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This is a complete Vietnamese language course designed for college or high school–level classroom use or self–study.
Since its publication in 1998, Elementary Vietnamese has become the leading book for anyone wishing to learn Vietnamese, and an invaluable resource for people traveling, studying or working in Vietnam. This beginner Vietnamese book was originally developed for classroom use at Harvard University, where it has been field-tested for many years. This revised Third Edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect recent developments in Vietnamese speech patterns and culture over the past decade.
The main focus of Elementary Vietnamese is to assist learners in developing basic skills in listening, speaking, writing and reading the language. It serves a secondary function as a general introduction to modern Vietnamese society and culture, with dialogues, cultural notes, exercises and readings drawn from contemporary life and popular media there. Elementary Vietnamese is designed for effective self-study as well as for use in a college-level classroom.
Features of the Third Edition include:
Introduction: An outline description of the Vietnamese language, its sound patterns,
dialectal variation and writing system.
Pronunciation Guide: In recognition of the difficulty spoken Vietnamese presents to
beginning students, eight initial units present a thorough introduction to
pronunciation, with clear descriptions of vowel sounds, tones and spelling
15 lessons: Each has a topical focus and introduces specific items of grammar and usage by way of short dialogues and narratives accompanied by vocabulary listings and full explanatory notes. The language is practiced by means both of drills to ensure accuracy and of more flexible communicative exercises. New in this edition is an extra lesson to fit the material more closely to a full academic year in US colleges.
Glossaries: Vietnamese-English and English-Vietnamese reference listings of all the
Posted July 13, 2007
The previous reviewer entirely missed the purpose of this book.It is NOT a travellor's text or a quick and easy business phrase book but it is a comprehensive level COLLEGE level text not meant for the casual user. For such a purpose intended for the academic classroom it is an excellent choice.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2006
This book made quite a good impression on me when I saw it in a bookstore. After purchasing it-and the accompanying CDs for an additional $99- and studying it, I found that I had made a very bad mistake. I feel that this book is not the way to go if you want to learn Vietnamese, for the following reasons:1. The book is aimed exclusively at an academic audience and will be of next to no use to anyone who wishes to learn Vietnamese for business, tourism, or out of cultural interest. Entire chapters are devoted to Vietnamese vocabulary pertaining to dormitory life and classroom terms. The focus on academia is almost comical at times. What kind of a language textbook teaches you how to say 'She's defending her doctoral dissertation' and 'Harvard University was founded in 1636' before teaching you how to say 'It's hot today, isn't it?' or 'What should we have for lunch?' 2. The 8 CDs (sold separately available from the author) that go with the book are downright awful. On 8 CDs, I expected extensive dialog practice and useful grammar drills. Instead, I found that two of them were dedicated entirely to sound practice. The dialogs were read only once with no time for repetition or breakdown of the vocabulary items. After the dialog is read once, the grammar explanations in the textbook are read on the CDs-word for word-in English! I certainly did not pay $99 to have the English sections of the book read to me as if I were illiterate. 3. As I mentioned above, the CDs devote a huge amount of time to pronunciation practice, as does the first part of the book. In itself, pronunciation practice is undoubtedly a good thing, but Vietnamese is not entirely a phonetic language, and so associating a certain letter combination exclusively with a certain sound early on in one's study can be most counterproductive later on. Also, I think two hours of repeating isolated syllables after the CD would be enough to bore just about anyone out of their skull! 4. Instead of a moderate amount of useful, common vocabulary items, the book piles loads and loads of specialized vocabulary items on the student, with little or no context in which to place them. The student is then expected to remember them several units later, after reading them once with no reinforcement of them in between.So, unless you spend your life in an academic cocoon, and you love memorizing long lists of useless vocabulary items more than life itself, this book is probably the worst Vietnamese textbook you can buy. If you are interested in learning Vietnamese I strongly recommend Pimsleur's Comprehensive Vietnamese, which is a stressless and extremely effective way to proficiency in basic Vietnamese. To follow, Routledge's 'Colloquial Vietnamese' would be a good choice, though I wouldn't recommend it to a complete beginner. I'd say those two are the best items available to the basic/intermediate student of Vietnamese.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.