Basic Written Chinese

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  • Edition: CD
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-09
  • Publisher: Tuttle Pub
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


This beginning-level course in written Chinese employs a revolutionary new method designed to have you quickly reading and writing simple, connected Chinese sentences. It teaches you to recognize the 600 most basic characters and 1,000 words used every day by millions of Chinese speakers. It explains the history and development of the writing system over many centuries, teaches you how Chinese characters are built up from more basic elements, and how to use those elements to write them, read them and remember them. All the characters presented in the lessons correspond to those in Basic Spoken Chinesethe companion volume which helps you acquire rapid proficiency in speaking the language. Each lesson introduces six new characters together with common words that are formed with them. Learning just a few characters and words at a time allows students to create a sense of accomplishment and build up their knowledge incrementally. The structure and etymology of each new character is explained in detail to aid recognition and recall. Commonly confused "look-alikes" are discussed and contrasted to help you distinguish them. Sentences illustrating the usage of the new characters and words are provided, as well as conversations, readings and class discussions. This book emphasizes practical understanding and everyday usage over theory and pedagogy, building up a knowledge of written Chinese and an ability to use it that is immediately useful for foreigners planning to live and work in China. For example, early lessons cover such practical matters as reading and writing telephone numbers, personal names, addresses and other everyday tasks involving written Chinese. Simplified and traditional forms of the characters are presented together in this book. Learners can elect to learn just the simplified or the traditional versions, or both at once. (To read Chinese proficiently, sooner or later you need to become familiar with both.) It also presents handwritten and printed versions of the characters to help you recognize the various styles that will be encountered in normal daily usage. From a teacher's point of view, it is therefore possible to use this book to teach mixed classes where certain students wish to learn to read or write only certain forms or styles of the language, thereby providing far greater flexibility than other Chinese textbooks. Detailed, clear explanations are provided for certain key items needed to read and write Chinese correctly.

Author Biography

Cornelius C. Kubler is Stanfield Professor of Asian Studies at Williams College, where he teaches Chinese. He was formerly Chinese Language Training Supervisor and Chair of the Department of Asian and African Languages at the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State, where he trained American diplomats in Chinese and other languages.

Jerling Guo Kubler is a graduate of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures of Soochow University, Taipei. Her experience in language education spans more than 35 years. She has taught all levels of Chinese as a Second/Foreign Language from pre-kindergarten to university level at institutions including Williams College, Eisenhower College and Taipei Language Institute.

Table of Contents

Phonetic components are highlighted, unlocking their vast potential as a tool for recognizing and pronouncing the characters.
Character differentiation drills and real-life examplesùsuch as name cards, road signs, menus and train schedulesùare given.
Vital information about Chinese usage, culture and society is given, along with class discussions and readings.
Various strategies are recommended for memorizing and retaining the Chinese characters in active memory.
An audio CD provides accurate pronunciation, phrasing and comprehension recorded by native speakers.
A Teacher's Guide is available electronically. This textbook is designed to be used together with Basic Spoken Chinese, which teaches beginning-level Chinese speaking and listening skills.
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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