm sorry, I don't know about CD/VCDs. I used the level 2 books in a class at NCCU in Taipei so we didn't use the tapes much, just read the texts together. We had the homework book though which the teacher marked. I've got the complete level 3 course inc tapes and workbooks, but I haven't got around to using it yet!

Sorry I can't be more help than that on the audio side of things.

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