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ParkeNYU

Zhuyin-only Mandarin Textbook

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ParkeNYU

Why is it seemingly impossible to find a Mandarin Textbook for English-speakers that uses only Mandarin Phonetic Symbols (Zhuyin / Bopomofo) to annotate Chinese characters? In fact, the only textbook I could find that offers MPS at all is Practical Audio-Visual Chinese. I've modified the introductory section (25 pages) of the first volume to remove the Hanyu and Tongyong Pinyin content:

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15757362/PAVC1_Textbook_MPS_sample.pdf

 

I've also compiled a phonetically annotated list of all the characters taught in the first two volumes:

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15757362/PAVC_Characters.pdf

 

To remove all instances of Romanised annotation from the entire series would be a monumental task. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what format the source files were written in.

 

Is there hope for such a textbook?

 

 

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AdamD

Zhuyin is a Taiwan thing. You'll most likely find such textbooks in Taiwan (I've seen a couple), but they'll have traditional characters.

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ParkeNYU

Traditional characters, and only traditional characters, are precisely what I want.

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OneEye

I doubt you'll find anything for learners that has only Zhuyin. Textbooks from a few decades ago tended to have Zhuyin and Yale, or Zhuyin and Wade-Giles. Current textbooks will all contain pinyin, especially now that it's the official romanization scheme in Taiwan. I'm not sure I understand the point of avoiding pinyin, but to each his own, I guess.

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ParkeNYU
I'm not sure I understand the point of avoiding pinyin

 

There are two reasons:

 

1) Pinyin occupies valuable space.

 

2) Any romanisation system will be visually blended with the accompanying English translation at a cursory glance. I believe that translations and phonetic annotations should be as visually distinct as possible.

 

That being said, having a Zhuyin-only textbook seems far more viable in a digital format, wherein the user could select the desired format seamlessly.

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roddy

Valuable real estate? Is there a paper shortage?

Seriously, get over your dislike of pinyin. Any disadvantages of the system are trivial compared to the disadvantages of spending time and effort trying to avoid it and ending up with non-optimal resources. It's like delaying driving lessons to wait for an instructor with a car in your favourite shade of blue.

Or, ignore this advice and learn less efficiently.

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ParkeNYU

It's great that there are resources for learning Chinese with Pinyin, I just prefer Zhuyin. Am I alone? Why not have a variety of options?

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OneEye

You might be alone. Not in wanting to use zhuyin, but in wanting to avoid pinyin. Even if you're not, the market for a zhuyin-only textbook is certainly very small. I'd be very surprised if you found one that wasn't intended for native-speaking children.

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ParkeNYU

If that's the case, then I anticipate a future with digital textbooks. The user would be prompted to select one phonetic system out of many options, which would then be used throughout the document; the user would also be prompted to select either simplified or traditional characters. In the digital world, this would be simple to execute.

 

Ultimately, a Chinese phonetic system is merely a means to an end, which is either speaking or writing characters. Therefore, I do not see a downside in teaching and using Zhuyin as a tool of instruction and study.

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AdamD

Zhuyin is definitely better phonetically speaking, but I'm with roddy. If you're used to English, French, German, Spanish, etc., the effort to get your head around the quirks of pinyin is preferable to getting the hang of zhuyin, not to mention a whole new keyboard layout.

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edelweis

Note sure this is what you are looking for, anyway these are books from the ROC with zhuyin (some can be read online, some need to be downloaded)

http://media.huayuworld.org/interact/ebook/default/default.html

http://media.huayuworld.org/interact/ebook/default/medium.html

http://media.huayuworld.org/interact/ebook/default/hard.html

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oceancalligraphy

I'm not sure there are any Mandarin textbooks for English speakers with only 注音. The books in post #11 are from Taiwan's overseas community affairs council, and those have pinyin with 注音 because they need to match what is being taught overseas.

 

I'm sure even older books use some form of romanization - most likely Wade-Giles back when Taiwan was the only choice of a Chinese-speaking country to learn Mandarin.

 

The only place where I know a choice can be made is moedict, which is a dictionary, and the settings are only in Chinese. On the top right-hand corner, click on the gears for the settings, and in the second pull-down menu, click 注音符號, and only 注音 will show up in the dictionary.

 

My blog 來學正體中文字 | Learning Traditional Chinese Characters is a pinyin-free zone, but it's far from a textbook.

 

The materials with only 注音 that I know of are native materials from Taiwan. If I remember correctly, 注音 stops after grade 3 or 4, so any textbooks or books above that reading level will not have 注音. 自編國小一至六年級生字簿 has materials from New Taipei City for grades 1-6. It consists of character workbooks that follow the lessons from the three major textbook publishers: 南一 , 康軒 , and 翰林 . Maybe it will work as a supplement.

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roddy

"Ultimately, a Chinese phonetic system is merely a means to an end, which is either speaking or writing characters. Therefore, I do not see a downside in teaching and using Zhuyin as a tool of instruction and study."

Or, by extension, much of an upside?

 

Sorry if I'm sounding negative, and I can see your point. However, pinyin has comprehensively won the battle to be the dominant phonetic system. Use it for a year or two, then you can forget all about it, more or less. 

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Jei

I love how so many people seem to be questioning why rather than offering help in finding a zhuyin only textbook. This is something I myself am interested in. Just as I found with romaji when learning Japanese pinyin is a distraction and a hindrance in learning Mandarin. I am someone who learns languages from reading first and I find your eyes drift too easily to the romanisation if it's there slowing how quickly your reading improves. ParkeNYU if you have had any success in finding such a textbook I'd be very interested to know. My boyfriend is Chinese and I'm trying to learn so I can communicate with his friends and family who don't speak English. 

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AdamD

You’re absolutely right, and to be honest I was surprised that I’d posted this:

 

On 1/3/2015 at 10:04 PM, AdamD said:

Zhuyin is definitely better phonetically speaking, but I'm with roddy. If you're used to English, French, German, Spanish, etc., the effort to get your head around the quirks of pinyin is preferable to getting the hang of zhuyin, not to mention a whole new keyboard layout.

 

Zhuyin is all I use now, for a number of reasons I won’t go into right now. I even use physical keyboards with the bopomofo printed on them. A lot has changed in four years.

 

Your best bet for textbooks is definitely Taiwan, and being able to spend hours in an Eslite is invaluable, but I don’t know how you’d go finding and buying them online because I haven’t tried very hard. I’ll ask around though, as I’d probably use an online shop too.

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edelweis
On 4/14/2019 at 7:29 AM, Jei said:

I find your eyes drift too easily to the romanisation if it's there

So get a textbook which doesn't have the pinyin above each character of the lesson text, but on a separate page or even better, only in the vocabulary list.

Once you have mastered zhuyin, won't you encounter the same issue with a textbook that has zhuyin next to each character?

I have bunches of Taiwanese children's book with only zhuyin next to each character, but I very carefully abstain from learning zhuyin otherwise these books will become useless to me.

If you learn primarily by reading a lot, better get books that do not interlace characters and pronunciation, whatever the transcription system.

 

twbook.thumb.jpg.7edd4b94ed5f9d0e98ac2504ea53daf9.jpg

 

Edited by edelweis
added image
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ParkeNYU
Quote

if you have had any success in finding such a textbook I'd be very interested to know

 

As far as Mandarin textbooks for Anglophones are concerned, I could only find ones that also provide pinyin. I've since learned to ignore it. For reading purposes, 實用中文讀寫 is an excellent book. To be honest, I mostly use my own topolect now to read Chinese.
 

Quote

Zhuyin is all I use now, for a number of reasons I won’t go into right now. I even use physical keyboards with the bopomofo printed on them. A lot has changed in four years.

 

I'm delighted to see that you've since come around!
 

Quote

If you learn primarily by reading a lot, better get books that do not interlace characters and pronunciation, whatever the transcription system.


At a certain stage, yes, but it's still nice to have annotations for new words which later disappear when the word recurs.

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