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Learning a non-phonetic language

 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
18 messages over 3 pages: 1 2
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4693 days ago

145 posts - 12 votes
1 sounds
Speaks: English*
Studies: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese

 Message 17 of 18
09 November 2005 at 10:33pm | IP Logged 
orion wrote:
The Teach Yourself Chinese is not bad. I would recommend getting the tapes that go with it however.

I actually picked up a copy of Teach Yourself Chinese and the CDs about a week ago. After having such a great experience with Teach Yourself Cantonese, I had high hopes for this course. However, I must say that I was quite disappointed with the audio. While the book itself is pretty good, the audio is spoken at an extremely slow pace. It speeds up somewhat toward the very end but the majority of the dialogues are painfully slow (and boring). Also, the CDs are full of English and there is no easy way to tell where the dialogue from one chapter starts and ends. The audio from chapter 9 and 10 is also missing from the CDs (the speaker says "now, let's go straight to chapter 11" right after the chapter 8 dialogue!). After I painstakingly edited out everything but the dialogues, I was only left with about 40 minutes of audio. If someone were to re-record everything at a normal speed it would probably be only 20 minutes. This just shows how different the Teach Yourself courses are.

For the price, I think Teach Yourself Chinese is ok for the book but it would be best if you can find a native speaker to re-record the audio for you.

United States
Joined 4571 days ago

90 posts - 8 votes
Studies: Mandarin, English*
Studies: Japanese

 Message 18 of 18
10 November 2005 at 8:44am | IP Logged 
Cthulhu wrote:
orion wrote:
I believe the Taiwanese have a simplified writing system used to help kids learn, similar to the Japanese kana. I think its called bopomofo, or zhuyin fuhao (something like that). Maybe this would be useful to you?

The names are both correct, and it's reasonably easy to find books (generally aimed at younger people) with bopomofo pronunciations along the side of every character in Taiwan; I think I still have an abridged copy of "The Dream of Red Mansions" lying around somewhere with them. If you can acquire some of those books they might be suited to their learning style, but I don't think they're very easy to find outside of Taiwan. Besides that I don't know what else I could say that hasn't already been said.

This isn't too hard to find, the Taiwan OCAC [] publishes stuff like this. It's still in Taiwan, of course, but you can order online. In this case you'd need the patience to learn bopomofo/zhuyin fuhao though.

In a similar vein, I believe that Cthulu's comments are also applicable to Japanese and furigana.

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