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Base7

Review of "The Big Book of Spoken Chinese"

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TheBigZaboon

I agree and second all aspects of this review: a timely review and a useful book. 

 

However I feel that there is one glaring omission in the review (and in the book). The omission in the review is not pointing out that here are NO audio files accompanying this book. There are a wealth of useful sentences (and I mean a lot, this book is huge) that could be learned easier with audio. I think any potential purchaser should know this when contemplating a purchase.

 

Just my 2 kuai. Sorry.

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tysond

I have this book.  I really like it.

 

I found when I was beginner, it was a bit tough as the sheer number of variations and topics meant lots of vocabulary was required.

You'd need to intensively study and learn the vocab for each section.  So I studied a few sections for a while, and flipped through the rest.  

Lack of audio meant I didn't invest too much time in the book. 

 

But now (roughly HSK4-ish) it's much more suitable since most of the words/characters are known and it's more about combining them and seeing how to make useful sentences.

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Base7

Since the information page on the book does not list or suggest that audio is part of the book, I did not think to mention it (perhaps I am oldfashioned in not automatically expecting a book to have audio).

 

I would not call it a glaring omission, I do not think the book suffers from it. As tysond mentions, the book is most usable for intermediate learners who already know how words are pronounced and want to learn more about how correct, natural sounding sentences should be made for everyday situations.

 

Nevertheless, it is good to be aware of the fact that there is no accompanying audio, so thanks for pointing it out!

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TheBigZaboon

I didn't mean to diss your review, it's just that, for a language like Chinese, pronunciation is so difficult for speakers of non-tonal languages, that I feel all Chinese instructional materials should be accompanied by audio. And, in general, they are.

 

This is just a pet peeve of mine. Even where audio is provided, I generally don't feel it's adequate.

 

Again, good review. Frankly, it is better, more complete, more relevant, than many of the reviews I've seen in this thread so far.

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Base7

No worries, I did not take it as criticism, just wanted to explain :) Again, I think it is good to be aware of the lack of audio, so it is a welcome addition!

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