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How's it going Gharial?! 

I only have the 80's Colloquial Chinese and like it  :D. I am currently studying with Assimil Vol. 2. It makes me wonder if Colloquial Chinese 2 content compares to Assimil's 2 level, is higher, or lower. Do you know anyone whose used it before? I will probably have to order books / audio courses from China to get higher level content to learn once I finish Assimil and learn ~1,000 characters (That's if we assume that I'll retain most of the vocabulary/characters learned, haha)


Yeah, we have a healthy database of users to include their input on "Our worst or LEAST favourite books: Battle of the Krud". Actually, you were the one who warned me about Chineasy which makes it a candidate for my least favorite book (at least in the learning how to write & read category, in case we decide to have two categories: write & read and spoken & listening. It does have some very colorful pictures though). My friend has it, I could borrow it to highlight it's pros and cons and make a more fair judgment. 

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I have Chineasy and was actually planning on doing a review of this book when i have finished it. I got given it by a well meaning friend and so as I have it I thought I would give it a look.


I am about a third of the way through. When I am finished it I will start a topic with a review.


I have to say if anyone thinks this is a supposed be a serious book for studying Chinese they will be disappointed, but as a light hearted explanation of the basic concept of Chinese characters it is very entertaining.

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@Pokarface: The Colloquial Chinese 2 course is the second part of the split-level (some might whisper "spinning-it-out, money-making wheeze of a") new edition by Kan Qian. I'm not familiar enough with it, but whereas T'ung & Pollard takes one appreciably into the intermediate level, I'm assuming that KQ1 is likely up to basic/pre-intermediate (i.e. quite elementary stuff) at most, while KQ2 takes the extra volume to cover the other half (and again, probably not as well!) of what T&P managed to do in a single volume. The Assimil 2's 1000-odd character benchmark compares well with T&P but I have no idea if KQ2 introduces and teaches in the region of the 800 characters that would be needed to go beyond the barely a hundred or so in KQ1 (I forget the exact figure covered in KQ1 but it definitely isn't over 200 characters).


Re. Chineasy etc etc and the gathering Battle of the Krud, I don't think there are actually that many AWFUL books out there, it's just that often there are BETTER, or certainly better-value options, around.

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@Shelley. Indeed, I have no doubt that it is a very colourful and interesting book and that it is a great choice for children, visual learners, or someone who prefers this method instead of flashcards. These are my positive first impressions (I don't own the book, I've seen some pages at my friend's house). My first worries were that I couldn't find the stroke order and I'm not sure if it has a lesson on radicals.

Another book that explores a radical (as in awesome, not as in Chinese radicals, lol) approach is the Tuttle 800 characters book with methaphors and mnemonics. My first positive impression is that I believe it's a solid way to learn. My first funny impression is that I won't need a whole epic story on how to write easy things like, 人, 山, 不, etc。 Haha!

@Gharial, in that case, I should slow down and concentrate on my pronunciation/listening skills rather than new vocabulary (producing the Zh sound is killing me!). Yeah, there's probably not many books, but what if I ask you, what's the worst Chinese learning software? Haha! You don't have to answer, I'm just being stupid.

A little bit off topic, but speaking of pronunciation. I have a new level up video. I translated the subtitles based on what I believe I heard, so there's some funny moments and that also gives you an idea of my actual listening skills. You can hear that weird ZH sound I make.



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  • 3 months later...

@pross. Hey! In Assimil Vol 1. I'm in chapter 24,

and in Assimil vol 2. I'm in chapter 75. I think that I read somewhere that both books combined use a total of 800 characters.  

Compounding those 800 characters will definitely give you vocab of +1,600 words. This is a strong level that gives you more freedom in focusing on what you really want to learn next.


You can choose the rest of your leaning material depending on what you plan to do with Chinese. Since I just learn Chinese for fun and meeting new people, I've recently started taking 1-on-1 tutoring sessions and focus on topics that Chinese really talk about in daily life.

Since I've been learning Chinese to the point of being understood to an acceptable degree,

I now want to focus more on correct grammar and word-choice during tutoring.


Here's a preview I made on how tutoring sessions are handled @SpeakUpChinese.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT3pOtOEzoM


What's your reason for learning Chinese? Make new friends,  love of Chinese culture, desire to speak to your in-laws in their native language , business, hook-up with a cute Chinese girl or a handsome stud, study abroad, living abroad, passing the HSK? You name it!! Possibilities are endless  :D


After (and even during) Assimil think about the topics you're likely to meet while using Chinese for the reasons you intend to use it.

Select some appropriate vocabulary for that purpose and try it out on HelloTalk, WeChat, Real life, etc  :mrgreen:.


In case new vocabulary by itself is not enough. There's also graded readers at different levels with proper use.

I use the New Practical Chinese Reader 1 to learn how to write and see the sentence structures.  (it's kinda easy. I might get vol. 3 or 4).


So tell us, how are you going to use Chinese in the near future? And more suggestions will pop-up based on your goals  :D


@Eshen. You never forget your first  :P



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