Is the book "12 Golden Rules of Mastering Chinese" worth it?

It’s a 222-page ebook by someone called Bryan Todd. Has anyone read it? Is it worth the money?

No idea, but there are some early warning signs, here’s one:

[quote]What Readers are Saying:
“I keep getting compliments!”[/quote]

Then again, it might be the sort of book you could leave around the house for the girlfriend.

[quote]“I keep getting compliments on my oral ability, and I want to thank you again for your wonderful advice!”

Barak Paz-Tal



Well, I must admit I’ve been looking to improve my oral technique :smiley:

I signed up for the 5-day email course, which is partly an extended advertisement for the book, but it was mostly common-sense stuff (or it seemed that way to me). The only thing the email course told me would actually be in the book was a list of the 600 most common characters and the most common compounds they’re in, but I’m sure I could find that for free on the internet. I’m just wondering if it has anything other than that list and 200 pages of instructions for making good flash cards.

I think there’s simply too much crap on that website to trust it. There is no simple way to pick up a language, although everyone would like to believe there is (thus the book). it is all about the slog.


There’s only one rule: Practice.

Asking questions here is free, and the combined knowledge of the “language experts” here would crush that book like an orange-flavored Soft drink invented by J. M. Thompson of Chicago in 1906.

Note: If you do end up buying it be sure to lend me a copy :smiley:

True. The following claim, in particular, seemed a little dubious.

Much as I hate to admit it, I suspect Miltown’s right; there is no easy answer. Just many hours of study.

But, then again. . . :bouncy: . . . hope springs eternal. . . What about these guys? … t=memorize

How the hell can someone memorize the order of all playing cards in 54 standard decks of cards, randomly shuffled, after looking once at all of them? That’s phenomenal. Surely someone like that has not just a far superior brain to the rest of us, but also some handy tricks for memorization. I’d be more tempted to buy a book by someone like that (and some of those memory world record holders do sell books) than one by the schmuck at that website.

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]

True. The following claim, in particular, seemed a little dubious.

Umm, Miltown, if you happen to get a copy . . . I’m not into golf mind, and my Chinese is alright, but you know, if you could just slip me a copy? :laughing:


Memory tricks are great, and helpful especially on tests and when writing characters for others to marvel at (and I definitely don’t get to do that latter, as I always forget how to write them) but language acquisition is, I think, a different sort of “memory” – more focused on developing habits and responses-without-thinking than on a retrieval-based sort of memory that would have to rely on mnemonics or something. Mnemonics are great for the learning phase (esp if you’re doing traditional classes vs. acquisition based stuff) but eventually those who become fluent are those who are able to make the leap beyond memory into automatic response.

If that makes sense. It’s hotter in Taiwan than I remember!!

I don’t like the style of the sales pitch on that page. It reeks of sleazy cable TV ads and snake oil peddlers back home. Nor could I be troubled to read through the entire thing, especially not with its OTT style.

Save your money, read the archives here in Learning Chinese to find out[color=blue] for free[/color] what “secrets” we long-timers have divulged, and then get out the elbow grease.

My impression exactly.

What’s OTT?

Over the top?


Over the top :smiley:

BTW, the secret to learning Chinese is IMMERSION.

$20 please.

Over the top?

I hope that’s right, I thought about it for a few seconds and was so happy when I thought that up. :bravo:

Edit: Oh wait, I’m a bit slow on the draw.

Naw, the only one slow on the draw here is Chris :laughing: :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey! That’s not nice!! :homer:

3 Phases to Chinese Mastery

Phase 1: Collect underpants
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: FLUENCY!!!

The secret to learning Chinese is to go to China and put up an ad saying “Foreign bloke wishes to learn Mandarin Chinese. Will exchange lessons and US$50k sweetner for European/American/Canadian passport based on sham marriage. Applicants must be fit.”

Then you get your 4-year Chinese immersion course, a bit of loot, and some Chinese family gets to escape to the West. After we got married my wife suggested that’s what I should have done. The words “hahaha you foreigners are so naive!!” were used at one point.

(For those of you out there with no sense of humour and the British Immigration and Nationality Directorate, this is a “joke”.)

There is no easy way to learn Chinese. Actually rote learning and writing out billions of characters is not “difficult” as such, just extremely time-consuming and frustrating. Passing off as a “joke” suggestions about marrying your wife’s cousin in a money-for-passport deal is “difficult”. Ahem.


It’s a
222-page ebook
by someone called Bryan Todd. Has anyone read it? Is it worth the money?[/quote]
There’s the key factor folks as to why not spend you money. If anyone has ever had to write a 10 page essay, then you KNOW how much time it takes to write a 222 page book.

Poor boy probably doesn’t even have decent Mc Donald’s Chinese language skills.

Yeah, a couple pages oughta do it. :loco:

Well come on… 222 pages for [color=darkred]12 golden rules?[/color] Hell, the Commandants are more concise.