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How many beginner books...?


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I have been using NCPR and getting near to the end. I intend to continue on to book 2 and 3.

I intend to get a grammar book soon.

But I wonder, how many of you went through another beginners book(s) to get a more complete understanding of the basics?

The process would be a lot faster. Would it be useful?

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I wouldn't bother. 


If it's common it will come back up again.  If it's uncommon it won't.  The basics will get repeated again and again in higher levels.  


Doing something different, like drilling listening skills, or revising vocabulary, or trying to read a graded reader, might help a lot more than going through similar leveled book and spending time on Ni Hao again.

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I agree with tysond. But I do think the idea of a grammar book is a good idea, I think the grammar in NPCR is adequate but could do with elaboration and more examples. Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar is popular but I prefer Schaums Outline Chines Grammar.


I did a little review of the 2 at post #84 here http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/46180-intermediate-chinese-grammar-online-edx-course/page-5



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Good points everybody. Many thanks. I don't really mind reading another beginner's book to get a different angle on using vocab. Funny how that article only came out a couple of weeks ago.

Perhaps an additional different intermediate book rather than a beginners book and then some frequency word lists would help general comprehension.

It's a bit strange with my journey into Mandarin. I actually took a break and reduced frequency of lessons but it seems not to have affected me much. Perhaps there has been some internal consolidation of knowledge (or more likely there wasn't much in my head in the first place after the lessons :) ). It's now been one year since I started. There are still significant gaps in my basic vocabulary and structure of sentences.

@Shelley. I did read your review before. Am now very close to pulling the trigger on both books on Amazon. My last option is to try the University bookstore beforehand.

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I went with the multiple book approach. As a beginner, this seemed like a convenient way for me to get more listening comprehension practice. What I used:


Assimil's Chinese With Ease

Kan Qian's Colloquial Chinese
T'ung and Pollard's Colloquial Chinese
These books follow much the same format. Each lesson is centred around an audio dialogue, with explanatory notes and quizzes. While much the same kinds of daily situations were covered by each book, the presentation style and vocabulary were different.
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How interesting! Did you feel you gained a lot of benefits from the approach?

Sometimes, I find a language has different ways of expressing the same thing - e.g. When saying where you are from, many of us are taught 来自. And you can also use 从....来 which is less frequently used. So, from your experience, do using multiple beginner/intermediate books cover these multiple expressions?

Is there a Mandarin book that teaches like this ?

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Yes. I believe spending extra time on "beginner level" material helped me. The lessons in these books are all fairy short.

I am not sure how this works for intermediate level, as im not there yet!

Which two books did you find most useful?

I have New Chinese Practical Reader.

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I originally started with NPCR1 to self study. Then after a gap of no studying, I attended a language program in China where we studied the standard Jiaocheng Hanyu books. We went through books 2-3 in that series, then I stopped attending due to work. I then used the NPCR 2 and 3 to review in my spare time. Really helped me consolidate some of that tricky grammar. Seeing the same characters and words in new context was also great.

I usually found myself just trying to remember answers and sentences when I reviewed the same book, so using a different series was great practice as it was all fairly fresh.

Now, I usually study one book slowly and review 1 or 2 different series in between. I'm currently working through NPCR 4 while reviewing from Elementary Chinese and Boya.

This approach has really helped me form a good foundation to build on. I might not be expanding my vocabulary at a tremendous speed, but whenever I do need to communicate and its within my Chinese level, I'm very comfortable.

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Most useful: Tung and Pollard's Colloquial Chinese. I just borrowed from library.

Assimil was also good.

Full disclosure, I tried NPCR 2 and didn't like it.

I ordered Tung and Pollard's Colloquial Chinese from my library too but only problem I see is that's it's only in Pinyin and no characters. And what did you not like about the npcr 2? Did you do the npcr 1 first?

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