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A course in colloquial Chinese idioms


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I have just inherited "A course in colloquial Chinese idioms" + CDs Has anyone used this book before? Could you please tell me how useful it is. It looks frighteningly difficult for "a course". Thank you

Flynn Frogg

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  • 2 years later...
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Just trolling around and I found your post. I hope it's not too late to answer your question, but, as you have already said, this book is for a much more advanced level than you were at in January of 2012 (beginner). I would guesstimate that it would only be appropriate for, at the earliest, the third year of university in the US, and that may be optimistic. I don't know about the levels in Australian universities, although I have been quite impressed by people I have met  who studied Japanese or Indonesian there, so maybe it is appropriate for this level.


The book has a bit better English explanations (and translations) than the usual textbooks for each of the idioms, but I have found that a lot of the examples given to illustrate the individual idioms need the input of a native speaker to be understood, either because there is a cultural context involved, or because another idiom is used in the example sentence. Also, there are no translations or pinyin for the dialogues or the examples. There is also an awful lot of content in this book, with long dialogues containing an average of between 20 to 25 idioms per dialogue, and at least three (I think) examples per idiom. 


Having said that, if you can master the content in this book, your Chinese will be far and away the better for it. I hope you have kept up your Chinese studies  since your original post, if so, I also hope you haven't given up on this book. It is a goal well worth aiming for in the future, in spite of my rambling and discouraging comments.

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  • 3 months later...

Wow a reply after 2 years!  Thanks for your helpful words, TheBigZaboon.  I should be in a better position with regards to Chinese but the truth is that I have slacked off considerably since the above post. 

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