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Where to purchase audio for textbook "thought and society" (used at IUP, ICLP, MTC...)


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2 hours ago, roddy said:

It's on Amazon.

Amazon Amazon I was on Amazon UK 




edit: rather than post again when I’m the last post anyway... I don’t even have the book but this kind of thing irks me. I emailed the book publisher to see if they’ve got any ideas. If anyone is in Taiwan they have a physical book shop. 

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Well.... you can help Amazon put more bookstores out of business, or you can support a tiny independent publisher in Taiwan.    If you buy it direct from SMC Publisher 南天書局 you'll also save 15%:


Thought and Society an Advanced Text for Spoken Chinese 思想與社會─高級會話教材

Thought and Society an Advanced Text for Spoken Chinese  思想與社會─高級會話教材
型 號: RFB008
庫存狀況: 尚有庫存 ISBN: 9789576384097
出版年份 2003
出版社 南天書局
書籍作者 台灣大學國際華語研習所
定價: NT320
售價: NT272 ( 85折 ) 

Note the most recent book is a 2003 reprint of the 1997 edition.   It's an extraordinarily unique and useful text, no matter what your interest area is.   

SMC ships worldwide.    SMC Books also has a very nice literary Bookstore with many other goodies if you're ever in Taipei.  




As for the audio... it seems once ICLP chose SMC to publish the book for them, they stopped bundling the CD with the book.   

Another problem is the audio was never really distributed to stores as a separate product:   There's NO ISBN for it. If you contact SMC please give them a kick in the pants and ask them to sell the audio. 


 Lucky Bookstore is one of the main outlets for this book seeing as they are across the street from NTNU. They had a nice stack of 思想與社會 on display last time I was there.   If I remember correctly,  I asked about the audio and the lady went in the backroom and produced a plain CD in a wrinkled old plastic sandwich bag and said it was $800NT. 

That CD looked an awful lot like a bootleg to me.   I do remember there was NO copyright or publisher's imprint on the CD, just scribble with a marker pen.     So perhaps nobody has title to the audios, only the books themselves? 

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Awesome!  realmayo got the goods!! 

 Meanwhile,   filling in some more of the blanks on the legacy of this unusual but outstanding book and audio. And how they came apart!!!


Some interesting background on this book:   The original publisher was the Inter-University program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP). It was once the premiere study Chinese abroad, due to its affiliations with NTU and Stanford and many other elite U.S. universities.  However , the IUP consortium in its entirety moved from Taipei to Beijing in 1997.  


Having lost the IUP in 1997, NTU continued administering an Advanced Chinese program without the auspices of any other universities. Still around today, known as the ICLP.   

That was certainly a devastating loss of prestigious affiliations, but the ICLP at NTU did get to keep the excellent in-house developed textbooks, and of course many local faculty. 

Sadly, ICLP doesn't seem to be able to publish revisions to the books and it's been a couple of decades now. 


I't is kind of interesting to sinophiles. The official legend of the IUP here, and ICLP's version of the breakup here.


It seems that back when the IUP was in Taiwan, there was a period during which they did bundle an audio CD with the book, e.g. 1995 edition.  realmayo, is that the one you have?


When the IUP moved to mainland in 1997, the ICLP formed and they contracted with SMC Publishers to continue printing this book for them.  Fortunately the book had gone through SIX student-tested revisions by that point, so what we have now as far as text has been really well vetted.  The major upgrade to the 1997 ed seems to be the pinyin glossary index.


TheBigZaboon alluded to a mainland version of the book earlier. I did a search for 思想与社会 but didn't see anything related. 


Then I realized, if  a book titled "Thought and Society" written by Taiwanese could get published in mainland, what would it even look like??

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Hi ChTTay  another good source is Lucky Books.  If you're ever in Taipei their bookstore is a must!   They seem to be owned by Shi Da, hence the URL  https://www.shtabook.com 


I suppose they left the 'i' out of their URL  so it wouldn't  look like "shitabook".   


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Hi ChTTay  another good source is Lucky Books.  If you're ever in Taipei their bookstore is a must!   They seem to be owned by Shi Da, hence the URL  https://www.shtabook.com 


 I suppose they left the 'i' out of their URL  so it wouldn't  look like "shitabook".   


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For completeness, this is what my edition of the book looks like - as bought from ICLP (CD included) a few summers ago: https://iclp.ntu.edu.tw/textbook/ins.php?index_id=42


My edition often uses English in each chapter's vocabulary lists - I remember one of the teachers saying earlier editions were Chinese-only but they decided to add English in order to make better use of students' time when preparing for class.


I'm curious if the audio I provided matches exactly the texts that other people have?


I hope no one coming new to this topic is under the impression that this textbook is some kind of magic bullet. It was designed to be used by teachers working to a specific methodology, with students at a certain point in their studies. The language ICLP teaches is self-consciously formal, e.g. you're encouraged to use expressions like 何以见得 instead of 为什么 on the grounds that you already know how to use 为什么 so why not get comfortable with more formal expressions that you might bump into in the future. The expectation too is that when your Taiwanese friends laugh at you for saying things like 何以见得 then you'll quickly learn what is or isn't appropriate in different contexts.


I believe the book was actually designed with audio in mind too, with students supposed to use the cassettes as part of pre-class preparation. So that's why I'm happy to share the audio, given it's not being sold anywhere.


As the link to the ICLP website above says, the book is supposed to help take you from textbooks to authentic texts. I've pasted below some text from chapter one (the one about catching cold, the audio of which I posted as a single file earlier) that's partially available online. It's maybe one quarter of chapter one. If what I've pasted below would take you an hour or two to basically memorise, so you know all the vocab and could discuss the contents of each sentence with someone - without the text or any notes in front of you - then you're probably at the right level to find the textbook useful.


What's so useful? For me it was the written expressions which I 'kind of' knew when I saw them but was never entirely comfortable with. They help make written Chinese 'flow': assuming you are completely comfortable with their use, they make reading much easier, they're signposts to the direction the sentence will take. But if you aren't super confident with their use, then you're not getting signposting function benefits that native speakers from these words, so the flow slows.










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I'm afraid this fantastic opportunity to obtain audio files I had given up hope on came along just as a project I have to work on appeared out of the blue.  Will check back with everyone Monday, as I'm having a lot of trouble downloading the files, and I can't bear to miss the opportunity, although others have been kind to me too.


I followed the 2nd chapter in my version of the book using the mp3 posted originally last week, and didn't notice any difference in the text. Whether that is true for the other chapters, I can't yet say...


My copy is the one posted on Amazon as linked by Roddy...


But the publishing and revision dates seem to match the version with the different cover shown above. However, based on the foreword in my book, and some of the explanations given above, i would guess the only difference between the versions would be in glossed vocabulary, and English vs Chinese explanations.



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@realmayo Thank you for that excellent report.  I guess it's up to us to be alert and discern what is becoming archaic or even fallen out of popular usage.   I haven't started the book yet but  I'm sure it must be extremely valuable to recognize alternate oral expressions when you come across them, such as in movies, novels, speeches, people making jokes, etc.


It makes perfect sense when you consider that IUP/ICLP was designed to train diplomats and execs who need to speak formally. 


The fact remains that even after a couple decades there's  still no advanced mandarin resource  that's been developed seems to have hit this unique sweet spot . At least not in the form of an advanced book with audio support. 


A blue cover?  I've only seen green ones before.  Now I'm really wondering which year it was. This adds to the mystery! I'm also wondering if they actually bothered to re-record the audio as this book has gone through various edition changes and moving the order of the chapters around.  The audio does have chapters in different order from my 1997 copy.  


@thebigzaboon  The good news is you don't have to download them right now.  You may need to create a dropbox account if you don't already have one, however.  It takes a minute and free.  Dropbox has a direct transfer function.  Then you could transfer them to your dropbox account instantaneously. Drop it like it's hot, 'cause in this case it kind of is... Then they can sit in your account, maybe for years, and you can download them whenever you have the time.

Also whatever you do, you do not need to actually install their application in your device. It can all be done via web interface.



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Fantastic!   A shocking read.  I'd always wondered what was the reason and terms for IUP pulling out of Taiwan.  And why at that particular point in time?  And what was the relationship between IUP and ICLP and NTU ?  

If you read between the lines, it sounds like IUP broke up (i.e. ditched Taiwan)  because didn't it want to pay up after enjoying decades of rent-free space at NTU.   Can't really blame the then-Dean for wanting to make better use of the space, but that impasse sure caused a prestigious loss for NTU and the ROC as well.

The whole section about the winds of political change seems like a lame excuse for the IUP to leave Taiwan. 

Here's something else that's hard to miss:   She used simplified characters for all of the terms in this doc, even all of the Taiwanese institutions, and even for the name of the mayor/president.   Ouch.  That really struck me coming from her of all people, as all of her textbooks were in traditional only!  And all about traditional culture, etc.

It looks like she's still got a chip on her shoulder after the IUP breakup.

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For those who've used 思想與社會 Which book did you use prior to Thought and Society? Do you think was it good preparation?
My verbal is like Advanced Intermediate or Advanced on Chinesepod.  But reading hasn't gone much beyond Intermediate since I stopped classes at the MTC. Feel I need to do  more "big" textbook work before taking on Thought and Society.    I'm thinking..
  • Practical A/V Chinese level 5   (NTNU)
  • A Course in Contemporary Chinese 4 (NTNU).  
  • Far East Level III    (Far East Press)  this one looks nice 'n meaty but I don;t know if it's good
  • Any others?   What did you use before taking on 思想與社會?
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6 hours ago, funnypuppy said:

I'd always wondered what was the reason and terms for IUP pulling out of Taiwan


Yes, I'd previously assumed it was a 100% selfish decision to ditch Taiwan by the US university/universities but it's interesting she cites the anti-US sentiment as potentially key to the move.

That link I posted appears to be part of a larger essay she wrote that appears in this book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Field-Chinese-Language-Education-U-S/dp/1138502022

Portions of it can be read via google books. The fact it's part of a larger book might explain the simplified characters.


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8 hours ago, funnypuppy said:

Feel I need to do  more "big" textbook work before taking on Thought and Society. 


If you're advanced intermediate, then you probably don't need textbooks any more. Break free from the boring texts and stilted voice recordings.

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