Nicholas Peters in Editor-In-Chief at On The Go Ventures.
Learning Chinese For Newbiesby Nicholas Peters
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Quick Start Guides - Learning Chinese For Newbies Presently, 1.3 billion people speak Chinese around the world, and of this, 885 million speak Mandarin (the official language of China), which also happens to be the most dominant dialect. Currently in the USA, only 24,000 students (Grades 7 through to 12) are actually studying this language, but their numbers are steadily growing.
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I recently began using audio CDs to learn a little bit of Mandarin, but because I'm a visual learner I remember words and phrases better if I can look them up and see them in Pinyin. I have a good paper copy of an intro to Chinese book, but wanted something for my Nook that I could have while I travel. First, I was disappointed in the NookBook selection of books of this type. This one seemed to be marketed as similar to the "For Dummies" or "Complete Idiot's" series, which was the type of thing I was looking for - and it was only $4.99. My first clue should have been when I downloaded the preview and got nothing but the legal disclaimer and the first entry of the table of contents. But, it was cheap, so I decided that even if it wasn't layed out particularly well, I could get my money's worth. Not so! The book does not contain a single Chinese word or phrase, nor does it have any information on pronounciation or usage. The first chapter gives some facts on how many people speak Chinese, and where it is spoken - the kind of thing you could find on Wikipidia. The rest of the whopping 23 pages is dedicated to "tips and tricks" that could apply to learning any language, and were so basic as to almost be insulting. Examples: How to learn Chinese? Take a course, an online course, or an audio course. How to get the most out of your lessons? Practice, speak with people who already know the language. At $4.99, this book was a complete rip-off bordering on scam. I am disappointed in B&N for even carrying this book, and that this was one of only a few offerings on this topic to choose from. Perhaps, if you've just awakened from 20 years in a coma wanting to learn Chinese, this book would be helpful. Everyone else, save your money.
Only advises you on learning the Chinese language and no instructions whatsoever but some good info as to what direction to go for those wishing to learn the language.