Best Textbook for Chinese?


#1

I am teaching myself Chinese. My wife is from Taiwan, so she can help, but I want to work with the best textbooks as I am starting again. I have done a semester of college with the Practical Chinese Reader, but I gotta figure there is something better out there. I would like something with Traditional characters, and some writing exercises. Tapes would be good too.

Thanks


#2

I really like the first book in the Practical Audio Visual series that the schools here use. I’ve used a lot of beginner texts (ahem!) and i think that one is the best. It has VCD’s that go with it and a workbook.

After that, the series deteriorates. It would be a hard transition from book one, but I highly recommend “Easy Chinese Readings in 500 Characters.” It’s out of print but you might be able to get a copy at Lucky’s book store. There are three of them: Life in Beijing, Myths and Folktales, and another one i don’t have.

Good luck.


#3

The Shida textbooks for sure. Also get ‘Reading and Writing Chinese Characters’.

Brian


#4

The Practical Audio Visual series is fine if you’re an American. If you’re not, then it gets a tad annoying as EVERY chapter compares life in America with life in Taiwan.

It’s not a very well edited book and you’ll find a lot of typos. Also the romanisation system they use is not standard throughout the book. However if you use MPS, then you should be fine.


#5

I can recommend two textbooks:

The Chinese Primer (GR-Version of course!) from Harvard University Press. Although it’s quite old, it’s still useful. The only problem might be, that the shipping time from the US for the whole set is about 4-6 weeks.
Another weak point: It doesn’t come with tapes/CDs.

Another good one is Interactions (I & II). This one should be available in Taiwan, too. It’s from Indiana University Press. It uses Pinyin and is very strong on introducing Chinese Characters.
Again, no Audio material available :frowning:

Cheers,
hongkong


#6

[quote]The Practical Audio Visual series is fine if you’re an American. If you’re not, then it gets a tad annoying as EVERY chapter compares life in America with life in Taiwan.

It’s not a very well edited book and you’ll find a lot of typos. Also the romanisation system they use is not standard throughout the book. However if you use MPS, then you should be fine.[/quote]

Bollocks. Are you talking about some years old edition? This series (the Shida books) is easily the best. It does have a lot of comparing to life in America, but it also has quite a lot of fairly up to date stuff about liffe in Taiwan, slang etc. It seems to be very well edited, with very few typos. The romanisation saystem they use (hanyu pinyin) is the same all the way through.

Brian


#7

Sir Don’s right. Practical Audio and visual is pretty good. I almost got to book three without feeling any resentment towards the Yanks. It’s got plenty of culture, and pretty much everyone life situation gets a guernsey. The Primer series mention above is pretty crap, my opinion anyway. Not colourful and encouraging enough. I resented it after a month.


#8

A great series is the Integrated Chinese books. They are published by Cheng & Tsui Company, and be ordered from their website at nts.lll.hawaii.edu/tedyao/ICUsers/.

This series comes in both traditional and simplified, so make sure that you order the right ones.

Good Luck!
DFC